A resident living in a care scheme in County Durham has written a poem in tribute to carers as she gives her support to a recruitment drive to encourage new and experienced carers to take up a career in the industry.

Joan Dent, who is a resident of Charles Dickens Lodge in Barnard Castle, is backing the drive to recruit more carers for the Anchor Housing Extra Care scheme, where care is delivered on site by Durham County Council. Charles Dickens Lodge is one of seven Extra Care schemes in the county, where residents live in their own flat within a serviced complex, offering 24-hour support from a care team managed by the council’s in-house provider, County Durham Care and Support.

Due to its popularity, more care staff are now needed to support residents like Joan living in Extra Care and a recruitment campaign is currently underway to recruit carers, specifically to sites in settings across the county.

The roles available are suited to both newcomers to the sector or those who are considering returning to a care role after a period away. No experience is necessary as full training will be given – the only requirement is a friendly and caring nature.

Since moving into Extra Care, Joan’s family have all felt a huge sense of relief knowing that she is safe and looked after 24/7. When she lived at home, Joan found things were becoming difficult, despite having a supportive family around her. Joan didn’t want to lean too heavily on them as they had their own lives to lead, with jobs and grandparent duties of their own.

Joan’s move into Extra Care has enabled the whole family to live a more balanced lifestyle, with less worry, and more time to make precious memories. She also feels that she is again part of a bigger community, as many of the other residents living alongside her are people she went through school with, worked with, danced with and went on to bring up families together, getting through the war effort together and more recently the coronavirus pandemic.

Joan Dent, a resident at Charles Dickens Lodge in Barnard Castle who is backing a recruitment drive for new and experienced carers.

Joan said: “I am very grateful for the care and support that I and the other residents have received through this challenging year and for the constant upbeat spirit of the Care Team for holding the Extra Care scheme together, at a time when they were also facing struggles caused by the pandemic, including being unable to see their own families.”

To express her gratitude, Joan has written a poem entitled Ode to Charlie’s Angels, which she hopes will encourage others to join the care team.

Ode to Charlie’s Angels
I would like to pay a tribute
To our carers, one and all.
I have named them ‘Charlie’s Angels’
For with a smile they respond to any call.

I came to Charles Dickens Lodge
Naturally with some trepidation
But thanks to our lovely carers
Very soon I felt happy with my situation.

If we have any needs at all
We only have to ask
And with a smile and their expertise
They can cope with any task.

Since I became a Charles Dickens’ tenant
Sometimes it feels like Heaven!
I’m sure my sentiments are shared
By the other tenants – all the 37!

Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adults and health services, said: “We all know that care staff do an incredible job in meeting the needs of people like Joan. It is also an extremely rewarding vocation.

“County Durham Care and Support has an excellent progression pathway for those who want to advance their career in a forward-thinking, caring organisation. There are lots of opportunities to have a career within Extra Care schemes across our county so I’d encourage anyone interested to find out more.”

 The Extra Care Schemes supported by Durham County Council staff include:

  • Charles Dickens Lodge, Barnard Castle
  • The Orchards, Brandon
  • Chester View, Chester-Le-Street/Ouston
  • Maple Court, Consett
  • Southfield Lodge, Crook
  • Harbour Lodge, Seaham
  • Sycamore Lodge, Spennymoor.

To enquire about a role in Extra Care at any of the scheme’s sites, email [email protected]

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