Introducing Alesha Lewis, our Service Lead, who joined us in December 2018 and has shown inspirational career progression during her time at ND Care & Support. Discover Alesha’s story in her Q&A…
Do you have a background in care work? Can you tell us more about your career journey so far?
I started working in this sector around 8 years ago while at university and raising my children. Once I graduated I struggled to go into the industry I’d qualified for, so I applied for a Field Care Supervisor role, after only having around 6 months experience. I later went to another company as a Field Care Supervisor and originally the role was only a part-time one, but as demand and workload increased, I then applied to become a Care Manager instead. I found that this role wasn’t for me. I prefer to be more involved with clients – that’s where my passion is. I then took a break and became an Assessor, assessing levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care, but I missed the care side of the sector, and so here I am, back doing what I love.
What does a day in your role look like?
My usual day involves dealing with inbound and outbound emails and actioning things that require attention. I communicate with my team about their plans and anything that they need to do or need any help with throughout the day. Each day is different. I could be dealing with invoicing and setting work for my Coordinators or Field Care Supervisors, or I could find myself dealing with concerns or issues that might arise. I liaise with clients and their families and I deal with healthcare professionals, yet I also help with recruitment needs and supporting my team. It is a busy role!
What key skills are required to do your job?
I’d say that communication skills, empathy, passion, organisational skills and understanding are crucial! Understanding clients’ needs and having an understanding of care staff and their lives outside of work helps me to manage my daily role effectively.
What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
I thoroughly enjoy helping clients and their families. Nothing satisfies me more than turning a situation around for them and ensuring they have what they need to make day to day life easier. I don’t think many jobs give you that sort of satisfaction!
What day-to-day challenges do you face in your role?
Some of the challenges I face include managing conflict in trying to do what is best for the service users but also being under pressure due to a lack of availability or staff sickness. In domiciliary care, it’s very fast-paced and a situation can change so fast. We have to be able to adapt to changing situations to make sure we don’t let anyone down, as they are relying on us to look after them.
What challenges does the wider care sector face? How do you feel you are making a difference to this?
Retention and recruitment of our staff is a huge challenge. It’s something that I think affects the whole sector. Here, we are trying to make as many positive changes as we can, so that we reward and recognise our staff for the hard work that they do, as well as be a leading care provider.
What is your proudest moment in work or your greatest achievement in your career and why?
I feel proud every day seeing the difference I’ve made to someone’s life. I’ve found myself in tears because someone is stuck in their situation and I’ve fought on their behalf to get the care that they need and deserve. Hearing as well as seeing the difference it’s made, turning things around for them, really makes what I do worthwhile.
What advice would you give to candidates who want to go into care work?
Go for it! I never thought I could do it and here I am. Initially, I just wanted work that was flexible, but I have fallen in love with the care sector and making a difference in the lives of others. I don’t think there’s a job more rewarding than this. There are also many progression opportunities that I never thought possible, making it a career and not just a job. I love what we do for people in our community. Without us, where would they be?
Tell us a fun fact about yourself
I am in love with Disney! I have been 4 times to Disney World, with a fifth trip planned for next year!
What is your favourite quote and why?
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”
This quote is from Disney of course! But I definitely think it’s true. Anyone can achieve anything they want, as long as they put in the hard work to get there.
We hope Alesha’s Q&A inspires you as much as it inspires us! Tune in soon to meet the next member of the ND Care & Support team…