Helping Kirsten juggle work and caring
Kirsten is a carer who was supported to go back to work by the Working for Carers programme in London.
Kirsten is 50 lives with and cares for her 80-year-old mother who was diagnosed with dementia two years ago. Her caring role involves all aspects of personal care, household chores, cooking meals, and getting her mother ready for day care.
How did Working for Carers help?
Previously, Kirsten worked in an administration but she had to give this up when her mother’s care needs became more intense. She has little support from other family members and her situation had made her feel very low.
When she first met with an employment personal adviser at Working for Carers, Kirsten felt overwhelmed by the prospect of finding and keeping a job. She was anxious about being called away to care for her mother. However, she really wanted to return to work, and caring for her mother had made her feel isolated and limited in being able to do other things.
Her adviser supported her to start applying for jobs, and Kirsten was successful in getting to interview stage, but initially she felt her caring obligations were a barrier to accepting any job offers.
What was the result?
Kirsten decided to look for part-time administration work and was soon offered a job at an NHS hospital.
Her adviser agreed to provide ongoing support while she settled into the role and arranged to meet with her manager to discuss her specific needs as a carer. Working for Carers also provided some financial support with buying clothes for her new job.
Her mentor at the hospital was pleased with how Kirsten settled in quickly and progressed. Kirsten has since kept in touch with her employment support adviser and her confidence has greatly increased.
"If it wasn't for Working for Carers, I am not quite sure how I would manage. I like how Working for Carers actually represents carers and supports individuals into work.”
Identities of carers have been changed in the interest of privacy.
About Working for Carers
Working for Carers ran between October 2016 and June 2023 and was funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund. The project supported unpaid carers in London to move into or closer to employment.