The year of the pandemic has proved a turbulent time for employment with hundreds looking for jobs – and in Devon, through Proud to Care, many of those joined the health and care sector.
At the beginning of 2020 things were very different. The economy was getting stronger; rates of employment were high.
Then the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns came. Almost overnight large sections of the economy stalled.
At the same time there was a shortfall of people to support the vulnerable and people were urged to consider joining the care sector.
Almost immediately Devon County Council was deluged with hundreds of offers of help from people of all ages and walks of life, including lawyers, students, builders, musicians, fire-fighters, artists, hairdressers, engineers, and accountants.
Some entered the sector because they lost their jobs; others missed the regular day-to-day contact with others. Many came back from retirement to do their bit.
But regardless of their circumstances they were welcomed because they cared about the vulnerable.
Now 12 months on almost 300 have been offered employment through Proud to Care’s applicant placing service while 1,000s more have applied directly for the hundreds of jobs advertised on the Proud to Care jobs board.
Mollie, 24, had her own business as a sports therapist, but like so many, she was not allowed to operate during lockdown and her business had to close.
After considering her options, she became interested in becoming a support worker for older people including adults with learning difficulties or physical disabilities.
“I love making a difference,” she said. I know that I am helping people to be a better version of themselves, enabling them to do things on their own and build a level of independence. In this job you build great relationships with clients and their families and earn their trust. Trust really is the key.”
We have made a video with Mollie, and others who have chosen new careers in health and social care. It’s part of our campaign to encourage more people to work in care. We’ve not launched the video yet, but here it is, for you.