A former Gateshead College student with learning difficulties has spoken out about how his Grandad’s dying wish led him to a career in the care sector.
Twenty one -year-old Jack Parker, who participated in the college’s ‘Project Choice’ programme, has been working as an Activities Coordinator at HC-One’s Springfield House since August 2016 after attaining a placement through the Prince’s Trust.
The young carer developed a passion for the care sector at aged 13, after his Grandad suffered a stroke and asked Jack to promise to ‘look after him and other people at the care home.’
After impressing staff at the Gateshead based care home, Jack was offered an apprenticeship studying Customer Care at Level 2, where he’s still a paid employee at the company. Day-to-day duties include helping to develop a varied schedule of games and exercises to keep Residents physically and mentally active.
Trish Starr, HC-One Care Home Manager at Springfield House, commented: “From the moment he joined us Jack has been a real hit with residents and always knows how to make them laugh and keep them engaged. He’s become a valued addition to Springfield House and we’re delighted to have him on our team.”
Jack, added: “I have really enjoy working at Springfield House because I’ve loved getting to know the residents, seeing them enjoy the entertainment and activities on offer and having a dance with me.
“I’ve wanted to make a difference to the lives of the elderly for a long time and I’m very happy that I’ve been able to make my Grandad’s wish of me working in care come true and make my family proud.”
To acknowledge his commitment to residents, Jack recently won an internal award as the ‘Kindest Member of Staff,’ becoming the first male member of staff to have received the award.
In addition to organising visits between Springfield House and local care homes, Jack puts on activity sessions for residents including Knit and Knatter sessions, arts and crafts, ballroom dancing, tennis, poetry club and trips out in the local community.