To fit this week's theme on 'Job Diversity', we have spoken to Dominique Raines about her role as an Independent Living Advisor in Bristol.
Dominique has worked for Guinness Care for 3 years, joining the organisation via an agency as a temporary member of staff and going on to become a permanent and valued member of our team. We asked Dominique the following questions about her role at Guinness Care.
How would you explain what you do to a child?
I help vulnerable and older people to live well, in their own home. I try to make sure that they have everything they need to be happy and safe at home.
Take us through a day in your work-life.
I get up at 5.30am, it is a lovely time of day when it is so peaceful. I walk my 2 dogs for about half an hour and then get ready for work. I work 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday, I also volunteer some evenings and weekends, when we are having an event or when other volunteers are visiting. Day to day hours can vary, if there is an issue at 4pm, I do stay at the scheme. Sometimes it feels like a second home, but in a nice way!
What activities have you been involved with since you started your role with Guinness Care?
I have been incredibly fortunate to be involved in lots of various activities since starting with Guinness Care! These include:
- The pilot project of setting up Just Bowl sessions in our Swindon Schemes, which proved to be a HUGE success.
- Weekly Curling sessions.
- I was involved in the roll out of digital learning for our customers, delivering small group IT classes, challenging but hugely rewarding.
- Regular GoodGym visits - they often involve gardening, although one year it also involved a Customer vs GoodGym Just Bowl competition!
- I have been involved in building bonds with our local emergency services, including the fire service and police. The police regularly visit us and drop if for a coffee and a catch up, which is lovely.
- I also set up Dementia Friends sessions in our schemes, which is such an important topic.
- Most recently I have been involved in getting customers to take part in the The Great Art Exhibition, that has been really rewarding.
- Finally, since joining Guinness, I have gained two level 2 qualifications, all funded by Guinness!
What has your most memorable moment been at Guinness Care? Goodness, what a tough question!
Can I have two?! One memorable moment is when the customers at PRC took part in the Swindon Senior Games and they won! I was so very proud of them and the look on their faces when they found out they had won, and they saw their trophy, it was just truly incredible see such pride and happiness, especially as it was such a bleak time (during lockdown #2).
The other memorable moment is achieving the end of life wishes for a customer. My role as an Independent Living Advisor does not usually involve end of life support, however, we hope our customers will have a home with us forever and inevitably that will involve end of life. On this occasion, a customer did want to stay in her home until the end, and with support to set up all the required additional services needed, the customer got their wish.
I would also have to say the Star Awards! Guinness are amazing at celebrating their staff and making them feel valued, the Star Awards was the most amazing celebration of all the people that make up this fantastic organisation.
What do you love most about your job at Guinness Care?
I love being able to support our customers. I feel that being able to support, them, at times during some very difficult times in their life, is an absolute privilege. I feel very fortunate to be doing my job.
Explain your experience working in the care industry using just 3 words:
What final piece of advice would you give to someone who was considering a career in the care industry?
Don’t hesitate! Working in care, you will meet so many different people, hear no end of tales, share special moments with your customers. You will laugh, cry and at times want to run away. But at the end of every day, you can go home and say, today, I did my best to make another person’s day just a little bit better. Today, I think I made a difference.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Working in care is one of the most rewarding jobs I can think of. You will help people in some of their darkest hours and you will laugh and smile with them in times of joy. Working in care, I genuinely think you fill your life with love, kindness and compassion.
I have spent time with some fascinating people, listed to the history of their lives and learnt so much. No day is ever dull, mundane or the same. A career in care is a vocation, and at times it feels a way of life. You never switch off, but who would want to switch off the desire to help others.
Are you someone who likes doing different things every day, enjoys a challenge and wants to work with a variety of people from different backgrounds? Working in the care and support sector means you get the opportunity to do all of these things, and more.
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In line with the Department of Health and Social Care’s campaign ‘Every Day is Different’, Guinness Care are running a month-long social media series, showcasing what it’s like to work in the care and support sector. #EverydayIsDifferent campaign run by Department of Health and Social Care - DHSC