We caught up with Ellie, a Senior Support Worker based at MacIntyre School and Children’s Homes in Wingrave, where we support children and young people from 11 to 19 years old. We asked Ellie what is it like working as a Senior Support Worker, how she got there and what tips she can pass to anyone looking to take the next step in their career.
Could you introduce yourself?
My Name’s Ellie and I’m a Senior Support Worker at one of the children’s homes at MacIntyre School and Children's Homes.
How long have you been working at MacIntyre School and Children's Homes?
I have been with MacIntyre for 5 years.
What is your role and responsibilities within MacIntyre?
As a Senior Support Worker, I look after the finances and make sure we have the money for activities and new items for the house. I will also look after the food preparation and menus, ensuring we are all eating healthily, as well as assisting the managers if they need any additional help in the children’s home.
I am also the appointed ‘Health and Safety Rep’ responsible for making sure the house is in good condition and the health and safety paperwork is up to date. In this part of my role, I check the water temperatures are okay and run fire drills so we all know what to do in the event of a fire. I will also assist with general personal care for the young people we support. Currently, I am assisting the young people we support with home-schooling.
Can you remember your first day?
I remember I had a tour of all the children’s homes as well as a tour of the school. I spent 2.5 hrs with the manager discussing job expectations. The rest of the day was going over paperwork and meeting all of the young people, which was amazing.
What was your training like?
When I first started, the training lasted for two weeks and you couldn’t provide any support until you had completed this first. Training has now evolved and is ever-changing to meet the needs of the young people as well as the environment. I’d say training is a lot more comprehensive and even when it’s officially finished, there are always people on hand to help if you get stuck.
Did you know you wanted to become a Senior Support Worker and how did you do it?
I never had a goal in mind to be honest, because I used to be shy! I was a Support Worker for 2.5yrs and was always encouraged by my peers to push myself. I knew I was really good at being a Support Worker and when I saw the Senior’s post, I thought I should go for it. I had the interview and got the job--I’m super happy I went for it.
In general, how does someone go about progressing within the organisation?
There are lots of opportunities to progress within MacIntyre. Once you are on board, just speak to your Managers. Managers are always positive and helpful, encouraging you to “go for this”, or “go for that”, “you can do this”, they’ll always help you to progress if you want to.
There is also the chance to gain a Level 3 Diploma in Residential Child Care, which means you’ll gain knowledge and new skills to help you to progress.
Not only this, but we also have an internal jobs board which you can check and see if there is anything you’d like to apply for, including Speech and Language Therapist and School Support roles...there are so many avenues! Just ask the right people and they will help you through it.
What do you most love about your job?
Working with the young people we support. No two days are the same, every day really is different! Helping the young people with even the smallest thing could be massive in their eyes. I love watching them achieve and learn new things.
Now Covid is relaxing, we can’t wait to take the young people on holiday, go back to ice skating and generally being out and about more. There are so many good activities to do, it is a good place to work.
I love the shift patterns too. Even if you can only do part-time or perhaps have limited time, we have roles that will fit around your commitments.
What would you advise someone who is thinking of joining MacIntyre?
Go for it. You don’t know what it’s going to be like until you try it. It’s a great job that has plenty of scope to progress. Apply even if you don’t have any qualifications. MacIntyre has something for everyone and with full training and support, they’ve got you!
Join our team
We are seeking fun-loving, caring and passionate individuals to help support people to live as independently as possible, whilst providing the care and attention they need to live a life that makes sense to them.
To find out more about the current vacancies available, visit our Careers page.