‘With FuturU, there’s a rainbow of training’: Renata’s story

A photo of a smiling Renata

We spoke to Renata, 45, a healthcare assistant and support worker based in Lancashire, who specialises in complex care. Renata has completed an incredible 90 courses with FuturU and discusses how she’s been able to put all of her training into practice.

Can you tell us more about your role?

I’m a healthcare assistant and support worker specialising in complex care. I work in a wide range of environments such as care homes, schools, and residential support facilities. My role involves supporting both adults and children with diverse needs. This includes assisting with daily routines like dressing and feeding, taking them to day centres and other social activities. The good thing about working for an agency is that the work is really varied. The range of experience is good for me as I’m someone who likes to learn. 

How did you get into this line of work?

I cared for my mum for three years when she became ill back home in Poland. I then moved to England and got a job working as a cleaner. I saw an ad on Facebook about a job as a carer. You didn’t need previous experience as they would train you – you just needed to be passionate. This was 10 years ago. I went for my first shift and I loved it – it was something I knew I wanted to do. 

I initially started in support work before transitioning to complex care, which I find really fascinating. It’s definitely a more challenging area and required me to learn more, increase my knowledge and gain more experience.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I love bringing a smile to someone’s face through my words and actions. I like supporting my clients so they’re able to do things that they weren’t able to do previously. When you’re working with people who struggle with drug addiction or have mental health issues, you get to see their progress. They’re coming out of the dark side and doing something for themselves. It’s rewarding seeing people that you’ve helped. 

Are there any stories that stand out to you?

I previously worked with a very special elderly lady who was blind. She was very anxious and struggled with depression because she was lonely. After going to see her for a few weeks, she started to smile and brighten up. It was lovely to see the transformation from a lady who was sitting in a dark room who didn’t want to speak to anyone, to someone who was happy to get up, open the curtains, go for a walk and smile. It’s simple things like this that make you want to go to work as you know you’re going to change someone’s day, and give them a little bit of happiness and hope. 

Even though they’re not part of the necessary training I need to do to support my clients, there are also lots of other courses I’m planning to do with FuturU. You’ve got to be hungry for training if you want to progress in your role and avoid being at a standstill. 

How did you discover FuturU?

My agency recommended FuturU as a great platform to discover lots of different types of training. For example, I’m currently supporting someone with dystonia and there’s a course on FuturU on this. I also like that FuturU has lots of advanced courses, as a lot of other training providers only offer the basics like fire safety and safeguarding. With FuturU, you’ve got a rainbow of different training and they keep adding new courses. I think I’ve done about 90 courses so far – I love them! I like how the courses are designed because they’re easy to understand and there’s loads of information, without it feeling overwhelming.

What’s your experience been of previous training?

A lot of companies make you pay for the training and certificates when you leave. You have to sign a contract saying that if you leave within 12 months, you have to pay back the training costs, which isn’t cheap. Some companies want £30 per certificate, so if you do 30 different types of training, that’s a lot of money.

With FuturU, you get the certificates for free and you receive updates on when you have to renew them. I also like that FuturU is always updating the content to ensure it complies with the latest standards. I once did manual handling training at a care home that was 10 years out of date, which isn’t great. 

Do you think healthcare training should be free?

It is very important to provide training and certificates for free. It’s like going to school. We learn not for ourselves, but to help someone. We’re using this to be able to be part of the care sector, which at the moment is really struggling with carers and nurses and staffing generally.

What do you enjoy most about FuturU’s training?

I like that FuturU’s training is online and you don’t have to be in a classroom. You just need a laptop and internet, and the will to do it. Flexibility is very important when you’re learning, especially if you’re working 6 or 7 days a week, and I like that I can do the courses in my own time. 

How have you put the training into practice?

In some of the places I’ve worked, I’ve experienced loads of challenging behaviour, including addiction and self-harming. I was able to find lots of training on FuturU which helped me to de-escalate situations and understand how to deal with them. In one place I worked, none of the staff had any training in mental health, so I was able to guide them using the knowledge and skills I’ve developed through FuturU. That’s why I always recommend FuturU to all the managers I work with.

What’s your dream for the future?

My goal is to become a nurse. I’m currently doing an NVQ Level 3, which will help me with my English and Maths levels and then I hope to go to university to study as a nurse. I’ve been trying to complete my NVQ Level 3 for a while, but a lot of the courses are in the evenings, which doesn’t work with my schedule as I’m mostly doing night shifts. However, it’s something I’m hoping to pick back up soon.

What would you say to someone considering a career in care?

I’d say go for it. It’s worth it and it’s amazing. Lots of people think that working in the care sector is only wiping the bums, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about giving people a little bit of light in their life and helping them to be independent. You can change their life and it’s really rewarding.

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