From Chef to Health Care Assistant: Christopher’s career journey

13 April 2021

Christopher is as a Health Care Assistant at our Willowbeck care home in Sheffield

Christopher is as a Health Care Assistant at our Willowbeck care home in Sheffield. He started working with Exemplar Health Care at the beginning of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after he was made redundant from his role as a Chef, and hasn’t looked back since.

Christopher is a trained classical Chef, and after starting his career as a Chef in the Armed Forces, has spent most of his career working in restaurants and hotels. At the beginning of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, he was made redundant and struggled to find work as an agency Chef.

When Christopher was in the Armed Forces he was also a trained First Aider, so he’s always had an interest in health care. He thought that these skills would be transferable to social care, and so decided to apply for a role as Health Care Assistant at Willowbeck. 

Working as a Health Care Assistant at Willowbeck

In this role, Christopher supports adults living with complex nursing needs to live as fulfilled lives as possible, and supports them with their personal, medical, social and psychological needs.

For Christopher, the best thing about the role is building close relationships with his team and the residents. He shares: “At Willowbeck I work on the Ladybower unit which supports up to 10 people. I love that I work with the same people and team so I can see the difference we make each day. Every day is different, the role is varied and the training opportunities are great.

“I can also pick up overtime shifts and work on other units, which means that I can meet new people and broaden my experience.”

Career development at Exemplar Health Care

From the very first day, Christopher has been impressed with the development opportunities at the company.

When he first started, he did an in-depth induction which included mandatory training, eLearning and shadowing a colleague to learn about the role. He also achieved the Care Certificate, which is an agreed set of standards that define the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of health and social care workers.

Since then, Christopher’s completed clinical training, including tracheostomy care, which has enabled him to take on more responsibility in his role.

Talking about his plans for the next 12 months, Christopher shares: “There are lots of opportunities to progress if you’re willing to put the time and effort in to doing training. I’ve already signed up to become a Buddy for new colleagues and am thinking about doing the Trainee Nursing Associate programme to develop my skills.”

What would you say to others think about working in care? 

What would you say to others thinking about changing careers? “Go for it,” says Christopher.  “I never thought about working in a care home because you automatically think about old people and doing personal care. But Willowbeck is so different to that. I work with people of all ages, and the role is extremely varied.” 

Rewarding careers in social care

Exemplar Health Care has a range of rewarding care, nursing and support roles available. If you share our values and passion for making every day better for adults living with complex needs, find a job near you and apply now.

Read more about working with Exemplar Health Care, or contact our Recruitment Team for an informal chat.