I have so much respect for the work my husband does. He supports adults with challenging behaviour and complex needs. His role can involve being verbally abused, physically attacked and calming agitated individuals. It also involves lots of hugs, laughter and genuinely moving moments. Sometimes all in the same shift. Good support workers can change people's lives.
I also work as a carer supporting adults with learning disabilities through the Shared Lives scheme. I offer day support on a one-to-one basis in our own home. I find it challenging at times, but it can enrich someone's life by offering access to the wider community and it provides families with valuable respite. We both get alot of job satisfaction from our work.
As I said above, you certainly don't do support work for the money. But I sometimes wish that caring roles had more value in our society. Somehow we celebrate inane celebrities and people who create wealth for others over those who offer hands on support with the nitty gritty of human life. These are the people who care for our Mums, Dads, siblings, offspring and friends when they need help.
Alongside paid caring staff are the army of unpaid carers. And when I say army, I'm not exaggerating. In the UK today 6.5 million people are carers. They often support loved ones who are disabled, seriously ill or require help in old age. They do many hours of unseen work with little respite. Unpaid carers save the UK economy billions of pounds each year. And many are unfaltering in their support, the suggestion that you turn away from a loved one would be unthinkable to them. Thank goodness there are organisations like Carers UK to offer carers support too.
As part of my "Crafting is my Therapy" project I decided at the start of the year to create at least one sewing project a month and share it on my blog. This month I was inspired to stitch "It's Cool to be Kind" as a tribute to all the kinds acts taking place across the world at any one time. It's a more positive twist on the 'cruel to be kind' phrase. It can be easy to see the world as a bleak place. But there are many selfless people helping and caring for others. Kindness is a trait that is often overlooked, but it's something I value greatly in my own life and in other people.
Last year I visited Banksy's Dismaland and I saw this banner in the Geodome display area. I think the sentiment behind the banner is spot on. I would also add we need to value the people who support those vulnerable people too...