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Meet Richard Merrills one of our Hourly Carers

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2,500+ reviews
Posted on 23rd December 2016.

You may be surprised to learn that not all of our carers come from a carer background. It’s not a prerequisite, you don’t need experience – it helps, but it really isn’t necessary.

Ursula Jayes Head of Carer Recruitment at Helping Hands states:

“During a recent piece of research we have learnt that more than 70% of our hourly carers come from a non-care background, their routes to care can be varied, from retail, hair dressing, hospitality – they could have been a flight attendant or worked in a bar.

We have carer’s that are trained pilot’s, engineers the route to a career in care is diverse. One thing that all of our carers have in common is their compassionate, patient, resilient nature that enables them to be kind and caring and remain calm in a crisis.”

One such carer is Richard from our St Albans branch, Richard has a background in Art. Graduating as an Illustrator and Graphic Designer in 1982, he went on to develop a unique style of work which met with considerable acclaim. Unfortunately the perils of a freelance career, caused him to eventually channel his expertise to selling Artists materials for a major firm in Soho, London. Richard remained there for 30 years: the last ten as Buyer for the expanded business of five Shops.

Richard’s carer came to an end two years ago when the Company re-located its Headquarters to Folkestone. Subsequent jobs in retail proved to be short-term, so Richard was left with no choice but to re-evaluate his future direction. Richard completed his Induction Care Certificate and has begun a very successful career with Helping Hands as a visiting carer.

Richard said:

“I knew that I wanted a fresh challenge, to work in my home area, and also to achieve a healthier Work/Life balance. I was also aware that I possessed highly attuned ‘people skills’ which had not been previously employed to their greatest advantage. Although I hadn’t considered Care Work before, events in my life had guided me very positively towards it, as well as to HELPING HANDS. It was a huge leap for me, but I felt confident that I had the potential to become an excellent Carer, and do extremely worthwhile and valuable work to help other people.”

Richard is known amongst his friends as a‘great listener and counsellor’, it was Richard’s Mother who has been the greatest inspiration for him. In her early twenties she had cared for her own Mother, who succumbed to a terminal illness. His Mother then went on to fully employ her remarkable compassion and skill in her career as an exemplary Nurse: both in hospital High Dependency Units as well as Residential Care Homes many years later. Her complete dedication to her patients has been a lasting influence on Richard: especially as he looked after his Mother in her final years.

Richard tells us:

“Mum’s attitude towards anyone she ever met whom she instinctively sensed needed some help, (and there must have been thousands in total), was an absolute Masterclass in Care; and I absorbed so much from her which I can now put to optimum use in my own work”.

Richard is a warm and open person, who is calm, focussed and conscientious at all times. He consistently strives to give that ‘little extra’ to go beyond the expectations of his Clients.

As Richard states himself:

““It’s pretty straightforward really: to treat someone in exactly the same way that you would want to be treated yourself, if you were facing the same circumstances, and NEVER anything less. Making a positive and significant difference to the sometimes very challenging lives of people, is frankly what this job is all about. Returning home each day, knowing that I’ve fully achieved that, is hugely rewarding”.

Of his work ethic Sarika Dhillon, Head of Homecare said:

“It is such a pleasure to have Richard in the team in St Albans, his dedication to his customers, to their well-being and the way he shows compassion and patience no matter what the circumstance is a real testament to him as an individual. I am incredibly proud of the work that Richard and all of our team at the St Albans branch do.”

When not supporting his Customers, Richard enjoys Reading and Writing, Music and The Arts in general, and enjoying spending time in his garden.

To find out how our hourly carers can help you or your loved one, speak to our customer service team on: 0808 250 2528

Sally Tomkotowicz