Social care crisis: Harrogate charity's new approach to finding staff to fill vacant roles

A college in Harrogate has come up with a way to fast-track new job applicants as it works to tackle an ongoing social care crisis shared across the sector.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 3:04 pm
Caring roles are available at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate with two open days for potential recruits coming up shortly.

Henshaws Specialist College is adopting an innovative approach to finding new carers to work with its students aged from 16 to 25, all of whom have special educational needs and disabilities.

The college is holding two open events for anyone who wants to consider a career in care or in a clinical role.

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Henshaws Specialist College’s Head of Care Christina Turner who developed her skills after joining the Harrogate college.

Timed to fit around existing employment commitments, they will take place from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, October 27 and 10am to 1pm on Saturday, November 6.

No previous experience in care is necessary as full training will be given and attendees are invited to take along their CVs to find out more about the flexible working hours available.

Henshaws Specialist College is proud to describe itself as a "transformational place".

Through a personalised approach to education, learning and care, it seeks to empower children and young people living with a disability to progress and live life the way they want.

One person who will be sharing her own experiences at the events, both of caring and of working at the Specialist College, is Head of Care Christina Turner, who joined the college as a student enabler in 2005.

Christina had tried a number of different jobs, including gardening and working in the banking sector, before seeing a recruitment campaign for student enablers.

She said: “I instantly felt like I had found an organisation I wanted to be a part of, the students, the staff teams and the environment were so welcoming.

"I worked as an enabler for approximately 18 months and, due to the support of my manager at the time, I was able to develop my knowledge and skills in order to push myself and take a promotion to the role of Senior Care Officer.”

She subsequently completed a number of management training courses as well as her Level 3 in Health and Social Care, becoming Deputy Head of Care in 2009.

More study and qualifications followed before she was made Head of Care last year.

Christina said: “I am extremely grateful to Henshaws for the opportunity and development they have given me as an organisation over the years.

"Although I do not directly support students as much as I did, I still get to be an integral part of their journey, which gives me enormous sense of pride and great job satisfaction.

“If anyone is thinking about choosing a career in care, I would say the rewards of working with young people are fantastic.

"I love seeing our students making their individual journeys towards adulthood and increased independence and there seems to be a milestone to celebrate every day.”

Henshaws College’s Clinical Lead Nurse, Georgina Barker, will also be at the events to answer any questions about additional available roles in clinical team, including a Registered Night Nurse and Healthcare Assistants.

The college is also offering a £300 welcome bonus for all SEN Care Staff recruited between October and December 2021.

For more information, see College jobs - Henshaws at