Creating a Life with a Care Team

When you need to put together a care team to support your daily needs, it can be a tricky balancing act of finding the right fit. You’re not just hiring staff, you’re not just looking for people who are capable of doing the work. You have to think about the kind of people you want to let into your private world, who you’re comfortable spending time with, who you and your friends and family will have to socialise with. You need people who will understand you from every angle, and take on whatever you’re dealing with in your daily life, as well as have the common sense not to patronise you, or do too much for you, encouraging your independence wherever possible. It’s a tricky business, but it ends up being a lot of fun when you do find the right fit.

I feel so lucky to have met and worked with carers who have become great friends as well as employees. We often share the same sense of humour, banter, jokes, and similar interests. My first full-time carer, Zack*, came to work with me when I finished school and we loved going to athletics club and football training together, tackling my physio and fitness through sport. We went on holiday together, and the furthest we got was Australia where we went to see crocodiles at the zoo. We had a lot of fun, as well as ticking off the usual list of daily chores like getting me out of bed, washing, and having breakfast, but also supporting and listening to me create music and write.

Then there was Dan*, who was my gig and football buddy. We used to watch Chelsea play at the Bridge every month, and he took me to see a lot of bands play live; including Blink 182, Paramore, Less Than Jake, and Reel Big Fish, just to name a few. Dan was also my tech wizard, who helped program my communication aid computers with software, and music, and all the stuff I needed. My team often have their own individual skills that makes them an expert of a particular area of my life.

I also work with Creative Enablers who double up as care staff when I need them to. Stacey* helps me with the career side of my life, supporting my work commitments and networking. We are both creatives, writers, and artists so we share an interest in the cultural side of socialising. We go to poetry and spoken word events, the theatre, and Edinburgh Fringe festival for a week every year, seeing as many shows as we can fit in, inspiring our own work with what we see.
I’m looking for more staff to add to my amazing team. Please read on if you want to know more about the job, and/or share this blog with your friends who might be interested in a very fun and rewarding role working with me.
Title: Full Care Team | Haggerston E8 and Poole, Dorset
Location: Haggerston and Poole
Wage: £10.00 to £15.00 gross per hour depending on experience
Driver required? Preferably but not essential
Preferably:  Previous experience supporting a young client with cerebral palsy, manual handling
Preferable: AAC communication, basic cooking
Happy to assist with helping with moving and handling.
Happy to assist with a physiotherapy programme.
Happy to clean and tidy various rooms.
Start Date: ASAP
Days & Hours:
Full time: Up to 3 x 24 hour shifts per week, working as part of a 24/7 team.
Part time: Up to 6 hour shifts, working in the team.
Accommodation: Own bedroom and shared bathroom whilst on duty if you apply for the 24 hour shifts.
I’m 24 and have quadriplegic cerebral palsy. I’m dependent on others for almost all of my needs. I have a huge passion for life, working as a poet, theatre maker, workshop leader and director of a large not-for-profit theatre. I am non-verbal, using eye gaze technology to communicate and drive a power chair using head switches.

The role will involve assistance with all aspects of personal care and all aspects of daily living; you must be confident in manual handling, providing personal care and administering medication. I spend a lot of my time going to the theatre, concerts, music gigs, and sport matches. An enthusiasm for creative arts and/or sport would be an advantage. This job will involve working between Poole in Dorset and Haggerston in London, with lots of travel both in the UK and sometimes abroad. The ability to confidently navigate a step-free route across London is important. The family home, in Poole, has a hydro therapy pool and assistance and willingness to support me in the water is also essential.

I have a work PA and use Creative Enablers in theatre spaces and rehearsal rooms. You will have to be flexible to accommodate the change-over times to fit in with work and location requirements.

This job will suit a motivated, proactive candidate with plenty of common sense who has some experience supporting a client with a disability and understands the importance of promoting independence.

If you are interested in this fantastic opportunity message @TheShoutingMute with a cover letter and CV, or ask any questions you have regarding the role.

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We are on our way to Doing Things Differently a festival in Bristol celebrating equality in the arts.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy

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