Working for us allows you to make a difference to the people that use our service, as well as the flexibility to work around your own commitments. We provide our Support Workers with in-depth and ongoing training, giving you the chance to develop your skills and enhance your career within the care sector. Competitive pay rates, weekly payroll and access to our Westfield Health Cash Plan are just some of the benefits you can expect when you join Bespoke as a Support Worker.
Support Worker in our North region
Having worked in the care industry for several years, mainly supporting people with learning disabilities and autism (LD&A), Haley decided she would try a new challenge by working part time for Bespoke as a Complex Care Support Worker.
In August 2020, Haley started working with our client, J, and in just two months her life was changed forever.
“Me meeting J was meant to be.”
J had been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) – a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and wasting. Despite not being able to move his arms or legs, Haley describes J as a very positive and vibrant person.
A regular week for Haley consisted of three, ten-hour shifts which would be spent entirely with J in his room. The pair became very close friends and just seemed to “get” one another, to the point where Haley could even read J’s eye rolls to tell what he was thinking.
A steep learning curve, but with trusted support
As this was Haley’s first job in Complex Care, she admits she was very nervous at the start, especially when it came to procedures such as ventilation and hoisting, which she had never done before. However, our Lead Complex Nurse for the North region took Haley under her wing and made sure she was well-equipped for the tasks ahead.
Facing a devastating truth
Despite Haley knowing the average life expectancy of someone living with DMD is just 29 years old, it was still a huge shock when J suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in Dec 2020. Having grown so close in such a short space of time, Haley was devastated and was hugely grateful to her line manager Emma who really seemed to understand what she was going through.
“Emma spoke to me on a personal level, telling me she understood I would need additional time off to cope with the sudden loss of J and that she’d ensure I was ok for work when I was ready to return. When I went back, Emma found me a new package of care straight away which I was really grateful for, but unfortunately it wasn’t working for me or my new client. When I explained the situation to Emma she was amazing and had no issues in finding me a package I was more comfortable with. I really felt like both the staff and the clients were placed at the centre of the care package and that my feelings and opinions were valued.”
Looking to the future
Although Haley grew very close to J and was understandably grief-stricken when he passed away, his undeniable love of life and affirmative attitude inspired Haley to evaluate her own passions and realise her heart lay in the LD&A sector.
Despite already having a Masters degree in Practice Development, Haley has now decided to study for her Masters degree in LD Nursing – something she has thought about doing for a while but feels now is the right time to pursue, largely motivated by J and his passion to follow his own path.
Although we will be sad to see her leave Bespoke, we wish Haley all the best in her new venture and sincerely hope it will open doors to a bright future ahead.
Support Worker Team Leader
Radka initially joined Bespoke as a support worker before being promoted to a Team Leader in our Central East Anglia region. We wanted to know more about the passion that drives Radka in her everyday duties which ultimately contributed to her celebrated GBCA nomination.
A decision made in childhood
Radka admits that she has always loved helping people, and her decision to work in the care sector was made as a child.
Radka has, so far, spent the past 21 years working in various positions within the care sector including as a volunteer, phlebotomist, carer and team leader. In 2007, she even qualified as a psychotherapist and occasionally worked as part of the after-care team for the Jeremy Kyle show!
Meeting life’s challenges head-on
In 2014, Radka’s life was forever changed when she was diagnosed with stage 2 kidney cancer and given a prognosis of just 3 years to live.
“I had a major operation to remove three quarters of my left kidney which, thankfully, was successful, but 6 months’ later my dad was diagnosed with the same type of cancer and died after just 4 months. 1 year and 1 month after my dad’s passing, I lost my husband, who was terminally ill with Motor Neurone Disease, as well as other health conditions. I had been his main carer since 2002.”
Radka did, eventually, decide to go back to work in the care sector but didn’t feel emotionally strong enough to return as a full-time psychotherapist. She did, however, attend written seminars on various subjects and take on the occasional client to keep her registration.
“I know I’m lucky to be here and despite living with several health conditions, including Sjogren syndrome and a small benign tumour on my right kidney, I continue to attend my specialist appointments whilst working hard as a Team Leader for Bespoke.”
Looking to the future
It’s clear that life hasn’t always been plain sailing for Radka, yet we applaud her continued dedication to her clients and bravery in following her passion, despite facing adversities along the way.
We feel exceptionally privileged to have Radka as part of our Bespoke family and will continue to support her in growing her skills and knowledge within the business.
Support Worker in our North Region
After completing her degree in Working with Children and Families, Megan worked several small jobs in hospitality and retail, but quickly realised they were nowhere near fulfilling enough for her. It was her mum, who worked as a nurse for many years, that suggested Megan look for a career in paediatric healthcare, which inevitably led her to Bespoke.
An instant connection
In February 2019, Megan took a leap of faith and applied to be a complex care support worker in our North region.
At 22-years-old, this was Megan’s first job in care and, naturally, she had some initial reservations as to whether it was the right path for her. But at the Meet and Greet, Megan immediate clicked with the family of our client, Manya, and also found the two of them had a very special bond.
“Manya was just 4 years-old when I first met her but I felt a connection straight away. She even cried when I left the Meet and Greet!
“When I was originally offered the job, I worked 9 hours a day, 5 days a week and was Manya’s only day carer. Manya has a congenital muscle disease which basically means she has no muscle mass. She is non-verbal, cannot walk and is fitted with a tracheostomy tube as she requires 24-hour ventilation. During my first shift I felt very intimidated and nearly quit. But the more I learnt, and the more time I spent with Manya, the more I realised “I can do that.”. Tasks very quickly turned into a habit – for example, suctioning excess secretion from Manya’s chest/mouth, or positioning her so that she was more comfortable.”
Tailor-trained to Manya’s needs
Manya’s parents trained Megan in tracheostomy changing, so that Manya remained as comfortable as possible, and our Lead Complex Nurse Specialist, Clare, made sure Megan felt fully supported by delivering a full day of theory training, which Megan admits was superb.
“I’ve felt very reassured by the whole team at Bespoke.”
During lockdown, Megan moved in to Manya’s family home for 2 weeks at a time, providing live-in care, which she found very new and worrying at first, but Megan says the support she has received from her manager, Emma, has been exceptional.
“Emma has been absolutely brilliant. I’m able to contact her at any time and she always goes the extra mile to stay in touch with me. I’ve felt very reassured by the whole team at Bespoke, which has been really important to me as this is my first job in complex care! As a company, Bespoke have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic and I’ve also been impressed by the level of trust the team have in me to do my job well.”
As a support worker, Megan feels she has grown significantly both practically and personally.
“I’ve learnt a lot about myself through caring for Manya. I’m a much more resilient person than I thought and have found I’m able to separate my emotions so I can function proficiently during difficult situations, ensuring Manya stays safe and well.
“I’ve found so much fulfilment working with Manya and if the day comes when she no longer needs me, I would definitely want to continue my career in complex care by finding another paediatric patient to support.”
We are over-the-moon to have Megan as part of our Bespoke family and are thrilled to hear she would continue her complex care journey with another paediatric patient in the future. We wish Megan, Manya and her family all the best.