A Banbury-based care worker is one of the faces of a campaign to encourage people to enter the caring profession.
The recruitment drive – Make a Difference Every Day – has been launched where people who are already care workers talk about the rewards of the job.
In Oxfordshire, 14,200 people work in adult social care but with an ageing population, there is an urgent need for more care workers.
Anita Crook, 46, works for the Oxford Health Foundation Trust (OHFT) at the NHS Fiennes Centre in Banbury and has been a care worker since she was 18.
She supports patients to prevent illnesses from becoming more serious.
Mrs Crook, who is studying for a foundation degree to become and assistant practitioner, said: “My job allows me to use my clinical skills and to communicate with patients – both these aspects of my job are very important and if they help make a patient more comfortable even for one day that is great.
“In this job you need to develop relationships with patients so you can sit down with them, listen to their needs and provide the support they want. I think the key qualities are understanding, patience and flexibility.
“I really would recommend this job to other people because I’m not stuck in an office and I have a great deal of autonomy to carry out my varied tasks as part of a hard working team. I definitely feel valued and appreciated by my colleagues who support me with my job and my studies – they have been brilliant.”
Care workers help people with personal care like washing and dressing. They also prepare food, feed people and give out medication. Some care work involves carrying out more general tasks like housework, laundry and shopping. Care workers may also help people manage their money, pay bills and write letters, or support families to get used to new caring responsibilities.
The four-month-long drive is being run and funded by Oxon County Council, OHFT, Oxon Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG), Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) and Oxon Association of Care Providers (OACP).
The campaign is targeting specific groups including older women who are looking for a career change or are at retirement age but not yet ready to stop working, parents who may want to work flexibly around family commitments, and younger people who may want to work flexibly.
To apply for care work vacancies visit the OACP website oacp.org.uk/jobs.