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My kind of job: Dazz’s story

May 5 2023

Dazz ran his own business before a conversation at the pub made him consider a career in care. He tells us why a great sense of achievement, career development and ongoing training means he hasn’t looked back…

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What did you do before joining Livability?

I owned a printing company, where we created anything from personalised items, like mugs and cards, to corporate printing for hotels, bars, businesses and local councils.

What made you think about a career in care?

I’d never thought about working in care until one day a friend and I were sat in a local beer garden, enjoying an after-work pint in the sun. We were discussing various topics when I asked how his work was going, as he worked in care. When I heard the kind of things that the carer role involved, I was interested. My friend suggested that I’d enjoy this kind of job, as it involves working with people face-to-face and supporting them to have a better quality of life. I decided from that moment that I would give it a go. That was eight years ago.

Did you have any experience of working with disabled people before you took this job?

I’d been involved in care as a volunteer when I was a teenager, supporting a fantastic group of elderly people through a national physical disability organisation. I helped with their regular meetings by prepping the refreshments and setting out the community hall. I was privileged to accompany this group on holidays to Wales, where we stayed at a university’s halls of residence and supported people to have a great holiday once a year.

Despite this experience, did you have any concerns about a role with Livability?

I hadn’t worked with people who have learning disabilities and did wonder if this would be something that I could cope with. I was apprehensive at first as going into the unknown was a bit daunting. After applying, interviewing, vetting and going through induction with Livability, I was able to meet and talk to the people who use the service and instantly felt welcome. The people I started my Livability career with are the people who have helped me to develop and grow into the person I am today.

What did you find the most challenging aspect of the work when you started?

When I first started, I found the process of training and learning the on-the-job responsibilities quite demanding. But I find that a good team will always support people when they first start – the team I work with certainly do help all new staff to get comfortable with the role.

How did you overcome that challenge?

I got over the initial information load by writing stuff down and when discussing things like policies and procedures, I asked for printed copies, so I could refer back when needed. For people starting now, this process been greatly improved with the new staff intranet, where staff can log into the policies section and review information they need.

What training did you go through and was it helpful and relevant?

I had training in loads of things; some were very easy and seemed like common sense, some were more in-depth but all were very relevant to the job. I like the way we receive training now, rather than the old paper-based system – now we have computer systems and e-learning platforms, which deliver much of the training we need.

I started as an Enabling Support Worker, found that the administration side of the service was very interesting and began to support two services with an administrator role. Then the pandemic hit in 2020, I moved jobs to work with an emergency telephone support line but returned to Livability after 1 year-out upon completing a successful application process and interview in the role of team leader, which is very satisfying.

What are the top three things you love about your job?

I love to be able to see people progress with their goals, regardless of who they are; this could be a member of staff or a person being supported in our services.

I love developing the service where I work, getting involved in planning with the people who live there. Over time, we’re developing the garden and communal areas and getting the people we support and the staff team involved in some exciting fundraising.

I love the feeling of my own personal achievement, when I have had a busy day, week or month. I also feel proud of our work when I can sit back and think of all the challenges and opportunities we as a team have embraced and overcome, with positive outcomes.

What do you like doing when you’re not at work?

I like spending time at home, creating my own great space where I can enjoy time with my partner and our cat! I like to have friends over for meals and drinks, karaoke in the local pub, and every now and then, I like to take holidays abroad, visiting countries that I haven’t been to before, as well as revisiting the places that I have enjoyed.

Why would you recommend working in care to others?

I’d recommend it to anyone who has the ability to think about others, to anyone who cares about people. Anyone who hasn’t worked in care before should do a bit of research and consider it, because you may just find that something that you are currently missing in your work-life that makes going to work worthwhile.

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