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Carers Week 2021 – Mental health care facility employee suffers emotional loss but continued to work throughout the pandemic to care for those most vulnerable

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Jennifer Blatherwick from Melton Mowbray knew that the care industry was the right path for her and wanted to pursue a career in helping those who suffer with mental health problems and learning difficulties.

After successfully completing a two-week work placement at the Priory Group in Mar Lodge in October 2019, Jennifer spent a short amount of time as bank staff and then went on to become a Senior Support Worker on a 30-hour contract. With the help of her employer, she started a Level 3 Health and Social Care Apprenticeship with leading national Recruitment and Training Solutions Provider, Qube Learning, who work with many small, medium, and large businesses to implement training programmes. Having always been passionate about caring for others, Jennifer was determined to succeed in her new profession and make a difference to people’s lives, as well as learning along the way.

Jennifer thrived in her new role, but after just a few months, she faced one of the toughest challenges of her career and one which was felt across the whole of the care sector as Covid-19 swept the globe.

Through the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jennifer continued to work tirelessly to ensure that residents in her care were looked after. Despite feeling fearful of the situation, Jennifer set her own worries aside to continue to support the residents who began to feel upset and anxious over not seeing loved ones. Jennifer saw it as her responsibility to help them feel safe as family visits diminished; she helped create an environment that saw activities, such as crafts, karaoke, and bingo, bring joy in such a strange time.

Adjusting to a new way of working through the unknown period, Jennifer was also studying to complete her qualification, as well as dealing with a diagnosis of gallstones and sepsis, which was a physically excruciating time for her. Unfortunately, Jennifer’s gallstones resulted in a miscarriage. Feeling saddened, she found solace in completing her Level 3 programme, which kept her focused and hopeful for the future.

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Speaking about the experience, Jennifer said: “Working and learning at any time is certainly hard but throughout the pandemic, it added another level of uncertainty. I was so proud of myself that I managed to complete the course and my end point assessment during Covid-19 and overcome the mental and physical challenges I encountered along the way. The support I received from the team and my Tutor has been invaluable.” She continued: “Care is a such a rewarding sector to work in. I have a gained a huge amount of knowledge while working my way up from my original placement and throughout the qualification.”

Despite the ongoing anxiety around the virus, which is still being felt across the care sector, Jennifer is continuing to work and aims to advance her knowledge and skills within her role. She is also keen to get a pharmaceutical qualification.

Jennifer’s Skills Tutor from Qube Learning said:

“Jennifer has been a really inspiring student. For all those who have worked throughout this unusual time, it has been really gruelling and that is why we should celebrate her and many others in care this Carers Week. She has taken everything in her stride and succeeded in gaining a qualification when the care industry, in particular, was one of the roughest areas to work in. An Apprenticeship is a great way for anyone looking to train, retrain or upskill and this is still possible in the current climate with remote and eLearning”

Qube Learning is proud to be an OFSTED grade 2 (Good) training provider that works with hundreds of Employers across the country to deliver a range of training and qualifications to a multitude of Students. If you are interested in finding out more about the positive opportunities an Apprenticeship or Traineeship can bring through Qube Vision and eLearning, either as a Student or an Employer, then speak with the experts at Qube Learning.

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