#ShareWhyYouCare: Awareness Campaign Hailed Success as Care Workers Come Out in Droves to Reveal the Motivations Behind the Hidden Heroes of Social Care Sector

Some of the UK’s 1.79 million care workers revealed why they chose to work in the sector as part of the inaugural #ShareWhyYouCare week – a dedicated awareness campaign showcasing the often selfless and uplifting motivations of one of the country’s most under-pressure sectors.

During the week, carers were asked to take to social media to tell the world why they chose to work in social care in the hopes of raising the profile of care work and to tackle the sector’s chronic understaffing. Across hundreds of posts and comments, carers shared that they were driven by the relationships they have with those they care for, and the difference they make to their lives. One social care worker from Sutton explained via LinkedIn that she cares “because everyone has the right to choose the life they lead” – showing the dignity and respect our social care workers give to the millions of people in care every day.

The awareness campaign was launched by Care Hires, a temporary staff management platform provider, to raise the profile of careers in the care sector and help workers connect across the country. On the campaign, Care Hires co-founder Suleman Sacranie said: “Staffing in the sector is a major challenge. And while there are lots of programmes, schemes and plans to encourage people to take on a care role, we really wanted to highlight the human element. There are real opportunities in the sector and while it seems care work truly is a calling, there are possibly a lot of people out there who haven’t thought about care as a career before, but would gladly answer the call after finding kindred spirits in the sector.”

Many care workers were inspired by the care their loved ones had received, with it having a lasting mark on a number of young people. In a touching and personal Twitter post, one care assistant from Cheshire revealed, “I have known that I wanted to care for people since my dad died of cancer when I was 17. It was always hard knowing we couldn’t be with him all of the time, so now I love caring for others whose families can’t always be there either.” While another shared, “My mum had cancer when I was 19; watching the care that she received and the way they showed her kindness and made her comfortable made me think I need to be useful in this world. My role is very rewarding; I treat people with dignity and respect and they say to me ‘Thank you, my darling’.”

Overseas recruitment is a hot topic in the care sector, and with some 165,000 vacancies currently needing to be filled, many care providers are looking both at home and abroad for staffing. One overseas recruit shared on Twitter that she cared to help her feel more connected to loved ones at home while she works in the UK.

The sector is under continued pressure even after rising to meet the challenges of the pandemic, prompting many to use the awareness week to share the responses they give to family and friends who ask why they choose to remain a care worker under the current circumstances. A worker in Oxford revealed a deeply personal connection echoed by many; “My heart and soul are deeply connected to people (that includes feeling others’ pain deeply) and making a difference to people’s lives and no role will ever suit me unless I can see the clear connection between my purpose and the positive impact on the lives of people with care and support needs. But why? I’m not sure I really know the answer, I believe I was born this way, it’s in my DNA… I don’t believe you can teach people to actually care, it’s either intrinsically there, or it isn’t. We can teach skills and the practical elements but truly caring for people is just in your soul.”

The social care sector plays an important role economically, adding £51.5-billion to the UK economy and with the UK’s elderly population growing, the sector will only follow suit. Statistics show that care workers are predominantly female (82%) with an average age of 45, showing real opportunity for young people to join the sector as well as men.

Suleman concluded: “We really hope shining a spotlight on our care workers during #ShareWhyYouCare awareness week sparked a light in like-minded individuals across the country to bring more amazing people into the sector.”

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