Lanarkshire home care heroes celebrated

A special series of feature articles has brought the lives, motivations and compassion of frontline community staff into sharp focus.

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Everyday heroes working for Care at Home have been celebrated.
Everyday heroes working for Care at Home have been celebrated.

In a campaign to support ongoing recruitment for South Lanarkshire Health and Social Partnership’s Care at Home service, members of the public have been introduced to the ‘everyday heroes’ behind the uniform.

Soumen Sengutpa, director of the service, said: “What has really resonated is the positive impact our home carers have on people’s lives every day and how fulfilling working in social care can be.

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“This series has shone a light on the rich human tapestry, the passion and the characters of our Care at Home workforce.”

People from all walks of life who made the move into the care service are featured – from a long-serving retail executive to a taxi driver to a leisure worker drafted during the pandemic.

The series also features a 94-year-old service user who describes the input of the Care at Home – along with support of other community health and social care professionals – as ‘life changing’.

Soumen added: “I know from regular correspondence from our patients and service users that very sentiment is typical; as is the good humour and professionalism our staff show.

“The staff featured in this series personify the spirit of the broader health and social care workforce and the magnificent contribution that is made to people’s lives, day in, day out.”

The Care at Home service provides essential support to enable people to live as independently as possible in their own homes, frequently working closely with other health and social care services.

Among the everyday heroes featured is Annmarie Doherty, who was prompted to assess her life following a big birthday. Annemarie had worked in retail for 22 years but, when she turned 50, she realised a new direction was needed – and said becoming a home carer was the best decision she ever made.

Wendy Murray (54) started as a home carer with South Lanarkshire Council when she was 18, following her mum’s example. Rising through the ranks, she has served as a team leader and is able to bring the experience and understanding she has gained over the years to help others.

Calum Hoey was a taxi driver when the pandemic hit and, at the age of 52, he found himself with no work. Successfully applying for a career in home care, he said: “I love the people I meet. They are fascinating to talk to but it is also wonderful to feel that you are making a difference to their lives.”

Jill Bell was working in a sports centre when the pandemic struck and lockdown forced its closure; redeployed, she’s never looked back.

She said: “Because you’re assisting people with tasks they struggle to do, the work puts life in perspective and the gratitude makes you feel like a superhero.”

Scott McNeil, service manager for Care at Home Services, said: “The effort and commitment of our diverse workforce has been nothing short of superhuman throughout the pandemic. They are our superheroes.”