From pedalling around her local town providing care to local residents, to being responsible for the organisation of support for hundreds of people across Aberdeenshire, Trish Hopwood can claim to have done it all in her career.
At the age of 39, Trish looked to take on a part-time job to plug the gap as her children started school – and now sixteen years later, she finds herself responsible for the management of home carers in Aberdeenshire’s Central region.
Her career path has taken her on a journey across many differing but vital parts of the home care service, but Trish (55), admits she still thrives on being able to provide care that allows people to live independently in their own homes.
She said: “The best bit for me was greeting the client in the morning, and seeing how pleased they are to see you. Even after battling the wind, rain and snow –which could be challenging at times – the smile on their face made it all worthwhile.”
“I really enjoyed my job and wanted to learn more, so I signed up for as many training courses as I could. The more I did for people with various disabilities, the more I wanted to learn about their conditions. With the support of the home care team, I gained lots of transferrable knowledge and skills.
“I learned a lot from my clients and I loved the time I had with them, hearing about their life stories and families. It is important that anyone going into the care profession really cares about people and that they have good listening and observation skills.”
Trish’s diligence was soon rewarded as she became an occupational therapist assistant, helping service users in as they applied for the home care they required.
In 2009, Trish took a step into management when she became home care manager, with responsibility for the delivery of care to thousands of residents across Aberdeenshire – and this varied career path stands as an inspiration to others.
Trish continued: “When I became a home carer, I thought of it as a little part-time job to keep me occupied as my kids went to school, but it turned into a career.
“I am so glad I did it, and would encourage others to take any opportunities that come your way.
“Don’t be afraid to try something new, as look where it got me!”
Chair of Housing and Social Work Committee, Cllr Karen Clark said: “Trish is an inspiring example of what can happen with dedication and taking advantage of the many training opportunities available to our home carers.
“Her talents have benefited people across the Shire, and she stands as an example of the opportunities available to new home carers.”
Home carers can assist people with disabilities or those who are ill or frail to maintain their ability to live independently in the community, by providing support at home.
They can assist people to manage their own personal care, prepare meals, or manage better around the house.
If you are interested in putting the care into your career as a home carer contact Aberdeenshire Council on 08456 080141 or visit www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/jobs
More information on the home care service is available at: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/care/help/living/help_at_home.asp