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What Does it Mean to be a Carer?

A career as a carer

Being a carer has its pros, it’s rewarding and you truly make a difference in people’s lives. On the other hand, it can be demanding but being a carer is truly the most fulfilling thing you’ll do.

At Helping Hands, we have thousands of compassionate carers that look after our customers across England and Wales. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a private carer? Well, here’s a little insight…


Lena Barcikai, Live-in Carer, South London

Lena has been a live-in carer at Helping Hands for 10 years. Her customer’s family has hailed her as their very own Mary Poppins. She truly goes the extra mile for her customers.

Lena comes from a family who has experience in the care sector. Her father was a doctor, and her mother and sister currently work as carers. So, it’s no wonder that Lena wanted to follow her loved ones in their footsteps.

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“Over ten years, I did lots of cover jobs and emergency placements. Therefore, I have met so many customers and their family members, and it’s wonderful how unique every lady and gentleman is. I enjoy that I can deliver person-centred care for the customer I am looking after and seeing the difference it makes to their lives makes me happy.”

She continued “I also love to engage with family members, and I had the chance to participate and witness countless touching moments from dementia care to palliative. I also enjoy that I can always learn something new. I get lots of love from my customers”

Lena has had such an impact on the families she has worked with that they continue to keep in touch with her. “I still receive messages from next of kin even if our client is not with us anymore, and that always makes my day as I know they appreciate the care I delivered to their loved ones, and sometimes they call me their friend or part of their families.”

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Sarah Shackelton, Care Assistant, Wakefield

Being a carer can be challenging and demanding, but behind each carer is a strong supportive care team. Sarah Shackelton recently joined the Wakefield care team and explains how amazing the team is.

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“The staff and support here are second to none, nothing is too much trouble” explains Sarah. She joined Helping Hands thanks to her grandfather, who has been receiving care from our team. Sarah states he, “spoke so highly of them and all the carers. This made me want to join a team that cares so deeply about their staff and customers.” She continued: “I love going to work each day and meeting all the customers and supporting them in any way that we can”

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Emma Kelly, Care Assistant, Truro

‘Rewarding, satisfying and enjoyable’ are just a few words Emma uses to describe her role as a care assistant. She is part of our Truro care team and really understands what it takes to be a carer.

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“We help and support the customers as best as we can to keep them at home and remain as independent as possible. I love my job [and] it is by far the best job I have ever had”

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Cheryl and Lucy, Care Assistant, Middlesbrough

Cheryl and Lucy work in the Middlesbrough branch and had the pleasure of assisting their customer Kerry on her wedding day. Kerry is living with cerebral palsy and our carers went to help her get ready for her big day. With the wedding postponed due to Covid-19, Cheryl and Lucy were able to provide the support she needed to make Kerry’s day special.

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“They [Kerry and Ben] had a lovely night before the big day in the hotel and we were so happy it was finally here.” They explained, “everything had gone right and Ben said he was marrying his princess.”

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Victoria Jarvis, Care Assistant, Guildford

Victoria has been with the Guilford care team for a year and explains what her journey has been like so far.

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“What being a care worker means to me. Seeing people at their most vulnerable and providing hope, reassurance, a shoulder to cry on is an amazing feeling.” She also went on to explain that being a care assistant isn’t a walk in the park. “It can be challenging at times, but the rewards and good days outweigh the struggles. I love being a care worker”

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Shannon Jones, Care Assistant, Guildford

Shannon has also been working as a care assistant for over a year. For her, being a carer is more than just a job.

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“Being a carer is not how much you do, it’s how much you love doing it!” She loves the emotional aspect of care, “it’s the laughs, the hugs, the tears, the friendships, a safe place to sleep, the cups of tea and the hot dinners.”

If she could put what it means to be a carer in one sentence, it would be this: “One person caring for another represents life’s biggest value.”

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Beth Irving, Care coordinator, Evesham

Working as a carer at Helping Hands opens plenty of opportunities for our employees. Many have been promoted to higher roles within our head office and have been with us for years. Beth Irving joined Helping Hands as a carer in December 2014 and has worked her way up in the company. She is now a Care Coordinator.

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“I started working as an hourly carer at the Bromsgrove branch. Shadowing was amazing, getting to know the customers and helping to complete the calls.”

She continued, “Helping Hands is not just my job but my second family! I will always treasure the memories at Helping Hands and look forward to seeing what my future holds here.”

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Start Your Career In Care With Helping Hands

If you would like to join our Helping Hands as a visiting or live-in carer then apply today. You will be stepping into a role where you’ll make a positive difference in people’s lives. You can apply online via our careers page. Alternatively, you can pop into your local Helping Hands branch and speak to a member of staff. They will be more than happy to help you. We look forward to having you on our team.

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