Valued, Appreciated and Utilized
Today I’m catching up with Darren who joined the Kingsway Care team recently as a CareGiver. As he says, “I can’t believe I’ve only been here a couple of weeks. I feel like I’ve been here for longer and have slotted in as one of the cogs.” He continues. “I feel so comfortable, valued, appreciated, and utilized.”
How did you begin your career in care?
I was working for the Body Shop in the 90s when I was 19 years old and enjoyed their community outreach programmes. We learned how to do hand, feet, and facial massages for patients in hospitals and day centres. Later on, we worked with Aids charities and I learned how to massage terminally ill people. This is when I became more aware of the cycle of life and death.
Respite & Rehabilitation
Since those early days, healing and helping people has been the common thread running through my career choices – from holiday rep, activity co-ordinator, massage therapist, and CareGiver. I’ve worked in residential care homes for the elderly and people with learning disabilities. I’ve also worked for respite and rehabilitation for people leaving hospital.
I’ve enjoyed learning sign language and continued to be a massage therapist and Reiki healer in my spare time. My sign language teacher suggested I help her run a cafe in Brighton that she set up to employ people with hearing and learning difficulties. Regrettably, not all our customers had the patience to wait for their coffee and we had to close down.
Why did you join Kingsway Care?
My neighbour, Karen, AKA Dolly Rocket and co-host of last year’s Kingsway Care’s online Christmas parties, suggested I contact Kingsway Care. I’m so glad I did. It’s such a wonderful team to work with, everyone is so friendly, accommodating, and helpful. All the Kingsway Care Clients are lovely too!
I’ve always believed you should be kind, thoughtful, and empathetic and help others to have a better life. People too often focus on the wrong things when at the end of the day we should think about being a good human being. Doing the best for others and for yourself.
I love to take Kingsway Care Clients out & about. See my list of top 10 accessible trips
Treat Clients like Family
I was by my father’s side when he passed away after a battle with cancer and later by my mother’s side when she passed away with Alzheimer’s. When I am on care visits, I always want to treat the Kingsway Care Clients how I treated my own parents. I met some of my parents’ carers and they became part of the family. I still keep in touch with many of the families I have cared for too.
How is your work / life balance?
One of the many things I love about Kingsway Care is that they plan my rota around certain days so that I can continue my studies (for a diploma in animal healing) and my massage therapy business. I currently do 30 care hours a week but will reduce this slightly until I finish my diploma. I know I’m valued enough and good at what I do and have a lot of experience to bring to the table.
The Kingsway Care Fun Factor
It has blown me away how eager Kingsway Care was to get me on board and keep me. It has made me see my own worth. I’m so happy I can help the business with my experience and ideas as well as care for the Clients. I’m really proud that last week I wrote a little poem that will be used to invite people to this year’s Kingsway Care’s Christmas Day party. The Sussex Wildlife Trust also interviewed me recently to see how spending time in nature is beneficial to our Clients – you can read the interview here.
I can’t wait for Kingsway Coffee to open and start helping with activities too. I really believe in Kingsway Care’s mission to enable people to live their lives as they want to, for as long as they can.
If you are considering a career in care, please contact us on 01273 077444 or email email@example.com