Jayne, floating support worker sat in an armchair in a a person we support's home

Are you doing your life’s work? Ask yourself these three questions:

We all do it, start at A to get to B but end up at Z.

So, when Jayne had a sudden realisation that she was floating aimlessly, she decided to become a floating support worker instead. It was quite a mundane moment really, no flashing lights, at least not externally, but we will let Jayne tell you:

Jayne trained as a social worker many years ago.

Starting her career as a social worker with adults with learning disabilities, which developed into social housing, and then progressed into mental health. In her late 20’s.

After 12 years’ service, jayne became a gardener.

Jayne sitting in an armchair

“After that, I worked in apprenticeships, did a bit of teaching, and a bit of quality work. I became so far removed from people that it wasn’t doing it for me anymore. Even though education is meaningful, of course, I needed to stop, think and be a bit more purposeful.”

So, Jayne asked herself three key questions:

  1. What roles have I worked in?
  2. What did I most enjoy?
  3. What is going to make life meaningful?

All three pointed to social care as the answer. Even though Jayne knew the challenges, she knew the positives outweighed them.

Jayne knew she had to return.

She saw how far we are going to support people to do the things they love and have a good quality of life, and realised that returning would give her that too.

“People are going above and beyond and when times are hard it’s important to give back. It is important to me to do a job that is congruent with how I live my life. I knew I had to return and I don’t regret it for a minute. Some days on my drive home from work, I realise I have spent about 80% of my day laughing, and that’s priceless.”

Do you have questions about being a floating support worker?

We anticipated you might, so we asked Jayne for you:

Is a floating support worker a secondary career?

“I teach a bit of yoga on the side of my full-time contract, but you can also have a zero hours or seven hours + contract, and unlike agency those are guaranteed hours.”

Is the number of places and where you work your choice?

“To a degree, it’s based on need. I tend to work in the same two or three locations, and I chose that because I didn’t want to be in one place, but, unlike an agency, I only work in a couple of homes, so I’m still able to build relationships. It’s the best of both worlds. I get to see good practice in different places, which means I can help other homes benefit.”

What extra support do you get?

“The other nice thing is you get to train in everything so you can work across the board – and you are paid for that level of experience and the mileage you drive.”

if you aren’t in one place, how are you managed?

“When I’m working somewhere I’m under the direction of that locality manager, but they’re not my managers as such. Melissa is my line manager, both her and Zara (who books my shifts) are very supportive and approachable. Even though I have only met them twice I don’t feel like I’m out on a limb. You are not just left to your own devices. If I’m ever stuck or have a query, they get immediately back to me, so I am never isolated!”

So, Have you asked yourself the three questions yet?

If your answers led you to know you would like to change your life by helping someone else change theirs, why not start now by calling Melissa at 07384894226 or Email Melissa here , and see if joining the floating support team is the right next step for you?

The Dimensions group (which Discovery is a part of) has been officially accredited as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work Institute for two years running. Additionally, this year, we received a “Wellbeing” award and a “Great Workplace for Women” award.