"I became a support worker after being made redundant from a job as a machine operator. My friends and family said I was caring and patient and so after supporting children in care and adults with substance abuse problems, I started supporting people with a learning disability

I’ve worked with one client, Paul* who in his 60s for ten years. We have a good bond, both liking Liverpool football club and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll and I do everything I can to support him. I take him to doctor's appointments, help him with cleaning, washing, and ironing and getting out into the community . I help him go to the gym, swimming, get a haircut and to raise money for charity. Paul is a larger-than-life character and everyone knows him in the community. 

The lack of support workers is having a knock-on effect on existing staff.

For example, in November last year, I ended up working 270 hours. So many people were off sick or had Covid so I covered extra shifts. Agency staff might have been an option but I really cared about my client. A disruption to his norm would mean he’d sit and do nothing all day."

Sadly, my concerns about Paul ended up affecting my health. I got rushed to hospital with heart pains and was told I’d had a panic attack, caused by the stress."

Nick - a support worker from Wigan.

"My doctor gave me medication and Mencap have been a huge support at balancing my wellbeing."




*name changed to protect clients identity.