As a teenager, I didn’t want to study abstract things, that didn’t have meaning to my young self – maths, for example. I found my way, via vocational studies, into social care work. The people I met and the worlds I saw touched me deeply. You either have a heart and soul that is open to be touched, or you don’t. And you either let that guide you, or you don’t. I did let it guide me, and I’ve never looked back!
I have worked as a Care Assistant in various settings up to a CQC Registered Care Home Manager. The most effective tool on the table has been one thing only: passion for what I do and for the people I do it for. That passion comes from within, not from books or policies, or even from experience. You just can’t cook it up!
When I had my own children, I found that I couldn’t devote myself to my work to the extent I had done before, and I felt that I was letting all sides down. It didn’t sit well with me, so I took time out of social care work and thought that I’d just have to do something different. Maybe I’d done my time in Social Care? But the passion never went away, and I was still getting on my high horse about social care issues and supporting ex-colleagues in my free time, never tiring to hear what they were dealing with. I continued to read, watch, and write about the quality of care and support we offer people.
There were a few hard years of busy family life: personal health problems, losing my mother and mother-in-law to cancer, and watching from another country how my father and brother managed end of life care, travelling back-and-forth, and doing what little I could from afar. I didn’t think I would find professional work that I could now do to the same standard I had done before. I was searching for the impossible. An organisation that would recognise my passion and experience but also respect that I had to feel free to give my all, and that could only happen if I also felt supported and trusted to fit it around my family and hobbies (or rather therapeutic activities, as I call them!).
But I did find it, with Dorset Advocacy. I only work 16 hours a week but I can fit it all around the people I support, the Family Carers I work with, and my own family. I feel I can give my all in a way that best suits everyone involved and as a result, I am able and motivated to do a lot more than if I felt restricted and pressured. And yet again, in the search for the right job, and certainly in my role now… the most effective tool on the table is passion for what I do.
by Sini Lucas
Dorset Advocacy – BCP Learning Disability Family Carers Representation Coordinator