"As a manager , we have seen a real issue with recruitment and turnover, with staff not being able to afford to have a work/life balance or having to do lots of extra hours. People are moving into the private sector or getting a job at supermarkets. It makes me so sad because the people that really care and hang on in spite of the pay are the ones who are the best for the job because they really want to give their all. But everyone has a breaking point."

Often there aren’t enough people to do the shifts because of vacancies or people being unwell or on annual leave."

Danielle, Sheffield.

"We have a duty of care to the people we support so I will often step in to cover the shifts even if I have worked all day and then have to do a night shift. If I can’t help, whichever support worker who has been working on day might have to carry on working, doing back-to-back 14-hour shifts. It’s classed as an emergency situation but it happens all the time. These people are having to drop everything and even arrange last-minute childcare to carry on working. It’s no wonder people look for jobs with less pressure.

Like everyone, I am affected by the pay and cost of living. I sometimes walk to work because of the cost of fuel. I skip breakfast and lunch to save money and focus on one meal in the evening. I always get the yellow label items from the supermarket at the end of the night.

My team sometimes find it hard if the people they support want to go out for lunch or to a café as they can't always afford to get a cup of coffee with them. Some support workers say they aren’t hungry, feel unwell or are on a diet as an excuse but sometimes the people we support get upset this. It’s a difficult position to be in.

A lot of people take our industry for granted. If you think about all the different things you do in your life – going to the doctor, going to work, even making a cup of tea – we help people to do that. It’s having the skill to work out what’s missing and the passion to fight for someone so their voice is heard."