Events of the last 12 months have transformed millions of lives, and that is certainly the case for two carers who this month rack up their first year in the job.
Tamara Proctor and Natalie Ely both have different backgrounds and stories but entered the care sector just as its work became more necessary and high-profile than ever before.
For Tamara from West Lynn, who had previously worked in a shoe shop, the pandemic made up her mind to take a step she had been contemplating for some time – and she has no regrets.
“Growing up, I cared for my mum, and I’d seen how carers helped her, so when I saw what was happening with the virus, it seemed like the best time to get involved with a job that was a natural fit for me,” she said.
Her retail experience, often with older customers, has proved handy. “It’s been character-building,” she said. “When I used to go and see someone I didn’t know, I tended to worry a bit, but now I know it’s just part of the job, so I throw myself into it and I’m much more comfortable.”
Hunstanton mum-of-two Natalie’s evening and weekend work fits in well with family life. She said joining during the pandemic was coincidental.
“I’d umm-ed and ahh-ed about care work for a long time, and just happened to take the leap of faith when I did, but I’m so glad I did – it’s incredibly rewarding,” said Natalie, who, like Tamara, works out of the Heacham office.
“My main concern was that if you hear someone’s not well, or been taken to hospital, I’d get too attached, but I’ve learnt to give my all at work, and then not take it home with me.”
Both work for the award-winning Heacham-based home care company Extra Hands, which provides a variety of home care visit packages across Norfolk, to suit all requirements and budgets.
Many lives have been changed forever by events of the last 12 months, but from a professional point of view at least, for these Extra Hands carers, it has been a change entirely for the good.
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