Care work after retirement – Harry’s story…

Published: Tuesday 12th October 2021

Our incredible home care workers come from all walks of life, bringing with them a diverse range of backgrounds and colourful life stories.

They are all experienced, highly trained and professional, but have one other crucial thing in common – they all have the heart to care.

Our home care worker Harry is a great case in point, owning rich life experience and a truly heart-warming passion for people.

Harry’s career in home care with Agincare came a bit later in life after he decided to come out of retirement to sign up as a part-time home care worker with our Christchurch team in Dorset.

He’s spent the last four years earning a bit of extra income caring and supporting people in their own homes, making a real difference to their lives.

Harry’s story

Harry’s heart for care runs a lot deeper than the last few years he’s spent working with Agincare.

Originally from Blackpool, and now living in Bournemouth, Harry’s journey to care work has been over 50 years in the making, and seen him travel across the world and back again.

Harry said:

I worked as a volunteer for Mission to Seamen (Seamen’s Welfare)  in Rotterdam in the summer of ‘68 after A levels. It was headquartered in the Anglican Church there, which had been used by the Gestapo in WWII.  I must have caught the bug for caring and volunteering then!

After training as a teacher in agriculture, conservation and environmental science, Harry joined the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and set course for Zambia; spending two years training agriculture and farming to local University graduates.

Harry’s African odyssey came to an abrupt end when he became embroiled in the conflict surrounding Zimbabwe’s independence in the 1970s, which spilled over into the region where he was working. It brought bombing raids and rebel incursions, which saw Harry kidnapped and hospitalised before being thankfully re-patriated to the UK.

For Harry, it was a life changing moment. After returning home and recovering, Harry worked for a large agricultural firm but the African experience had changed him. Harry followed his calling and signed up as Pastor with his local church in Sussex, before travelling the UK and abroad, eventually settling down with his wife and family in Bournemouth.

Harry’s commitment to the community continued when he was accepted as a Games Maker for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, also working in the Athlete’s village.

For Harry it’s a treasured memory.

This gave me the chance to attend the opening ceremony too, and watching it back on YouTube still gives me goose bumps.

Working after retirement

When Harry’s wife Joan, who had worked as a hospital Matron, fell ill, Harry cared for her. And when he required a little extra help, Agincare stepped in with end of life care. Eventually, after his Joan sadly passed away, Harry made the decision to come out of retirement to boost his pension, help out with the bills and do the thing he does best – connect with people.

Harry perused a few careers fairs looking for a job, but he knew Agincare. They had looked after his wife Joan. He knew Agincare was good. Harry signed up as a part-time home care worker, enjoying the flexible hours he was after.

Welcome to Agincare…

Care and pastoral work have very obvious parallels. And that is clear to see in Harry, who puts the compassionate nature, empathy and social skills he owns in bundles to good use in his care role.

Home care jobs with Agincare - Harry

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Talking about what he enjoys most in the job, Harry said:

I liked the idea of home care. It’s the variety of meeting people in their own home, talking to them in a different context and finding their personality and fun side. It’s very much like the pastoral work I had done for so long. The medication, cleaning, changing pads and caring physical elements of care work are all part of it, but the time spent chatting, and taking an interest in each person’s well-being is just as important.

 

I get to encounter many incredible, extraordinary people with amazing stories, and it’s an absolute privilege to care and look after them.

Not only does Harry get to meet interesting people from all walks of life, the care role means he can stay fit and healthy.

I get paid to exercise. I ride my bike on all my rounds. My minimum round is 17 miles and the maximum is 34 miles. I may be 71 but I’m not ready to stop just quite yet!

Do you have the heart to care?

We’re looking for incredible people to join our home care teams. Like Harry, our care workers come from all walks of life with a range of backgrounds and life stories, but have one thing in common – the heart to care. What starts as a job with a stranger often grows into a strong bond of friendship between care worker and client.

There’s also the job satisfaction of making a very real and valuable difference to those cared for – an emotional reward that you can’t put a price on. The benefits of a career as a home care, also known as domiciliary care, worker with Agincare are rewarding too, including:

  • Flexible working patterns
  • £500 welcome bonus
  • Paid induction training
  • Fast track job offers
  • DBS paid up front
  • Room to grow, with our commitment to Continuous Professional Development
  • Opportunities to specialise in complex areas
  • National Health Discount Scheme, offering up to 60% discounts off high street names
  • Discounts offered by the Blue Light Card
  • Employee Assistance Programme with access to medical, financial and emotional support
  • Industry-leading support from regional care managers, specialist trainers, a dedicated welfare officer and a 24/7 office support team

 

We’re hiring

We’re looking for incredible people to join our care teams.

As one of the largest care groups in England with over 3500 staff, there will always be support for the job you do.

We also provide you with full training so that you are equipped with nationally recognised qualifications as you embark upon, and progress your career in care.

Agincare is a leading independent provider of care nationwide and one of the few companies that offer a comprehensive range of care options to tailor care to the person as their needs change.

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