Scotland urgently needs more people to work in health and social care. Under the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the Integrated Employer Engagement team have launched the ‘Proud to Care’ campaign (beproudtocare.com), in which care workers talk about what drew them to a career in health and social care and how what they do makes a difference. They say it can be hard work and demanding but also rewarding, challenging and diverse. In the words of one of the carers taking part, ‘It may be one of the best things you will ever do!’
One of the videos features Kelly Hamilton, a carer at Gullane Day Centre. Kelly said:
‘It all started when I was approached by one of the other mums in the playground when I was dropping off my daughter at school. She said she knew I was in the care industry and asked if I would like to help promote care jobs for the Proud to Care campaign.
‘I was keen to help straight away as I knew that the care industry was struggling and the lack of carers was hitting crisis point. I was hearing about it on a daily basis at my work and I wanted to do something to help. It was nice to be approached and recognised for the work that I did.
‘I have worked in care on and off since I left school at 16 when I started off in a care home in North Berwick. When I was 18, I decided to go to college to do Beauty Therapy. After I completed my four-year HND, I worked in a spa and then started out on my own. I took on some home-help jobs at the same time, and then I decided that I wanted working in care as my main job as I enjoyed it that much. That’s where my heart lay.
‘I started working in Gullane Day Centre in 2017 and I have never looked back. It is honestly the most enjoyable and rewarding job I have ever had. I passed my SVQ3 in Social services and Healthcare last year and plan to work my way up the ladder in my work. My work colleagues, the service-users, the committee and my manager just make the job so pleasant. I know they really value me as an employee and they look after me so well. I look forward to returning the favour when I am caring for them when they use the service in the future! Haha!
‘I really hope the Proud to Care campaign encourages the younger generation to think about a career in care when they leave school. It’s well worth it because it’s a great feeling to think you have made such a difference to people’s lives when you finish work at the end of the day. There’s nothing like it.’
Margaret Mack, Manager, Gullane Day Centre, added:
‘We are so proud of Kelly for taking part in this campaign. Gullane Day Centre is a key service for older people in Gullane, Aberlady, Dirleton and the surrounding areas and their families and carers too. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without people like Kelly and all our other wonderful carers.
‘I hope that lots of people feel inspired by Kelly’s video – careers in care offer so much and make such a difference to so many people. It would be great if seeing the video gives people the encouragement they need to get started on their caring career.’
About the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal
The Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal (ESES CRD) is a £1.3 billion Scottish and UK Government investment to accelerate growth, create new economic opportunities and meaningful new jobs that will help to reduce inequalities. www.esescityregiondeal.org.uk
ESESCRD covers Edinburgh, East Lothian, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and Fife.