We spoke to Jamie Kidd, to find out what its like to work with Forward and within the spinal cord injury community.
What do you do at Forward Ability Support? What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me will begin with a morning shift starting anywhere between 6-8am. Morning shifts are centred around supporting your client to get ready for the day. I would then usually do either a lunch shift to assist in meal preparation or domestic shift to assist with cleaning. After that I have a few hours break, then I generally do an evening shift which consists of supporting a client in their night routine.
What is your background – how did you become interested in personal care?
Before moving into personal care I spent the majority of my working life doing administration roles, mainly for NFPs. After speaking to a friend in the care industry and wanting to make a change to a more hands on role making a move into personal care seemed like the right decision.
How did you find out about Forward and what prompted you to apply?
I’m currently undertaking the more jobs more care apprenticeship. Through this they set me up with Forward as my host employee. Once I had spoken to Forward and had a good understanding of the role I felt it was a great opportunity for me to begin my personal care career.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is the people. The interactions you have with clients are so rewarding and being able to support people everyday is so fulfilling.
What would be some advice you’d tell someone thinking about becoming a personal care assistant?
I would tell them to do it! There are so many benefits to being a personal care assistant and it is a career that I would definitely encourage people to try.
What sort of support services and training do you get working for Forward?
When you first start with a client you are provided a buddy. You get to do these buddy shifts so you feel confident in doing the shift by yourself. Forward also require you to do refresher training every 6 months. I also have a relationship with my rostering lead who makes me feel supported at all times and comfortable to discuss anything with them.
What are one of your favourite activities to do with your clients? Can you share a particular client story?
Just interacting with clients is my favourite activity. There is so much to learn from them and getting to speak and hear their stories gives you the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the needs of someone with a spinal cord injury.
Why do you like working in spinal care as opposed to general care and support?
Spinal care is the first support role I have worked in so I haven’t experienced working in general care. I like working in spinal care as there is a lot to learn and it is such a rewarding role.
Why do you think it’s important to have specialised care for spinal cord injury?
It’s important to have specialised care for spinal cord injuries as the needs are different. There are more considerations to take into account and the requirements can be more complex than general care.