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Growing up, I never knew what I wanted to be. I knew I was a good listener… I knew I was kind and caring… I knew that I wanted good career prospects. So why did the option of becoming a carer when I grow up never come into my mind because a carer requires all of these skills?

This past year has shone a  light on social care.  Carers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic, not only supporting people physically but mentally too, keeping our loved ones safe, happy and healthy when we could not be with them.

Their kindness and dedication throughout some of the hardest times many of us have ever faced, has been truly inspirational.

We were lucky enough to speak to the author of the children’s book, ‘ When I grow up I want to be a carer’, Jenni Mack, Marketing Executive for Holmes Care Group, written to highlight the outstanding work carried out in care homes across the country and hopefully, nudge more people towards a rewarding career in the sector.

Jenni’s inspiration for the book came from her granny, Janet Judge who, sadly developed dementia in her later years and spent many years in care herself. Jenni’s granny was a nurse and matron in her day and Jenni’s fondest memories are that ‘she was the most caring person in the world’.

Jenni described to us the time that her grandmother could not remember who she was and would mistake her name for other people, at that point they knew they were losing her to this heartbreaking disease. 

Jenni recalls taking a job as a bar worker. The work was tedious and she hated the unfulfilling repetitiveness of the day in day out tasks.  One day she decided to take a leap of faith and applied for a job as an activities coordinator for Craigielea Care Home.

Since then Jenni has never looked back claiming, ‘I wish I had done this job from the beginning’.

Jenni loved her work so much, she continued to learn about dementia and is now Scottish Ambassador for Care! 

Talking about her experiences, Jenni told us:

“If you could be a good nurse, then you could be a good carer too.

Care is not unskilled labour but sadly it is paid like it is. It is one of the hardest jobs, but also the most rewarding.  Carers pay should be on par with NHS pay, we know that the NHS are also underpaid, but that makes the care sector even further down the chain”.

Jenni believes that children could change the future. By understanding the care sector, educating people and having conversations between children and adults, care would be recognised as a career option.

Jenni’s book was produced and funded in collaboration with many people within the sector. Jenni expressed her love of books as a child, and how they inspired her hopes and dreams. Jenni hopes that this book not only gives something back to all those millions of people working tirelessly in social care, but for every child to have this book in their hands, and know the care sector is an amazing opportunity to be a part of.

It was heartwarming to talk to Jenni and listen to her own story. Her work is inspiring and she is doing an amazing job to inspire others too.

To find more information about this wonderful young readers book, follow the link here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/When-grow-want-Carer-Jenni/dp/B098RWWM7M