She was inspired by the dedicated home care workers who looked after her elderly grandmother.
And the care given to Nicola Boltwood’s gran enabled her to meet her youngest great-grandson during her final days.
Now Nicola, 23, is a finalist in the category for newcomer of the year in the Great British Care Awards – after leaving her job as a taxi office controller to train to become a care worker herself.
Nicola was one of several employees at Burgundy Care to compete in the Yorkshire and Humber regional final of the awards. Although they were unsuccessful in that heat, organisers were so impressed by Nicola’s application and interview they invited her to compete in the national final.
She said: “I had to explain what my job consisted of, why I chose care as my job and show my training and progression. I have worked in care for a year and two months. I used to work in a taxi office as a controller, so it is quite a change!”
Nicola’s grandmother, Christine Webster, who died in 2015, was cared for at home in Milnsbridge by care visitors during her final days.
At the time, Nicola was expecting her second son, Leighton, and feared Christine would never meet him.
“If it had not been for the carers coming in and looking after her, she would never have met Leighton,” she said. “It meant she could have a cuddle with him before she passed away. I decided I’d like to do that for other elderly people and by giving them quality care give them more time to spend with their families.”
Nicola, who also has a seven-year-old son Lucas, trained as a care visitor by shadowing other carers to see what they did, has undertaken in-house training, gained her care certificate and achieved NVQ2 in health and social care. She is now studying for her NVQ3.
Nicola works in the evenings and spends at least half an hour with each client. She said: “I visit elderly people or people with illnesses or disabilities. I make them their tea, help with their personal care and medication and return to give them their supper, help them wash and help them to bed. I love what I do and I wouldn’t do any other job.”