What’s it like working in care?

Matthew Anthony-Knell, deputy manager at Westfields care home, with resident Doris Martin, who is 92

Matthew Anthony-Knell, deputy manager at Westfields care home, with resident Doris Martin, who is 92 and has lived at Westfields since September 2015. - Credit: Archant

If you've ever considered a career in care or are convinced it's not for you, meet Matthew Anthony Knell, deputy manager at Westfields care home, Swaffham and find out more.

One of the biggest advantages of working in social care is that there are plenty of opportunities for career progression. And Matthew Anthony-Knell is a prime example. It took him less than four years to become a deputy manager, and it's all thanks to seeing how his mum cared for his granddad.

'I have always been interested in working within the health and social care sector,' says Matthew. 'When I was about 14, my granddad became unwell and required more support, so he came to live with me and my parents. My mum stopped working to look after him on a full time basis and I used to support her to help my granddad.'

Matthew studied health and social care at school and went on to complete a level 3 extended diploma in health and social care. After his final college placement at NorseCare's Woodlands residential home in King's Lynn, he applied for a job there as a care and support worker.

Within six months he had successfully applied for a team leader position, and then in May 2017 he progressed into a deputy manager's role at Woodlands, which led to his current role at Westfields in Swaffham.

'Working in health and social care can be very hard work,' says Matthew. 'It is a demanding role both physically and emotionally and you really need to have a passion for the role. It is, however, a very rewarding career to be in and it's one that I thoroughly enjoy.

'There are so many stigmas attached to working in care which are not true, and from personal experience, I have found some of them have really put people off going into care. At a recent training session run by the Department of Work & Pensions, I delivered a presentation with my manager from our care home and was able to give a true picture of what working in care is actually like.

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'I find the stigmas that are out there put a lot of potentially brilliant people off a career in care. The idea that care is a not a well-paid career isn't always true. I've found that NorseCare offer very competitive wages for the staff, with really good opportunities to learn and excellent training and support. I'm living proof that working within the care sector offers really good career progression opportunities and a real chance to make a difference.

'I'd say to anyone considering working in social care that you have the opportunity to make a real difference to someone's life, so don't be put off, go for it!'

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