Neil, 66, is a care worker, visiting and caring for people in their homes, after being made redundant last year. Find out about Neil’s journey and how he found his calling.

I was made redundant due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

I spent most of my career working in the oil and gas industry. As a business development manager, I regularly travelled, working out of the Middle East. Due to the economic downturn, I was eventually made redundant. After seeing a campaign from Proud to Care, I was inspired to apply for a career in care work in Devon.

Working in care has changed the way I feel about going to work.

I’ve always had an interest in care work and spent time doing charity work when I lived in South Africa. It felt like a natural fit for me. I am so glad I made the move. It’s changed the way I feel about going to work – it’s the kind of work that gets me up in the morning, knowing I am going to be making a difference to someone’s day.

The care work I do, in people’s homes, enables many of the people I work with to fulfil their wish to remain in their own home. That’s important for many people.

I am given the time to talk to people and help improve their wellbeing.

I’ve discovered that this work is not simply about the care itself. It’s about building relationships and listening. I feel privileged to work with some fascinating people who have brilliant stories to tell and who have lived, and continue to live, interesting lives. I am given the time to talk to people and have a good chat, sometimes they need a listening ear.

Loneliness and isolation can be a big issue for many and some days, my visits are the only social contact some people have. Feeling listened to, connected, and supported can have an enormous impact on someone’s wellbeing. I can leave content that that person feels better. There’s no feeling quite like that. I feel privileged to do what I do.

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