‘It’s helped me progress and boosted my confidence’: Ben’s story

A selfie of Ben

We spoke to Ben, 28, who works as a healthcare assistant in Wales. Originally from Nigeria, Ben has been working in care for just over a year. He says one of the most rewarding aspects of his role is conversing with his clients and receiving lots of positive feedback. 

Can you tell us more about your work?

My main role is as a healthcare assistant at a domiciliary care company and I work about 40 hours a week. I also pick up shifts as a support worker through another agency on my days off, if I want to keep myself busy. The work is super varied.

At the moment, I’m supporting about five service users and I’ll usually drop in a few times during the day around breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ll help them with getting dressed, bathing, personal care, making food, feeding support and household chores like tidying and cleaning. I also try to engage them in conversations I know they’ll be interested in. One of my clients supports Manchester United and I support Arsenal. So we talk a lot about Manchester United games, which makes him happy. 

How did you get into this line of work?

A few years ago, I came to the UK from Nigeria as a student and studied Business Economics. I didn’t have any intention of being a carer, but my friends at university used to tell me I’m a very caring person. They said I was the only person who checks up on them.

Back home, I was looking after my grandmother and was carrying out most of her tasks – going to the pharmacy, helping her with medication and so on. So I went for an interview, got hired and received a lot of positive feedback from the people I was supporting. That boosted my confidence a lot. Being in a job where you receive appreciation and commendation is really rewarding.

What do you find most rewarding about working in care?

The service users really like it when you’re talking to them. Sometimes you’re the only person who speaks to them each day. I’ve had conversations with them about games, events, hiking, beaches, ziplining and lots more, which they really like. Those conversations alone make them feel happy to see me and talk to me, and I get a lot of positive feedback about the conversation and communication we’ve had. I really see myself growing in this role and I’m better now than when I started working in care.

What were you doing before working in care?

Before coming to the UK, I was working in a marketing company back home in Nigeria. I was also supporting a friend who runs a charity foundation which hosts fashion events to raise money and send children to school. I had intentions to go and do something like that one day and set up a charity by myself. For example, supporting people whose parents aren’t able to give them a good education. I believe that relates to the work I’m doing in care.

What’s your experience of FuturU been like?

I’ve been using FuturU for about 2-3 months and completed 18 courses. FuturU’s training is a lot more engaging and educational than training I’ve done in the past. It has helped me progress in my role and boosted my confidence.

How have you used the training in practice?

The moving and handling training has been really helpful. For example, getting a service user up from a chair and sitting them back down. Before I did that training, most service users hadn’t required my support with this. But when I started working with the agency and I was going into care homes and residential care homes, that’s when the training became useful. I now know how to use a slide sheet to get someone up from a chair and turn them on their side, which is something I learnt on the FuturU training course. 

What’s your goal for the future?

I want to grow in my career and get to a point where I’m the person training people. I recently met a woman who is a trainer for manual handling, who I was able to assist during the training session. Later on, she thanked me and said she appreciated my help. So I told my boss that I want to start teaching others how to care for people. 

Would you recommend a career in care?

I would encourage anyone considering a career in care to go for it. Sometimes it’s frustrating and hard work, and sometimes you don’t want to do it anymore. But just keep doing what you’re doing, as it’s hugely rewarding. Because of all the training I’ve done, I can now work confidently with people with Down Syndrome, type 1 and 2 diabetes, physical disabilities and many other conditions, which I’m really proud of. So don’t give up, as eventually you’ll be a master at what you’re doing.

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