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Our dedicated office team for Allendale Court, work on site at the service. The team at Allendale are really friendly, supportive and are hugely passionate what they do! Along with the team of incredible Support Workers at the service, they do a brilliant job of helping the remarkable young adults who live at Allendale to do so independently, and supporting them to learn new skills and grow in confidence.
I’d previously worked in care for about 4 and a half years, working with people with mixed learning difficulties and challenging behaviours, all different ages. I wasn’t happy with the management in that job, so decided to move on. Be Caring were the first company I applied to, mainly because Allendale was advertised as a place specifically for people with autism and learning difficulties. The timing was just right really – I applied and got the job.
As I joined right at the start of the programme, I did a few shifts and sleepovers and got to know the people who were going to move in here. I met a couple of guys up in Northumberland to get to know them and help them transition.
Before working in care, I did a lot of things actually! I worked in retail, I worked in administration, I worked in art. In fact, I studied an arts degree! I had friends who were doing all different kinds of care work though, so I had some idea of what it was about. I’d joined them on holidays to give extra support with their service users. But really, if you’re not working within this industry, you’re not quite sure what it’s all about.
You get the satisfaction of getting on with a certain person you’re working with – forming a connection with someone, it really makes the job worthwhile. You get a smile, and you think ‘great, I’ve achieved something there’.
Sometimes people will say something and it’s so surprising and you think ‘oh, that’s brilliant! How do you know about that!’ Or they might confide in you about certain things. Like today, I was having a talk with two service users and they were telling me about their past – their school days and the terrible things they’ve gone through, but also the good times. It reminds me of certain things that I went through when I was young, a long time ago, but it brings it back.
A lot of people here are really into music like me. It’s just really good to get on with someone on that level and share things you’re both into.
There are different levels to everyone, but the more you’re with somebody and hit it off, you really get to know them. And it gives them a chance to know you too, which is really important. Rather than having this barrier where you’re the worker and you’re there because you have to be, and they’re here because they’ve been put here. It’s not like that.
I think a lot of people in my age group have been through certain things, or been made unemployed, and it’s a good thing to get into. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained and it’s a stable job really, open to most people.
In fact, my brother has recently trained as a carer! I never dreamt he’d work in this sector as he’d done all sorts of engineering jobs before. He was recently made unemployed and as he’s coming up to retirement age, he wanted to do something different. He says he’s really enjoying it! It shows you get all kinds of people doing this job, which I like.
Before I came into care, I didn’t really know it existed, only the care in the community side of things. I didn’t know how vast it is – there are so many aspects to care. Allendale is a specialised unit really, but you can move around in it. I never fancied domiciliary care as I always wanted to be in one place.
Having some life experience helps, but I don’t think it’s necessary. People come in quite young to work here and they’re usually open minded with a fresh outlook. Young women especially seem to get a lot out of it. Sometimes they’re the same age as the people we support, which can help, or much younger so they learn from each other.
Allendale Court opened in October 2018 as a purpose-built advanced assisted living scheme. It’s indented purpose is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for young adults with autism and learning disabilities. Usually residents come to Allendale from a residential care setting after receiving a two-year license mainly to learn life skills. However, we also support them to build self-confidence and aspirations. Following successful completion of the two-year license, each individual is re-assessed. Mostly at this point they may move into the community with their own tenancy.
The setting is really unique, and we’re so proud to be able to support these young adults from the local community in Newcastle live independently, and have a more fulfilled life.
In addition to supporting those who reside at Allendale Court, we pride ourselves on supporting all our staff to be the best they can be, with high-quality training. This in turn helps to ensure they are providing high-quality support to the person they are assisting.
We are always on the lookout for talented, friendly people who – like us – are truly passionate about care and want to make a real difference to the lives of others.
Do you want to play a part in shaping the future of social care?
We’re looking for passionate people who genuinely care, with a will to make a difference. We offer excellent support, training and exciting career opportunities.
We’re employee-owned, meaning profits don’t come first – people do.