Against the backdrop of an ageing population that is seeing a shortfall in young people considering care as a career choice, Solomon Vanderpuye and Scott Brent, from The Fremantle Trust, reiterate why they see it as a rewarding choice.
Both Scott and Solomon are incredibly passionate about care and would like to see a shift in government statistics, which state that only 16 per cent of carers are male – a figure which has apparently remained static since 2012.
Solomon, aged 36, has recently been promoted to the role of deputy manager at Sancroft Hall, Harrow, a care home which provides high quality, person-centred care for 50 people. A decade since he joined the Trust, he has risen through the ranks starting off as group care coordinator at Dell Field Court care home in Finchley, and has relished the opportunity to learn along the way, having achieved NVQ levels 2 and 3 and is now working towards a leadership and management qualification.
Scott, aged 27, is an assistant manager at Dell Field Court, which provides specialist support for older people. He began his career with the Trust as an apprentice just over nine years ago, as the eldest of six siblings, which he claims meant caring for others came naturally. Scott has completed NVQ level 2 and QCF level 3 in Dementia and hopes to progress further up the ladder at The Fremantle Trust and undertake Level 3 Business Management.
A report by the International Longevity Centre-UK and The Anchor Trust claims that England could face a shortfall of 718,000 care workers by 2025.
Both Solomon and Scott believe that their personal experiences of a career in care at The Fremantle Trust, which employs 1,850 people, have kept them inspired and eager to take on more responsibility. Their pride in their work and the enthusiasm they share for caring for others is infectious.
I’ve remained loyal to The Fremantle Trust because they have invested in me and believed in me. When asked what advice I would give others starting out in a career in care I would say that there is every reason to be positive about your future and anything is possible if you commit to developing your skills and knowledge.
A highlight of Scott’s career includes contacting Dame Vera Lynn for a gentleman he cares for as she was a distant friend of his and he looked up to her during his time in the RAF.
I got a response from her and a recent photo and it prompted the gentleman to cry tears of joy as he thought she had forgotten him. All this felt amazing and so rewarding – that I could do something to make someone so happy. It’s all about going the extra mile.
The National Care Forum undertakes regular surveys tracking the age profile, qualification rates and staff turnover in the sector, and has found that the sector workforce is ageing, with 50.3 per cent of staff aged 45 or over.
Fay Small, director of people at The Fremantle Trust, added:
We are facing the same challenges as care providers across the country but we’re taking action. Our commitment to training and developing our people is of paramount importance. In fact, our recently introduced BTEC Level 2 Award in Dementia Awareness has been rolled out across the Trust and featured in the Skills for Care Best Practice Guide.
Solomon and Scott are shining examples of exemplary care professionals, with natural compassion and empathy as well as a restless ambition to learn and grow in their roles. They send out a positive message to others, especially men developing their careers, that care is an incredibly rewarding choice both personally and professionally.