Somerset joins the Proud to Care chorus

Somerset County Council is today (Monday 17 July) joining authorities across the South West in a campaign to champion careers in care.

The Proud to Care initiative will be raising the profile of care and the positive role of care workers across the county in a drive to encourage recruitment in the sector.

Care providers across the country often experience difficulties in recruiting, which in turn affects the availability of care for people who could be living independently at home, or in care homes.

It’s a challenge local authorities want to address by making people aware of how rewarding and worthwhile care work is as career choice, and encouraging the positive image that care deserves.

A spokesperson for Somerset County County said: “Chances are that most of us will at some stage need some care support and we all know that with an ageing population the care sector will become more and more important.

“It’s hugely important that we all recognise and appreciate the fantastic contribution that people working in the care sector make to many lives on a daily basis.

“It’s in all our interests that recruitment in this sector is healthy and attracting caring and talented people into what is a hugely rewarding career. If you are interested in working in care, please visit the www.proudtocaresw.org.uk to find out more about what it has to offer”.

Sixteen local authorities across the South West, and Health Education England, are supporting the campaign (see note to editors), establishing for the first time a regional approach to raising the profile of care.

Care providers in Devon have seen marked improvements in their ability to recruit high calibre applicants to caring roles. ‘Recruitment has gone through the roof!”, says one Registered Manager at a Devon care home.

An especially inspiring element to the campaign is the first-hand personal accounts from real care and support workers, who talk passionately about their love for care work.

The campaign website www.proudtocaresw.org.uk features interviews with care and support workers, and links to recruitment portals where care providers across the region advertise their vacancies.

The campaign wants to reach all potential care workers, but is specifically targeting key audiences including younger people and those who have studied for a health and social care qualification; parents considering a return to work; people aged 50 plus who, with more life experience might want to give something back to their community; and students seeking employment over holiday periods.

It’s also gained national support from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care, Skills for Care and Skills for Health.

Devon County Council’s Principal Social Worker Geraldine Benson and Torbay Council’s Head of Integration and Development John Bryant are the two Joint Lead Officers for the Proud to Care South West campaign.

Geraldine Benson said: “We want the incredible people who work in the care sector to feel proud of their vocation and for others to see it as an enormously rewarding area of work that they can become involved in”.

John Bryant said: “This campaign recognises the value and commitment of care and support workers across the South West. We hope that people everywhere will take a moment to visit the campaign website, listen to the real stories and be inspired to apply for any of the vacancies now available.”

Proud to Care South West is a partnership of 16 local authorities and Health Education England working together at a regional level to raise the profile of a career in care and health.

The partners are: Health Education England, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Borough of Poole Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, Bristol City Council, Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, Dorset County Council, Gloucestershire Council, Isles of Scilly, North Somerset Council, Plymouth City Council, Somerset County Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Swindon Borough Council, Torbay Council and Wiltshire Council.