18 Jun 2015
In the run up to Care Home Open Day, colleagues from different teams across Anchor are sharing their experiences of a career in care. Liam Fleming, currently the Scheme Manager at Anchor’s Clifton Court retirement housing scheme in Peckham, has previously worked as both a carer and Activity Co-ordinator in care homes. Liam tells us why he works in the care sector.
I’m from a family of people who work in social care in one form or another, and growing up around them influenced me into wanting to help others from an early age (I’m 26 now) and gave me the confidence to know that I had what it took to make a difference to older people.
My career in care began when I got a job as a carer at Anchor’s Birchlands care home in Englefield Green, working with residents on a day-to-day basis. Since I joined Anchor in 2011, I am proud to say I have progressed through the ranks and experienced different roles at different locations within the organisation. After six months I became an Activity Co-ordinator, focusing on finding new ways of making sure residents are active and entertained, and now I’m the Scheme Manager at a retirement housing scheme in Peckham.
When I tell people about my job many seem surprised I have chosen to work in care. There is a common stereotype that being a carer is a female-only occupation. It’s hugely important to me that we change this view of careers in the care sector and highlight the range of job opportunities available to men. I’ve seen, and been told by the older people I work with, the difference having support from another man can make, especially to male care home residents, who really appreciate male carers and staff when it comes to more delicate needs.
And the benefits are not all one way, as a young man I get a great deal from my job. I have formed real friendships and had unrivalled opportunities to learn from the old school, proper gentlemen I work with.
Working in the care sector you have the opportunity to positively impact someone’s life. There’s no feeling like the moment when you find that one thing that someone loves and you make it possible for them to participate – whether it be a song, a film or a walk in the garden, it’s so rewarding.
And work can also be a lot of fun. When I was an Activity Co-ordinator, my job allowed me to be really creative and find the right activity for our residents and, knowing them personally, I always want to organise something unique and personal that will bring a smile to their faces. I get the freedom to do that at Anchor.
While working at Anchor’s Greenhive care home in London I arranged a special Casablanca themed party with dinner, jazz and a movie which really brought everyone out of themselves. The men were all suited and booted and the women glammed up, it was a real occasion for everyone involved. It wouldn’t be possible for all of the residents to go for a big dinner with dancing, so through well thought out and planned events we bring that to them in their own home.
Working in care is a decent career. You will forge great bonds with people and learn so much.
I firmly believe that if you have the right attitude and you have empathy, working in care opens up opportunities for you. I’m one of the youngest scheme managers at Anchor and I’m excited to see where my career will take me.
I work in care because…I want to make a difference to older people.