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Sharon Hoyle - Team Leader at A Chance for Life

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m a mum of two who are now both in their 20’s and I’m very proud of them both and their achievements.  I’m from a retail background but felt I had come to a stalemate in my career and felt I had much more to offer.  I have the life skills of bringing up my children independently as their dad worked away from home and I have management skills from the career in retail where I had to look at employment issues, rota’s, sickness and holidays that kind of thing.  I am a very caring person and felt I wanted a career that encompassed all these skills but in a much more rewarding way.  I love keeping fit by going to the gym using free weights, I enjoy cycling, walking and reading in my spare time.

How did you get started with ACFL?

When I saw a job advertised with A Chance for Life, I knew nothing of the company but felt that if I could show my passion for what I wanted to do that maybe I stood a chance of getting the role of support worker.  I was lucky enough to be offered the role but on the proviso that I studied for an NVQ 2 in health and social care.  I started the NVQ 2 course in November 2015 and was supported by the company to do this.  I passed this in November 2016, and found the course really excellent particularly when I was working with the client, it made me think about the work I was undertaking and made the course very relevant.  Because I enjoyed the course so much I then signed up for the NVQ 3 in health and social care which started in January 2017.  It was in February 2017 that the post of team leader became available within the team I was already employed to work with so I thought I would try for the post.  Again I was delighted to be offered the post of team leader and my children are very proud of me.  Since becoming a support worker back in November 2015, I feel I have found my true vocation and I thoroughly enjoy the support I am giving to the client and her family

So, what do you do at A Chance for Life?

My role revolves around the client and her family, ensuring that she has choices whether that be in the clothes she wears, the food she eats or the outings that she goes on.  Seeing her interacting and becoming more sociable with the people she meets and getting as involved as possible makes the job so worthwhile.  I also like to work closely with her family ensuring that her parents and siblings are all part of the work we undertake.

I am meeting with the Speech and Language Therapist at school to see if there is any of the work they do at school which can be brought back to her home life and implemented by myself and the team who care for her.

I have brought some new ideas to the team and feel that I am a firm but fair team leader and am very proud of my achievements and that of the team who are working together for the client.

What makes you want to go to work?

Seeing the client’s smiley face and helping the family.  We have set activities that involve the whole family and I meet with the parents regularly to ensure they are fully informed and involved in the care provided by the support team.  I enjoy the shifts and feel I have found a great work life balance.  In my role as team leader I want ensure that the whole team feel supported and are enjoying the great work life balance that we have.

What makes A Chance for Life different?

I really respect that Louise Chance has set up a company like this which makes a difference to so many people.  The company is so friendly.  As part of my new role I have to occasionally work in the office, sorting out paperwork and planning the staff rota’s and I was a bit nervous about this but it has been really good and all the staff have made me feel at ease.  Working in a supported environment really helps when I need it and knowing we are all working together for the client.

What are your top three tips for someone looking to get their hands on a job like yours?

  1. Do your homework on the job and the company before you go for an interview
  2. Don’t be scared of trying new things
  3. Be yourself