Our people – Billy’s Story

February 13, 2017

Having been a chef for nearly ten years Billy made the move from his home town Dudley in the Midlands to seek better career prospects. He secured himself a role as Head Chef with a large telecommunications group based in Martlesham, Suffolk. Billy led a team of around ten in his kitchen to provide regular nutritious meals to hundreds of colleagues for a further 25 years.

However a number of changes to that organisation and his team led Billy to revisit what gave him satisfaction in a job. He began considering what other options might be available. Having talked with close family and friends, Billy learnt that, most who know him well have always felt he communicated extremely well with younger people and that he had a great capacity for listening to and caring for others. As a godfather to quite a few relatives’ and friends children Billy realised that there had been plenty of very rewarding moments in his life where he had guided, supported and helped them.

Following these discussions, a period of time passed whilst Billy thought more about his career and what he really wanted from any future roles. When another change was announced by his employers he decided he would seize the opportunity to make the move, completely changing his career.

Billy had never before constructed a CV but with the help from his friends and family he created his first, posting it online with a number of agencies.

The role as a support worker for Consensus at Belstead Mews was amazingly the first role that was sent by email to Billy for his consideration. He read it with great interest and then proceeded to review our website, looking at success stories, the team and training opportunities, learning as much as he could about the organisation, its culture and purpose.

Billy felt excited by what he had read and applied formally for the role. Within two hours the agency had called him back and conducted a telephone interview. By the end of the afternoon Billy had agreed to attend an interview with the manager of Belstead Mews the following day!

As an extremely organised person, Billy researched the location and travel options to make the interview on time. It struck him whilst making these plans how ideal the location was for him and how fast everything had been happening. His first CV, his first job application, his first interview secured.

Prior to his interview he was feeling nervous, about the interview itself and about what the home would be like. He felt concerned it may look a little like an institution but he could not have been more wrong. He was welcomed by the Manager to his interview and following their discussions he was shown around the home. It came as a very pleasant surprise to Billy that it looked and felt like a normal home, so welcoming and friendly. He left the interview having formed an opinion that if offered the role it was one he wanted to grab with both hands.

He went home and told his sister all about his interview, telling her he believed it was fate. He felt this was absolutely the right role and a place he definitely wanted to work.

Following his interview he was invited to return later that week to meet some of the young people being supported. Consensus places great value in ensuring the people we support are happy with the colleagues we recruit to care for them. Although a little nervous he was overwhelmed by the young people he met. He felt honoured to have met them and learn a little of their challenges and needs. He was welcomed by the team so wonderfully and couldn’t help but notice how professional they were and what a close bond they had as a team. Led completely by their manager he left reflecting on what a great bunch of people they were. Full of hope Billy waited for news on whether he had been successful hoping that his lack of background in care would not be an issue and that he had shown his abilities to listen and care.

When he was offered the role Billy could not believe it he said; “It was wonderful, sweet.” After meeting everyone it had made him think how grateful he was for what he has. He has a happy life, a great family and friends and he vowed he would pay back Consensus and the team for the amazing opportunity he felt he was being given.

Billy has been in his role for around three months and when asked he says he feels “Very honoured to be a part of the team” and he knows how proud his family are of him.

He wondered whether providing personal care would be difficult but having developed such good bonds over the first few months with each person, he doesn’t give it a second thought.

He has worked on building trust and confidence with each individual and has felt hugely rewarded to be able to take them all out on a variety of trips and activities. Activities can include anything from a gentle evening walk to trips on the train to local points of interest all in response to the person centred plans developed uniquely for each person.

Billy says he is hugely grateful for the opportunity that he has been given and the belief the team had in him when they recruited him. When asked he says his reward is; “Being happy, because you have been given the chance to make someone else happy.” He feels a huge sense of responsibility for the people we support and to their parents who he knows trust the team with their loved ones.

Billy believes what makes his job the best one he has ever had is “Having the right people working as a team. They are so clever. We have monthly meetings where everyone shares and contributes their experiences and ideas. Everyone is valued and every idea progressed is done so with a benefit to the people we support in mind. I go home happy every day.”

Billy still cooks, he loves helping to provide healthy interesting meals for everyone and his love of arts and crafts has really come into its own. The lounge and dining room bear murals designed by Billy and many of the events now being run have pieces made by the young people who are supported by Billy in their creative development.