Our Executive Director of HR, Phil Orton, hasn’t always worked in HR. In 1991, when he was 17 years old, Phil became a volunteer at a learning disabilities hospital. Being the son of two nurses, you might say that he was destined to work in the care sector.
“My Dad was a Senior Nursing Officer in the NHS, working with children and adults with learning disabilities and he used to bring me along to activities and events with the patients. My Mum also worked at a local hospital with older people”.
Leading the HR team, Phil still has a big connection with our services. “My best days are where I get to spend time with our people, meeting with colleagues to hear and learn about them and their work, what we are doing well and how we could make things even better, and of course talking to the people who use our services”.
Male carers make up a small percentage of the social care sector. Phil has seen first-hand how male carers can make a positive difference in people’s lives. “I once worked with an older man who had been in care since being a child. He had moved into the care home several years before I started to work there as the only male staff member. He didn’t engage very well with others and could be intimidating, as he shouted a lot and would wave his fists at others”.
“I used to spend time trying to talk to him and getting to know him. At first he would walk away, sometimes shout at me, but over time he started to talk to me more. He’d even look out for me when I came onto my shift and over time we built a really good relationship. We managed to get him an old record player in his room and some LPs. It took time, but as a result he started to spend more time with other residents and started to socialise a lot more. He also got on much better with the staff team”.
If you’re a male who is thinking about working in the care sector, then the sky is the limit. “If you want to have a meaningful job which is totally rewarding it could well be for you. There’s a lot of variety and a lot of opportunities. I’ve been a care/nursing assistant, a registered manager, a trainer, an HR manager, a head of a department and now an executive director. I’ve also had opportunities to complete NVQs up to a Master’s level, so there’s lots of opportunities, it just depends what you are looking for”.
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