A Surrey supported living service for adults with learning disabilities is appealing to local people considering a new job for the New Year to think about opportunities in the care sector.
Sharon Meyers who leads the team at Wren Park, a large detached house which provides a home for up to 17 people with acquired brain injury, in self-contained flats shared by up to 6 individuals.
Sharon said: “There are tremendous career opportunities in the care sector for people who have the desire to really make a difference to the lives of others.
“No-one would describe what we do as ‘easy’ but it can be incredibly rewarding providing a stepping stone for individuals with ABI to return to a more independent life.
“Care offers interesting and challenging opportunities, and attracts people from a variety of backgrounds. The most important characteristic of a good carer is having genuine passion for what they do.”
Senior support worker Karon Belcher, who joined the team at Wren Park near Purley almost two years ago has worked in the care sector for 21 years and says that caring is the perfect job for her.
Karon said: “The people we work with have very complex needs, but supporting them to make progress in their journey towards a more independent life is incredibly satisfying.
“Our aim is to support individuals to achieve their goals, participate in meaningful activities and become more self-sufficient, building on their skills. We can continue with previously established rehabilitation goals and strategies or, where required, adjust these or develop new ones.”
“When potential new staff are interviewed and selected, the individuals at Wren Park are involved, which is what gives our team its ‘extended-family’ character.”
Applicants are guaranteed an interview, attended by two staff and at least one person we support, and all decisions reached regarding recruitment are mutually agreed by all.
The staff team that support Wren Park have over 50 years’ experience within the acquired brain injury rehabilitation setting, and has gathered the necessary skills and experience to help the people they support achieve their rehabilitation goals.
Many have completed specialist training in ABI, managing challenging behaviours, epilepsy and total communication training.
Sharon Meyers who leads the team was nominated by her employer in the 2015 Surrey Care Awards, citing as reasons her success in helping service users access the care packages they need, and the engaging programme of activities she runs such as outings to London Zoo and trips to the West End to see shows like The Lion King.
Wren Park is part of the Regard group, the UK’s fourth biggest provider of supported living and specialist residential services, who recently received a Gold Investors in People award.
To ensure that appointments to all positions are the right ones, Regard has developed a detailed criteria for each role and interview questions that probe applicants’ aptitude and attitude towards work in the health and social care sector.
Job induction includes two weeks of shadowing to build the confidence of new recruits, plus mandatory and service-specific training.