A Health & Social Care student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has begun a fruitful relationship with a local care agency by impressing on the first ever work experience placement offered by the organisation.
Katey Brown, 18 from Alcester, who is in her second year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care, started her work placement last year and is continuing it into 2022. It is her first work placement as part of the course as well as being the first work placement for Alcester Home Care Agency.
Alcester Home Care Agency is an award-winning home care provider; offering domiciliary care with a mission to enrich quality of life by providing heartfelt home care and giving clients and their families peace of mind. The company started in 2017 and is now being recognised as one of the top 20 home care providers in the West Midlands.
Consultant at Alcester Home Care Agency, Abigail Caseley, discussed why the care agency decided to start offering placements: “The directors of the company were discussing how we can try and promote Health & Social Care and give back to the community. By integrating with Stratford-upon-Avon College, we can support placements and support the next generation to understand our sector better.”
As part of Katey’s placement, she got work on a range of tasks, including shadowing carers, assisting with domestic housekeeping, and preparation tasks. Abigail comments: “We want the students to have a hands-on experience as much as possible. Katey has also been shadowing roles within the administration side so there is exposure to a wealth of roles within the Healthcare industry.”
Katey has really enjoyed her time at placement: “I really enjoy talking with the older vulnerable clients as they can be lonely and I can see it makes them happy to share their memories. One of the reasons I joined the course was that I am passionate about supporting people.” It also helps her as part of her studies: “It offers a practical way of learning new things as well as supporting exam learning. But moreover, it helps build empathy.”
Having the chance to have work experience is key for Stratford-upon-Avon College students and this belief is shared by Alcester Home Care Agency. Abigail comments: “The more you experience the better, as textbooks can only teach you so much. Work experience placements allow you to gain a level of respect for the role and understand the different roles available. We have a values-based recruitment and embed having care in your core, so having an experience like this allows the students to understand what the job entails.”
Health & Social Care lecturer, Ellie Davis, agrees with the importance of work experience placements: “It is an integral part of the course. It allows students to develop skills that they can take with them onto university and/or their careers so it is an essential foundation.”