You’ve completed your social care degree, and completed a two-week induction for your placement at Ashdale Care. So what might your first working days look like?…

Your Ashdale Care home

The Ashdale Care houses are set in rural locations, and enjoy beautiful gardens and some great views too. It’s all part of the Ashdale ethos, that being close to the natural world and in a safe, peaceful environment, is what our children and young people need. 

Not all therapy looks the same…

You may have to accompany the young people to psychotherapy, art therapy or educational sessions at our hub at Ashdale or at the Lakehouse. Then there are some great activities , including trips to the cinema, visiting open farms for younger ones and activity therapy, which takes place at an outdoor pursuits centre.

Other therapies may take place at home. Much of it, such as the introduction of sensory toys, may not even look like therapy to your young people, but it is all hugely important, and is really rewarding when you see them grow as a person. 

Setting a good example

Role modelling is another vital part of your role – seeing adults working together in a home setting, and doing the jobs that most of us do at home helps them to learn a number of life skills. As a residential social care worker you’ll be cooking (we always say you need to learn how to cook at least one good meal!) and get involved in meal planning and shopping. 

Our residential social care workers are instrumental in creating positive memories to last a lifetime. As one of our Regional Managers Jean Andersen says: “We are the people providing the children with their childhood, with Christmas and birthdays. It’s a privilege to be part of these children’s lives.’’ Helping you will be a multi-disciplinary team who work closely with the staff.

Working 9-5?

Of course you’ll already know that this is not a 9-5 job! Late-early shifts will see you work from 10am-midnight, sleeping from 12 to 7am and then working from 7am until 11am or noon. Support shifts are usually 10 hours long and last from 10am to 8pm, 11am to 9pm or midday to 10pm. Don’t worry, the rotas are organised to ensure you get plenty of days off within the month, to ensure you get time to ‘switch off’ and achieve a good work/life balance.

Party time

You’ll also find that when you work at Ashdale Care you’re never far from a celebration! Cara O’Neill, Human Resources Operations Manager at Ashdale Care, says: “we do like a bit of a party at Ashdale!’’ A pizza or ice cream van might appear – or there will be cake. There’s always an excuse for a celebration – from graduations to learning to ride a bike, or cultural celebrations.

Support for staff

Of course our work can also be hard, but there is plenty of support on offer. There will always be a debrief so that you can talk through any issues and, because we like to promote from within the organisation, you’ll find that your line managers will have had experience of whatever it is you’re going through – so are in the ideal position to help or advise, Then there’s the multidisciplinary team, who are there to help you as well as the children. The HR team is also on hand to help.

No day working at Ashdale Care is the same, but one thing always holds true – we  always aim to positively transform lives – both for our young people and our staff!