Margaret Ann Sandison worked in a bank and then in a kitchen before finding her calling in adult social care. She’s urging others who are understanding and responsible to take the plunge and leave the 9-5 behind and enjoy a rewarding role like no other.

“I was married and had held down jobs in a bank and in a kitchen before I discovered a job I love in care. My only wish is that I’d done it sooner.

“I realised I wanted a career change and initially gained a care home job with the Church of Scotland. I was heading into the unknown really. I’d cared for children and grandparents but had no real experience of hands-on care.

“I initially worked with older adults and benefitted from great training and support. It was a happy place to work and I developed really strong relationships with the residents. This was the mid-90s and the care home was small, but the training really was exceptional.

“I then was given the opportunity to do my SVQ3 which I really enjoyed. It helped me to understand how and why we did things the way we did. This qualification allowed me to take on more responsibility at work and I was able to quickly progress through the different levels, becoming a manager before starting my role with Shetland College in the Health and Care department, firstly as a SVQ Assessor before progressing onto become a lecturer.

“Care gives you the chance to make a positive difference in people’s lives and you can see their appreciation. Seeing the changes in emotion and how they become more and more comfortable with you is amazing.”

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

“I’d try and do some volunteering to start off with to get a feel for the role. Then you can look at getting access to training and college courses that offer placements. You’ll then be able to recognise what you’re suited to and find a role that matches your skills and qualities.”