Hartford Care is flying the flag for male employees in the care sector this International Men’s Day! In an industry traditionally perceived to be female-led, especially among the care staff, around 20% of Hartford’s employees are male – a number which the senior leadership team is keen to increase further.
James Fillbrook, Deputy Manager at Maldon House in Sidmouth, Devon, is a shining example of someone who’s risen through the ranks in the industry, having started his career as a bank care assistant 12 years ago. He says: “I first thought about a career in the care industry when I was 17 whilst helping an elderly neighbour with daily tasks including washing, popping to the shops and cutting his lawn. Following a successful interview, I was offered a bank contract at a local care home, and I absolutely loved the job.
“A year later I won an award for outstanding care and at this point I knew I wanted to develop my career in care further and enjoyed roles as a full-time care assistant, team leader and care practitioner before becoming Deputy Manager at Maldon House in January 2022.”
James continues: “I think it’s vital for more men to work in care. At Malden House we have a high number of male residents and understandably many feel more comfortable with another male supporting them. It’s not deemed a ‘manly’ job, but what’s more important than caring and providing support for others? Men have a huge part to play in the industry.”
Harold Santiago, Care Practitioner at Bethel House in New Milton, Hampshire, agrees:
“We absolutely need more men to work in the care industry – we are equally as caring and compassionate, and we need to break the stigma that caring roles are mostly designed for women.
“My role at Bethel House is to improve the quality of life of our residents by providing personalised care. My clinical skills identify the early signs of deterioration so liaison can begin with health professionals, and appropriate and timely treatment can be given. I have worked at Bethel House since 2017 and I feel valued and like I am part of a big family; I know I am being heard, listened to, and supported which has helped me grow as a person and professionally. I’m able to mentor and pass on my knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to my colleagues. I love my job and I’m extremely passionate about working in care.”
Kevin Shaw, Chief Executive of Hartford Care, comments:
“We are incredibly keen for more job roles to be taken up by men at Hartford Care and with around 20% of our team male, it’s a figure I would like to see increase. There are many varied roles to suit all people, from care assistants to activity co-ordinators to management roles, there’s never a dull day in our sector.”