North Yorkshire’s care recruitment campaign has attracted nearly 1,000 applications.

People of all ages and all backgrounds use care services and work as care professionals in North Yorkshire and the need for more people to join the sector has never been so great and the career opportunities never been so many.

Front line care workers in North Yorkshire, as well as the people they care for, came together to call for more people to step forward and join the care workforce.

The voices and images of people who use care services and those who work in care have filled the airwaves and appeared in TV ads to kickstart a North Yorkshire recruitment drive at a critical time for the care sector.

Since November, when the County Council, along with independent providers and the voluntary and charitable sector, started the campaign, there have been more than 900 applications, leading to 70 people being appointed to frontline care roles. However, more than 100 vacancies remain in the County Council alone – mainly in frontline roles.

Find out more and apply for jobs across the care sector directly on our Make Care Matter recruitment website.

Here we hear from Deborah, who came to a care role recently, and Sam, who talks about the difference a carer can make.

‘You get a buzz, feel a reward, at the end of helping someone’

Deborah Dalton believed her job prospects were bleak after returning to the UK following an extended spell abroad just when the Covid-19 lockdown was about to kick in.

She found herself applying for jobs she would not usually have considered, including an opportunity to work with people whose health problems could otherwise have seen them needing to go into care.

Her application to the County Council was a success and a year on has proved to be a revelation, providing a new career she describes as “absolutely amazing”.

The council operates a reablement service, with specialist staff helping people discharged from hospital or with other health issues make the changes they need to stay in their own homes. Usually, this takes about six weeks.

For Deborah, 59, the chance to help people has become something special: “I have absolutely loved being able to go and meet someone in their home and to build up a rapport. You can see how poorly they may be at the start, but over six weeks you notice such a difference.”

That can involve helping people to gain the confidence to get back on their feet, to perform tasks like preparing food. Deborah has already earned her Care Certificate and is working towards a ‘level two’ qualification.

“You get a buzz, feel a reward, at the end of helping someone. It is absolutely amazing and you feel proud of yourself because of what you, as a team, have achieved for the person involved.”

Deborah Dalton

‘The best carers help you fulfil your aspirations and dreams’

For Sam Sutter, 57, the best carers are those who have helped him to speak out and advocate for other people with disabilities and to chair meetings.

He said: “Becoming a care worker is like joining a big family, helping people lead the life that they want to lead, becoming part of their life. It’s about making relationships so that people can become part of their own communities, just like everybody else.”

Sam’s carers support him to get ready for meetings, help him keep fit by taking him to the gym or swimming. They go shopping with him and drive his car and take him to visit friends and family.

He said: “Without my care and support workers I wouldn’t be able to live in my own house, I wouldn’t be able to lead the life I live.”

Sam is the former co-chair of the North Yorkshire Learning Disability Partnership Board. He is part of a self-advocacy consultancy group for Keyring, a charity that provides independent living support. He is part of a North Yorkshire Police advocacy group and a safeguarding champion for people with disabilities. He helps to train carers to be person-centred.

He said: “Even if a person has autism and is blind like me, with good carers you can live how you want to live. Everybody has something to bring to the table and they help you do that. “So if you want to make a real difference to somebody’s life, like mine, become a care worker.”

Sam Sutter