I am really enjoying my new life as a Care Assistant at Vida Grange in Harrogate. The last three months have really flown by and I am very much looking forward to the next. The reward of knowing that the residents are safe, clean, settled and that I contributed to this means I leave work with a smile on my face and come back to work re-energised, for another day. 

For the past 19 years I worked for the same company in the Health & Fitness industry. Starting as a part time lifeguard during university, taking a full-time role after my studies and over time, progressing to managerial level.  However, my interest in working in the care industry started in my teens after experiencing the effects of Dementia in my family.

After my A-Levels, I had been for an interview for a position at a care home in my home town. A one hour interview turned into three, seemingly going very well. I enjoyed meeting the residents and developed a good rapport with the manger. I didn’t get the job though as he could see I had a strong interest in health and fitness, but he recommended I come back in 10-20 years’ time – which I have! 

Simons career at Vida Healthcare, dementia care in Harrogate

After nearly two decades in the same industry I needed a change in career and a new challenge.  I remembered the interview from nearly twenty years ago and happened to have a conversation about changing career with two of my clients at the gym, both of whom work in the care sector. We discussed my background and family experience of dementia and they outlined the opportunities at their workplace. I was encouraged to apply as they considered I had the right attributes for a Care Assistant role. After talking to Bernadette Mossman, Healthcare Director at Vida Healthcare, about the dedication, quality of care and professionalism at Vida, I couldn’t wait to apply and knew that this is what I wanted and needed to do and where I wanted to work. 

Fortunately, I was offered a job and started the training in April. During a training session the responsibility and scope of the role surprised me at first, but I really did feel supported by the team at Vida Healthcare. I had no prior experience of care work or organisations to compare to Vida, but it is obvious Vida sets a high standard of care for residents. My Vida family supported me throughout my early shifts and I am extremely grateful for that support. The shifts can be mentally and physically hard but as I said before, I still leave with a smile on my face ready and motivated to do it again the next day.