In July 1999 I was working in my own small video games shop in Leominster, when I kept on seeing the word Clifford House crop up, and soon after this I spotted an advert in the local paper, from them looking for RSW (Residential Social Workers), which today means RCW (Residential Care Workers).  I applied to joined as the shop needed some financial support if it was to survive.  The application and vetting process was immense, but in September 1999 I started work in my first Residential position, in in Aug 2002 I gained an NVQ3 in Working with Children and Young People, and also just before this I gained a promotion to Senior Residential Support  Worker, and although my main job was static in one of the many homes operated by Clifford House, I also joined the on-call team, and worked overtime across the organisation based in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Powys.  As well as working for Clifford House, I also joined Beresford Blake and Thomas a leading recruitment agency, and worked some of my time off and holidays in other care sectors, such as Social Housing and Hostels and with clients from the Learning Difficulties field. My job with Clifford House was to last for six years and gave me all the training and experience I needed to work in the Care Industry with Children and Adults.

Since then I have worked either full time for various organisations, or as a full time agency worker, working in many care settings. This is all documented on my CV.

During August 2008 I was working for a company with a unit based in Hay-On-Wye when I suddenly has a major trauma in my life and in August 2008 I moved to Swindon from Herefordshire, and found that there was very little work in Swindon, and so returned to Randstad (formerly Beresford Blake and Thomas), and again worked as a full time agency worker, and gained some new experiences with clients with issues with Self Harm and Eating disorders, and children with EBD in the Gloucestershire area which was to last some time, before switching to work in the South West, near Warminster, and Salisbury.  I took a rest from Children for a while whilst I took a more senior job with Leonard Cheshire Disability, working as a CSS (Community Support Supervisor), assessing clients care needs in their own homes and managing the workforce in Swindon as well as helping out my colleagues in the rest of Wiltshire, and my office base in Trowbridge.

Eventually a nice opportunity came up to return to working with Children through Randstad, and I switched my working area to Oxfordshire, which was initially on nights, which did not bother me as I had worked many waking nights with the agency over the years and this gave me a chance to recuperate, from my demanding day job, however, this did not last long and after a spell of managing the night shift I moved to days, which led me eventually to work in the residential school attached to the units, which was okay for a while, especially as part of my working week was devoted to teaching the students building websites with WordPress, but this incurred a huge pay drop at the time, and this forced me to return once again to my agency roll.

Things at Randstad in a full time position were not the same and I realised that with my experience level I was not being true to values I first learned and worked with at Clifford House.

Around about this time I was contacted from a previous Recruitment Agent that had now setup his own agency in Wales but covering a large slice of the South West England, so without too much encouragement I moved over to Vetro Recruitment. I had one contract with Vetro, and this soon became full time working hours back in Warminster, and I could claim substance and mileage to offset my tax and national insurance which gave me a great rate of pay, and now I was getting paid a good amount for the experience, I had amounted since 1999, and was largely in control of my own hours, working with Vetro, and also an umbrella company.  It did not last and soon the Government cancelled the expenses allowed to umbrella workers and time again got tough for us.  I decided to look for more local work in Swindon and closer to home, and came across Completely Care who I was soon working for with a variety of contracts, some close to home and others again in the Frome Area. I was being paid via a company that had variable rates and the long distance work was not paying off and the local work somehow, was being covered by other workers travelling miles.  Around this time Forces Online. my voluntary organisation was starting to bloom and so I started to look for a centre to move an offline service to, and at the same time I was contacted by one of my old jobs, and realising that I needed to raise quite a bit of money to support my new centre, I asked if the company would be able to pay me some self employed rates, instead of through an agency, and subsequently they agreed, and I picked up my first self-employed contract, which I am extremely grateful for.  In December 2017 I started in my new role as a self -employed Social Care worker, calling on all my experience gained since 1999. In order to get to this level you need plenty of time served experience and working in Residential Full time certainly taught me this.

 

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