Geraldine Beattie recently celebrated her 25 Years Long Service Award with Sense Scotland after initially getting a taste for what working in care was like through the Girl Guides. She’s now encouraging others to discover how rewarding a career it can be.

“I first became aware of Sense Scotland through two other charitable organisations. I was doing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award through the Girl Guides. Our unit received a letter looking for volunteers with the annual Sense Scotland holiday programme which was perfect for the residential service part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

“I took part in my first Sense holiday at the Atholl Centre in Pitlochry at the grand age of 17 and continued volunteering over the next few years.

“After finishing my degree in Civil Engineering and my Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award I was on the lookout for a job to keep me going until I could get something within the industry that I trained for. The Kelty Sense Scotland service in Fife was due to open in October and I got a position within the team. The rest, they say is history. I loved it so much that I’m still here!

“Over the years, there’s definitely been some changes. The need for operational staff to be qualified and registered has led to a more professional feel. The organisation’s approach to risk management has definitely got better and the personalisation of services has also improved over time. What’s never changed is the ethos of listening to the people we support and their families. This is so important to me.”

Geraldine’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:

“One of the things I enjoy about my work is that I am part of a team where all our different interests and personalities make it work for the people we support. I also love being part of the Health Facilitators team delivering epilepsy training to support staff.

“It is a fabulous mixture of my ability to do two things – talk until the cows come home about Sense Scotland and share the experiences I have been so privileged to be part of over the years. So I’d say if you feel you have the right personal qualities, go for it and you won’t look back!”