Sarah’s Journey to Becoming a Key Worker

Anxiety, depression and a severe lack of confidence prevented Sarah Davies from leading a fulfilling life. With help from Workways+ Sarah is now a confident key worker, caring for people at this time of great need.

Long term unemployed but desperate to work Sarah felt lost. The big break for Sarah was when her Jobcentre Plus Coach referred her to the Neath Port Talbot Council arm of the employment support service Workways+.  Rhiannon Collins was assigned as Sarah’s Mentor to work with her on a one to one basis. What followed was a long process of steadily building Sarah’s confidence, supporting her and exploring employment options.

Rhiannon helped Sarah identify that working in the care sector was something that she would enjoy and would suit Sarah’s caring nature. Sarah’s mother had worked in care and she had a good idea of what would be involved.

Rhiannon continued to work with Sarah, building her confidence, helping her with employment skills and getting her to the point that she was ready to start developing her CV and seeking employment. 

Next step was to bring in Workways+ Employment Liaison Officer Lesley Nicolas to help Sarah get the training she needed and to introduce her to potential employers. Lesley identified several training options.

Sarah undertook ‘Manual Handling for the Care Sector’ a two-day intensive course that Sarah was delighted to successfully complete and be awarded the certificate. Workways paid for the cost of the course and the certificate.

In order to get Sarah work experience in the care sector Lesley arranged for an informal interview for Sarah to volunteer with Maes Y Bryn Care Home, in Port Talbot. Workways+ provided funding to purchase interview clothes for Sarah.   Workways+ then paid for a DBS check for Sarah, a statutory requirement to work in the care sector.  Sarah impressed at the interview and was successfully offered a position as Care Worker.

Sarah said, “I feel more confident, I have a social life, the staff and colleagues I have now I would never have met, and I feel like they are friends. No one can believe I have come to this point so quickly, considering how I felt before.
With Workways + I felt as if I had someone who was by my side who could help me sort anything out if I needed it. Even the smart new work clothes they helped me with made me feel more confident. I never felt pressured into things, if I felt I did not want to do something it was never a problem but Rhiannon just explained why it would be a good idea for the future. I never felt pushed. “ 

Dawn Wilcox, Manager, Maes Y Bryn Care Home said, “Sarah has a lovely smile for all our service users. She has grown in the role, she is more confident and nothing is too much trouble, she is so grateful. Just the kind of person needed in the care sector. Working in these difficult times shows Sarah’s newfound strength. We are all very impressed with Sarah. She is lovely.”

Sarah helps with food preparation, cleaning rooms making teas, serving residents refreshments, and of course interacting with the residents, which she loves. Workways+ have just purchased some additional clothing for Sarah to start her role and she intends to build on her experience by getting involved with other duties.

Sarah’s personal goal is to visit New York and with her new job, she is able to save the money needed.

Workways+ is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

All the help Workways+ can give is now available over the telephone. For Neath Port Talbot Workways+ please telephone 01639 684250