5 minutes with…Darrell
The Support Worker at Nightingale House, on working in mental health, training, and why team work is important.
I used to work for Derby Mental Health Trust as a health care assistant. My job was to support people who had different mental health issues. I learned very quickly that at the beginning of each shift, I had to have an open mind and adapt to all manner of situations.
I used to work for a major car manufacturer. It was neither enjoyable nor rewarding. You get to a point in life where you feel you’re just going through the motions, and I wanted more out of my career.
After a three-year break, I was back working in care. I was one of the first members of staff recruited at Nightingale House. The first day was quite daunting, but I was equally excited to be starting this journey.
I took part in a lot of training. A two-week block got me up to date with all the mandatory training needed to do the job – this was before even the first resident arrived.
I love working with young adults. When you build a rapport and trust with another person, you can achieve great things. It really makes my job worth doing when I can see a young adult smile in joy.
Working at Nightingale House is like having a second family. I love those little moments when we cook for the residents, and everybody is in the kitchen playing music and enjoying themselves. All the staff work hard to maintain this type of atmosphere.
Keeping up with all the regulations is hard work. Policy and procedures change all the time, so you must make sure your work is above board. These are communicated to us, so that helps.
Everyone here feels valued as a team. We see the results of the work we do with young adults quite quickly. I know of friends in other jobs who are far removed from their work’s impact, which can make things monotonous. At Progress, you do not wait to see the payoff.
You can bring a lot of life experience to Progress. Communication skills are the foundation of care. When you care for a loved one, you obviously have empathy. So these transferable skills can be used.