Ryan Giving Extra Help & Care-min

Ryan Parker’s care career

Ryan Parker recently joined us — he liked our offer of providing customers with extra help and support around the home, so we thought we’d invite him to tell us his story:

“I was getting very disillusioned working for a large domiciliary home care company in Torbay.

I loved my job, or rather I love helping people, but I was never allowed to spend the time allocated with customers and spent hours driving, crisscrossing the Bay – Shiphay at 8 am, Brixham at 8:30 am, Preston 9 am.

When I reflect, I was put in an impossible situation for any caregiver.

Always late for customers who need more time and help that couldn’t be given.

No wonder I felt stressed and the job I once loved was making me ill.

I have a passion for care and it’s a sector that I know, am trained in and ideally want to work in.

My partner was encouraging me to leave care before it affected my long term health.

Then I discovered Friends Helping at Home.

They were offering a completely different service and a new approach.

So I contacted Karen, who’s lovely, she’s the Torbay branch manager.

She explained that her customers all got to meet carers and support workers with her and that the customer or their family chose and booked the carers that they wanted.

I had an in-depth interview with Karen and had to provide references, and (DBS) checks that were followed up to ensure that I was who I said that I was, and that my qualifications and everything (I gave) were correct.

I also had to become self-employed, there was also an induction, training and support with that.

Friends Helping at Home is an agency.

Karen meets with customers to understand what help that they need.

Some customers need extra help around the home, such as with cleaning, bed-making, laundry, shopping, cooking as well as personal care.

I like doing a range of tasks and it’s much nicer and interesting for me to know the customers I go to and to be asked to do a lot more.

Karen introduces carers and helpers to customers.

This is all very informal but nice to get to know the people that you might be asked to help.

Customers like this as it’s reassuring for them and their families.

In my first month, I have met two customers with Karen and pleased to say that I have been booked by them on a regular basis.

The booking process is straightforward for customers.

They can add or change hours as needed.

I earn a lot more now and don’t have to drive from one rushed appointment to another.

The way the service is set up, customers get a better value and definitely, people like having carers that they know.

Others like me provide routine, we turn up when we say we will.

If anyone’s unreliable they are dropped from the Friends network and not introduced to new customers.

I like working with Karen and the fact that she’s not pushy.

She lets customers make up their own minds, is a great listener and seems to find lovely customers.

I honestly now love my work again.

It’s rewarding in many ways. I feel valued.

I’m happy to talk to anyone off the record who’s genuinely interested in our services (as a Service Provider or as a potential Customer), Karen can give you my contact details.

We also meet informally for a coffee and a chat. Maybe that’s a good opportunity to find out more from me too.”

Karen adds: “Ryan is a great asset. Like any business, we are only as good as the people we involve. There’s a lot more behind the scenes that we do such as ensuring that the service we provide is vetted, safe and flexible for our customers.  I have found that customers like being able to choose the hours they want with the Carer or Support Worker. This makes daily life much better, with scope to do more.  Making the time to get to know each other is also important, creating a bond and relieving the loneliness a lot of customers feel.”

Find out more about our at-home care services in Torbay.