‘This job is very rewarding’ - Carers clock up long-service milestone

PUBLISHED: 09:50 13 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:50 13 July 2020

Doreen Taylor has completed 15 years service at Extra Hands. Picture: Ian Burt

Doreen Taylor has completed 15 years service at Extra Hands. Picture: Ian Burt

Ian Burt Photography

A trio of staff members at a home care company are celebrating racking up 45 years of service between them.

Caroline Simpson has completed 15 years service at Extra Hands. Picture: Ian BurtCaroline Simpson has completed 15 years service at Extra Hands. Picture: Ian Burt

Doreen Taylor, of Old Catton, Anne Brady and Taverham resident Caroline Simpson have each worked 15 years for Extra Hands based at Horsham St Faith.

Anne, 64, was unaware of her work milestone until it was pointed out, but said being able to help care users stay independent kept her going.

“You must have patience, but the job is very rewarding,” she said. “What really helps is the carers are cared for, too. We’re respected in the company and I’ve always found that if ever there has been a problem, I can talk to people.”

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Anne worked at the tax office and a book company before joining Extra Hands, which offers care for people in their own home, and was the first care service in Norfolk to provide a well-being check-up service.

She said the care sector has opened up another side to her character.

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“I think the skills were always inside me, but this has brought them to the surface,” she said. “You get to meet all kinds of people, with different needs and conditions, and you get to know their families too.”

Doreen Taylor also took a roundabout route to finding her calling with Extra Hands, previously working as a chef at the University of East Anglia.

“When I started I didn’t know if I could do it, but after two days of training they told me I was a natural!”, she said.

Co-ordinator Caroline Simpson spent 10 years as a care visitor, before switching to her current role, and says her front line experience is hugely helpful.

“Because I’ve done the job, I understand what carers are talking about. If they come to me with something that needs sorting I can appreciate what they’re saying,” she explained.

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Extra Hands was founded by husband and wife David and Hazel Evans in 1993, and recently received an Outstanding award from the Care Quality Commission.

All agreed the coronavirus pandemic has changed the role and the perception of carers.

“We do a lot more than just personal care now,” said Anne. “Social trips, shopping, whatever the clients’ needs – it’s about making sure they’re included in society.”

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