After years working in a retail job she didn’t enjoy, Tammy finally decided to change the direction of her career. She’d always wanted to have a job that involved helping people, so when she saw an advert for a support worker at Trembath, Tammy applied.
With no experience in care, she didn’t know what to expect, but she soon got into the swing of things. Now, after a year in the job, Tammy says she can’t imagine doing anything else.
Hi Tammy, tell us about your life before you got the job at Trembath.
I’d always wanted to work with people, so I did a childcare course at college, but I didn’t enjoy it. After swapping to do travel and tourism instead, I graduated and took a Christmas job at a sports retail company. It was only supposed to be a temp role, but I got stuck in a rut and spent eight years there. I worked my way up to management in the shop, but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I started looking for something new.
What caught your eye about the support worker job?
I saw the job advertised online and it said you didn’t need experience to apply. I’d always assumed you needed a lot of qualifications to work in care, and I had lots of bills and expenses, so I couldn’t afford to go back to college to retrain. So, when I saw that you didn’t need any previous training to become a support worker, I went for it.
What was your first day like?
On my first day, I started working with a tenant who’d just transferred from another service and had a support worker with her. I spent two days with them, shadowing the support worker and getting to know the lady we were working with. I gelled with her straight away and it was great. When I was working at the shop, I’d wake up and think, ‘Ugh, I’ve got to go to work’, but straight away, I was excited to come in for my new job here.
Did your new colleagues help you to settle in?
They were so supportive. My team knew it was quite nerve-wracking for me to come into a new job and that I’d never been in this environment before. But by the end of the first week, I felt completely at ease and, after working with the tenants here, I developed confidence quickly.
What does it mean to you to be able to help the tenants live meaningful lives?
It feels so good. The tenants are so sweet to all of us. They always tell me that they love me working here and give me nice comments. If I take a week off on holiday, they tell me they’ve missed me when I get back. You just know, from their reaction and the relationships you build, that they are happy to have you around.
Has working with them changed you as a person?
I’d say so. I have always had a big heart and been really caring, but working with the tenants gives you a different view on things. You learn how different everyone is and you learn how to adapt to each person because everyone has unique needs. Little things make a big difference. Any time we can get everyone out and they’ve all had a good day, it just makes you feel good. Even if it’s a simple activity like shopping at the supermarket, but they’ve had a great day, then you’ve had a great day too.
What would you say to people who are considering a career in care but don’t have any experience?
Just go for it! You don’t need qualifications as you get all the training you need from the company. A lot of the people who work here started without having had any experience, so they’ve been in the same boat and they can help you. This is a job that doesn’t feel like a slog, and I absolutely love coming into work now. It felt scary to make the move initially, but I’m so glad I did it.
What do your friends and family make of the work you do now?
They think it’s great. It was a drastic jump from retail, so when I tell them about the things that I do at work each day, they think it’s fantastic. It’s such a rewarding job and they are proud of me. I know this is what I want to do for the rest of my career.