Natalie Wheatley Care Assistant Green Park
During your career, it can sometimes be unavoidable to take a break – for example, raising children, illness or caring for a family member. Nowadays, with so many courses and training opportunities available, there’s no need to panic if you’ve paused your career for a few years and now want to find a new job. Natalie Wheatley, Carer at Green Park in Warrington, discovered how easy it was to start a new career at Orchard Care Homes after nine years as a stay-at-home mum.
Before having children, Natalie had worked for Manchester City Council as an apprentice in a residential community helping adults with learning disabilities. “I really enjoyed my role here with the five ladies I cared for. I felt really valued and the job was so rewarding; seeing how the little things I did day-to-day really made a difference to their lives. I thought that some of the skills I’d learned in this role would help to show that I had the right qualities for a career as a carer.”
At nearly 30, Natalie took the plunge and answered a job advert for a career with Orchard Homes’ Green Park home. At the interview, Natalie could see that the Orchard Care Homes team were not put off with the gaps in her career and offered her the job – seeing beyond her parenting years and unrelated part-time work she’d been doing whilst her children were young. At the interview, her potential and eagerness to start a-fresh, in a new career, shone through.
Since getting the job, Natalie hasn’t looked back and has already completed her Care Certificate and is now working towards her Level 3 Caring qualification to gradually move her way up the ladder; and she plans to grasp what opportunities come along the way.
“I’m so glad that I pushed myself to apply for the job,” says Natalie. “I really like caring for others and looking after people as I think it gives you a good feeling. I kept thinking I’d like a career in care now that my children were older and I thought the shifts would fit well into family life. I didn’t know what to expect when I first started, but the work duties have not come at a surprise,” says added. “What did surprise me is how well you get to know the people in the home’s community. I feel like we are one big family.”
Natalie is really thriving in her role and finds her job so satisfying. She says, “The best thing about my job is just getting to know everyone there; over cups of tea with the elderly people and working on shifts with colleagues.”
No two days are alike at Green Park; the staff look after the day-to-day care of those living there and build relationships with family members, to ensure that the people receive the best, personalised care available.
“My favourite experience so far is taking one lady to the cinema,” says Natalie. “She had not been for a long time and was even scared of the PG film we went to see. We had such a good laugh on the bus on the way back and I went home feeling I’d really made a difference and brought her so much joy.”
The real turning point for Natalie is seeing how well she is progressing after nine years away from building a career. “I just wish that I had gone back into a caring role sooner. I’ve got such a big gap in my career and I wish I’d taken the plunge sooner, so that I’d be further up the ladder and more qualified than I am today. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to start training now and feel that there is no better time to be working towards my career goals.”
When she is not working or running around after her children and their hectic after school club diaries, Natalie loves to relax at home with her family and her two Sproodles.