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“I love my job. Work is really important to me. I’ve met so many interesting people. Care support is not something I ever thought I’d do, but since I started all those years ago I’ve honestly loved every minute.”

Jan has worked as a carer support worker for 18 years. Eight years ago she became a carer herself, after her husband tragically suffered a heart attack and stroke, leaving him with poor mobility and needing a high level of care support.  

Fortunately Carers Trust South East Wales offers flexible working conditions and Jan has been able to continue the work she enjoys so much.

Jan explains: “I couldn’t work without help from my family and colleagues. Carers Trust South East Wales have been brilliant in supporting me. I work reduced hours and know if I need to get my husband to a hospital appointment that, with a bit of planning, there is no issue there. The team here are here for each other and people step in and help each other out.

“The people you work with become part of your wider family. People are keen to find out how I cope as a carer myself and how that fits in with work and family life.

Supporting carers

“You have to have compassion and empathy towards carers and to be a good listener. Some people carry a large burden on their shoulders. Taking on a caring role changes your life – I know that first hand.

“As a carer support worker, we are there for the carers. We help give people a break from their caring role, to give them a chance to do the things they wouldn’t normally be able to do – even if that’s having a sleep for a few hours.

“What I really like about the job is that no two days are ever the same. My day starts with getting my husband up and out of bed, washed and dressed and downstairs for breakfast. I get his paper for him, he enjoys that. Then my brother in law comes by and he takes over, enabling me to go to work.  

“Sometimes I help clients get up in the mornings, get breakfast ready. Some personal care. I read to some of the people I support. Some people simply want to enjoy a good chat – family, local history, gossip! I even have a sing song with one client! Everyone is different. I help some people do the shopping or get out and about in their communities.

“Knowing I have the full support of the employer is a massive thing for me. It enables me to care for my husband safe in the knowledge that my employer understands my situation. I really like working for Carers Trust South East Wales and I know I can make a big difference to the lives of carers – I know what they’re going through.”