People urged to become personal assistants in care

Looking for a rewarding, local and flexible occupation where you will really make a difference to people’s lives?

Bolton residents are needed to help disabled people to live independently, happily and healthily.

Personal assistants in care are employed directly by disabled people to provide the support they need. This could include helping them to stay safe, get out of the house and enjoy themselves, or help with daily tasks and personal care.

However, it can be difficult to find a good personal assistant in care: the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) estimates that there are 700 vacancies in the region at any one time.

Zoe Porter, personalisation lead at GMHSCP, said: “One of the many lessons we’ve learned this year is how crucial some previously under-valued jobs are to our country.

“Across Greater Manchester we estimate that at least 8,000 personal assistants in care are supporting disabled people through the pandemic. I’d consider them to be hidden heroes.

“The difference that personal assistants in care make to the lives of disabled people and their families is huge, but it’s not a job many have heard of. Now we are spreading the word about this unique role so that others can consider it as a career.

“We need more brilliant people to work with those who need care and support them to live a good life. The role is unique, diverse, worthwhile and flexible. Anyone who values being caring and making a difference should consider a new career as a personal assistant in care and find out more.”

Personal assistant Megg Ashwell (24), who supports a number of disabled young people, is raising awareness of the role and encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

She said: “I was looking for a part-time job alongside my studies, but I soon decided there was no way I couldn’t do this full-time.

“The role can be hard work, and includes undertaking personal care for people. However, I love that part of my role is to help people to have the best time they can with activities that they enjoy – going out and about, to the cinema, shopping and out for meals.

“The best part of being a PA is watching these young people blossom in new environments, find little bits of independence where they can and, of course, their laughter and smiles.”

Michelle Romdhani’s brother Mark was energetic and hard-working with a happy future in front of him.

Then, in April 2012, an assault left him with him with complex health needs and severe brain damage.

Michelle said: “Mark changed radically, though, once his team of personal assistants were in place. He went from merely existing to having a future.

"A guy who was told he would stay in bed all day now has his own home and is working to develop his own business. He needs good support to achieve and maintain this life but he is happy and has lots to look forward to.”

To find out more about the role and to find vacancies near you, visit the Greater Manchester Personal Assistant website or Bolton PA website.

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