Enthusiastic social care and early years staff from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are part of a national network of WeCare Ambassadors, championing the people working in the sector whilst encouraging others to consider a rewarding career in care.
Ambassadors in Rhondda Cynon Taf started their social care careers in a wide variety of ways and love their roles and the difference they make in people’s lives daily.
In Rhondda Cynon Taf, Ambassadors will work with schools and colleges to introduce students to the opportunities that are available in the sector and highlight the career paths available to those who want to work in social care and early years. The hope is that the WeCare Ambassadors will bring the sector to life for the students and highlight the valuable and rewarding careers available in the sector.
Social Care and Early Years is a hugely rewarding sector to work in.
We Care Ambassador Daniel Minty said: “The reason I wanted to become involved was to showcase the opportunities available in social care, and show it as a career rather than something that was undertaken if there were no other jobs available.
“The different roles and responsibilities and how they vary within social care – being a carer is in an important part but is just that, a part, there are many other opportunities to support and help people if direct caring is not ‘your thing.’
“The fact that this can be a lifelong career, in a developing but challenging environment, opportunities to progress as a person and a professional are always available should you choose.”
Working in Social Care and Early Years means that you have a hugely positive impact on the people you support.
We Care Ambassador Jess Nicholls said: “I have personally felt that there is quite a negative view of Social Care and that the work is stressful with little support. My experience has been that I have days that are very rewarding and I get to be part of someone’s life during what can be difficult times or positive times.
“I enjoy seeing people reach their potential and helping them see the options out there in order to live a life they are in control of. Being part of a project that can get this message out there is nothing but a positive thing really.
“The best way for people to hear the job opportunities and what they can expect from people actually carrying out that role is the best way to see if it’s an area they would like to go into.”
There are so many career options for those leaving school, college or university, and the Social Care and Early Years sector has a huge range of opportunities at all levels.
We Care Ambassador Molly Evans said: “The reason I wanted to be part of the project was because I remember being in school unsure of what my future in employment would look like. Everyone in my year group had their career aspirations and all I knew was that I wanted to support and help people.
“Back then I had no idea of social work and felt very uninformed of my options at that point which I don’t want future generations feeling this way. Social work as a career reflects my values as a person of wanting to support the vulnerable in our communities and enable people to have better quality of lives which is something everyone should strive for to have a better society.”
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the huge role that Social Care and Early Years staff play in our society, and how their skills and knowledge have been vital in supporting individuals at their time of need. It has also highlighted how these key workers have continued to work under incredible circumstances, supporting other key workers to undertake their vital work.
Councillor Tina Leyshon, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Working in Social Care and Early Years is one of the most rewarding careers available, making a real difference to the lives of people every single day.
“I’m incredibly proud of the WeCare Ambassadors project taking place in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Our dedicated and enthusiastic staff understand more than anyone what working in Social Care and Early Years is like, and they are excellent examples of the high quality professionals that work in the sector.
“I am really hopeful that their clear commitment and pride at working in the sector which radiates from them will encourage more people to consider a rewarding career in Social Care and Early Years.”
Between 11-17 October, WeCare Wales Week will shine a light on what working in social care, early years and childcare is really like, highlighting the variety of jobs that are available.