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Meet Jennie, A Carer Support Worker

Jennie Hegarty

Jennie’s enthusiasm for her role as a Carer Support Worker is infectious. We meet her over a quick cup of tea as she explains how she’s squeezed in time between caring appointments in the community.

Jennie has been working with Crossroads Care Surrey four years. The purpose of Jenny’s care role is to support unpaid Carers with a respite break by taking over the caring role for a few hours each week.

Jennie’s background is as a qualified counsellor but she tells me the reward she feels for supporting people in her local area of Fetcham is far greater. Jenny says: “For every booking I do, I help two people who really need me. I love stepping into my care role each week even if only for a few hours every session. Spending time with people who really need me and giving the main carer a vital respite break. I work between 14 to 18 hours a week, every day is different – I get to meet some really interesting people who have colourful lives including successful careers, family and more.”

Jennie’s role sees her working with all sorts of people many of whom have disability, varying conditions and complex needs and she really does come across all sorts. Cruel conditions which simply mean although life can still be full, it does change. Getting out and about is not always easy and just going for a cup of tea and cake with a cared for person can be an eventful occasion.

Jennie loves everyone she works with but has a particular interest in working with people who struggle with memory loss. “Sometimes, we can’t go out, but I like to use sensory tools to take people on virtual holidays. I often bring postcards my care sessions. I’ll start to sing softly and while I’ve got their attention, I’ll start to lay my postcards out as a conversation starter.”

Just spending time with Jennie, I realise how special she really is. It takes a unique type of person to take on a caring role. Her smile never fades, not even for a brief moment.

Jennie is sharing her story to inspire others to consider a career in care.