Toni Taylor found her passion for care during a placement and has never looked back, working her way up thanks to the range of training and qualifications on offer.

“I started off in the adult social care sector in 1988 and immediately fell in love with it. If you have a genuine caring nature then it’s the dream job. Don’t get me wrong, you have to be resilient and willing to work hard but the rewards are incredible.

“There’s never a ‘typical’ day and the best thing about my work is that it’s never felt like a job. It’s all about the people we provide care for and you get to meet some amazing people. Even the stressful days can be great because of the people we support, what might seem like a small thing to us can mean a great deal to the service user and seeing that makes the day brighter.

“I’ve had so much support throughout my career and have both my SVQ3 and SVQ4 in leadership and management which has helped me progress to become a team leader. You’re supported to develop professionally in your career in adult social care. You’ve got to have the fundamental skills like being a good listener and empathetic but if you do, you can really develop yourself both personally and professionally.

“One memory that really stands out to me is one man I care for who used to look at me blankly but now, after two years of small steps, he’s actually saying my name. It’s so heartwarming to have gained his trust, it’s the best feeling ever.

“It can be challenging at times and you need to leave your inhibitions at the door but working in adult social care has really brought me out my shell and I’ve learned so much. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. There’s not a job out there for me that will allow me to make such a difference to other people every day.”

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

“Don’t let any misplaced views on social care put you off. If you’re spending your working days feeling like you’re going through the motions, look into a career in caring. The feeling you get every day makes it all worthwhile.”