Page 29 - TalkingCare_Issue3_WebVersion_OACP Winter 2017
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   The Oxfordshire Hero Award
Joint Winner:
Sue Hendron
Shared Lives Scheme Oxfordshire County Council
  The Oxfordshire Hero Award
Highly Commended:
Jamie Miller Headway Oxfordshire
        Sue has always lived in Oxfordshire, in Abingdon and now in one of the villages. She has lived in the County for 25 years with her husband and four children who are now grown up and have children of their own.
Sue says, “I didn’t really decide to go into care as a career. I always found myself doing something for someone, doing the school run, taking people shopping, that kind of thing. I hadn’t thought about getting paid to do it ­ I suppose you could say ­ I was doing something that just came naturally, it’s just who I am.”
“You could say we are a caring family. I looked after my Mum when she had cancer, my Dad when he was ill in hospital and my brother when he was ill. I also looked after my husband's brother when he had a serious accident. My husband works in the care sector, my brother used to be a social worker; our past experiences growing up gave us an understanding of caring for people”.
Sue’s Dad saw an advert in the newspaper for ‘Shared Lives’ (then Adult Placement) some 18 years ago and that’s how she became a ‘Shared Lives’ Carer. Shared Lives (a scheme run by Oxfordshire County
Council) is where carers share their family and community life with someone who needs support. “The people who I work with are nice, helpful and supportive”, says Sue.
Sue continues: “My job is supporting people through good times and bad times ­ there’s always plenty of both! Supporting them to be independent. I've had four people who have lived with me through the ‘Shared Lives’ scheme over the years and lots of people come for short breaks – all shapes, all sizes, all with different needs. I really enjoy my job because no day is ever the same – what’s normal one day, is all changed the next ­ everyday is different!
The whole aspect of my job is meeting new people, learning about how people think and work, sometimes I have to think outside the box, it’s a continuous learning experience. Yes! It’s fun! Yes! It’s challenging at times. Yes! It’s certainly life changing yet so very rewarding!
Winning the Oxfordshire Hero Award was overwhelming. I was gobsmacked. I've been rewarded for something I just do naturally.”
Sally Ellis, Unit Manager, Oxfordshire County Council, Shared Lives Scheme commented:” Sue has a special knack of seeing the best in people and wanting to help them achieve whatever they are able to ­ tempered with a good dose of realism. Sue has made such an exceptional contribution to the lives of people she supports that it feels important to recognise this.”
Jamie Miller, CEO Headway Oxfordshire provides an insight into his pathway to care. Although originally from Devon, I have had quite a varied life in terms of both career and travel. After leaving secondary school I joined the army, but this turned out to be the shortest military career of all time (a long story). I then did a variety of jobs before I discovered I had a certain ability for singing and song writing. I spent several years as a struggling musician, moving and working all over the UK, Europe and Australia. Along the way, I met my fantastic wife and we had a son together (both of whom are beautiful human beings and the light of my life). On our return from Australia, I decided on a change of career path and on the advice of others, I started my career working in support of others. Initially I used my skills and personal experiences to help young people who were on the edge of exclusion or within the youth justice system to maximise their potential. Since then, I have built up my skills and experience in both the statutory and voluntary sectors, eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer at Headway Oxfordshire in 2009.
My career pathway, well, ‘mums always know best’ and my Mum said that I should be a teacher, so that’s when I tried working as a teaching assistant to see if I liked it. I preferred working with the more challenging young people and that’s how my present
    Adult Social Care...Needs YOU! Make a difference
to other people’s lives
“The whole aspect of my job is meeting new people, learning about how people think, it’s
a continuous learning experience. Yes! It’s fun! Yes! It’s challenging at times. Yes! It’s certainly life changing yet so very rewarding!”
Get into care work today! You’ll NEVER look back...

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