Two people sat on a sofa with a clip board

Meet Tracey, a self-employed Personal Assistant (PA) who supports adults with disabilities to reach their full potential and lead independent lives.

I wanted to help others and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Tracey previously worked in IT project management but found the corporate sector unfulfilling.  After surviving a tsunami in Sri Lanka, her world was turned upside down.  The experience made Tracey realise that she wanted to do something to help people and make a positive difference.

Tracey always had a passion for nutrition so she retrained as a Registered Dietitian, initially for the NHS and later as a freelancer.  This gave her the flexibility to run an online private nutrition practice whilst raising her daughter.  During the pandemic, someone in her local community needed more complex support and Tracey’s work evolved into the role of a Personal Assistant.

My clients inspire me. It’s a gift to support them.

As a PA, Tracey provides support to adults with neurological conditions such as dementia, autism and learning disabilities, both in their homes and out in the community.

Tracey is inspired by her clients every day. “I see the challenges they face and their determination to overcome them. I’m often that stepping stone to get them to where they want to be. I take pride in helping clients spread their wings, and it’s a gift to support them.”

I empower clients to do things for themselves and encourage independence

Tracey’s role is tailored to each client.  For some this is an enabling role; assisting clients with meal preparation, attending medical appointments, providing administrative support and paying bills.  At other times, Tracey uses her skills to guide and motivate her clients.  This might involve encouraging healthy eating habits, organising their living space, or helping them to engage in creative or social activities.

If a client struggles to access local services due to mobility issues or isolation, Tracey will bridge that gap and help them participate in the community.  Often, Tracey supports her clients to overcome their anxieties and accomplish things they might have struggled to achieve independently. One of Tracey’s clients is a regular volunteer at a community hub café and has recently applied to work in hospital radio!

You have to be compassionate, caring, and able to empathise.

“To be a PA you have to be compassionate, empathetic and kind. Listening is key as you can learn so much from your clients. Some clients might struggle with their mental health or have difficulty carrying out basic tasks, so it’s important to be patient and offer plenty of encouragement.  Maintaining a positive, enthusiastic outlook goes a long way towards building trust and rapport.”

“You have to be flexible and adaptable. Some clients have complex needs so it’s vital to know when to seek assistance from specialist teams.  It’s important to remain professional and resilient.  The role is incredibly rewarding but also demanding and self-care is a must.  Joining a support network with other PA’s can be very helpful.”

Making a difference in someone else’s life is wonderful to see and feel.

“Being a PA is so much more than caregiving.  It’s a respected, professional role where you advocate for clients and empower them to have a voice.  The best part of being a PA is the positive difference you make in someone else’s life; it’s wonderful to see and wonderful to feel”.

If, like Tracey, you’d like the challenge and reward of becoming a Personal Assistant, you can find more information on our careers pages.