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What is life as an Origin carer like?

At Origin, we call won’t call you a carer. You’ll be a Personal Care Assistant (PCA).

Care work with Origin isn’t care work as you know it; it’s your opportunity to transform someone’s life by assisting them to promote their independence, spontaneity and freedom of choice.

No two clients are the same; this means there isn’t a ‘typical day' for an Origin Personal Care Assistant. What each care assignment does have in common though, is that they’re all extremely rewarding, and you get the chance to make a real difference to people's lives.

What activities will I be expected to carry out?

Whilst no two live-in care clients will expect the same routine from you, there are some activities that come as standard. These include;

  • Client personal care, including washing/bathing/changing/dressing
  • Helping clients get in and out of bed 
  • Full toileting, bowel and bladder routine 
  • All aspects of personal grooming including hair care and filing nails
  • General housekeeping and domestic duties including laundry and shopping 
  • Cooking and serving meals 
  • Light housework including dusting and vacuuming 
  • Basic wheelchair and equipment maintenance 
  • Assisting with correspondence including opening letters and aiding with calls and emails 
  • Driving clients to commitments and appointments 
  • Helping clients get in and out of vehicles 
  • Looking after client’s pets 
  • Assisting clients on holidays, both in the UK and abroad

If you have no (or little) experience doing some of the things we’re asking you to do, don’t worry! That’s where our specialist training comes in. We’ll make sure you can do all of the above confidently before pairing you with a client.

Plus, all nursing requirements are carried out by medical professionals, and you'll have the full support of the established and experienced Origin Care Managers - so you’re never totally on your own!

Does a clients lifestyle affect my job?

Yes. Each client is different and has different needs, work and social commitments. Many of our clients work full time, some study, and some have active social lives that include disabled sports and/or spending time with friends and family.

How they like to spend their time will dictate the activities that you may carry out, but commonly, our PAs are asked to;

  • make drinks
  • assist with correspondence including opening letters, & assisting with calls and emails
  • drive and assist with getting the clients in/out of vehicles comfortably
  • look after pets
  • assist the client on holiday (sometimes in the UK, sometimes abroad)
What does an ideal Origin Personal Care Assistant look like?

Just like clients, everyPersonal Care Assistant is different. Whilst we don’t need you to have any specific qualifications, there are a few things all of our Live-In Personal Care Assistant’s have in common.

All Origin Personal Care Assistants need to:

  • Have a full driving licence, and can legally drive cars in the UK
  • Be aged between 21 and 55*
  • Be happy to cook and serve a variety of meals, snacks and drinks 
  • Live-in at clients homes during assignments 
  • Deliver personal care to male and female adults with spinal injuries 
  • Be are open to working outside of their locality/hometown 
  • Have a full, clean, enhanced criminal records check/DBS (we will arrange and cover the cost of this)
  • The legal right to work in the UK

In terms of their personalities, we often find that the most successful Personal Care Assistants are people who have:

  • Common sense and ability to problem solve on the spot 
  • A caring, kind and compassionate attitude 
  • A willingness to learn new skills and keep up with regular training 
  • A flexible approach to work, able to adapt to the changing plans and needs of our clients
  • Confidence when it comes to driving, comfortable to drive our client’s vehicles

*This post is exempt from the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 as per section8(2).

How much am I paid as a live-in carer?

For those looking for a more full-time work pattern annual earnings start at £34,524 gross per annum (*based on working 21 days within a 30-day month and includes holiday pay).

For anyone looking for flexible work, earnings start at £959 per week including holiday pay. 

However you work with us, we'll cover travel expenses on top of your wage.

We guarantee that we will pay you at least £13,700 for 100 days worked. We’ll also cover the cost of all the food and drink you need whilst you’re living with a client, and we won’t ask you to pay any rent or mortgage contributions, either.

The longer you stay with us, the more you stand to earn.

If my client travels, do I need to pay to go with them?

No. We will cover all your travel expenses when you’re with a client, including going abroad, on holiday or on business trips with the clients you’re living with.

We’ll also cover all travel within the UK to get to/from a client’s home using public transport.

Please note – we will not cover your own international personal expenses if you travel to/from the UK for work.

Does Origin cover the cost of Railcard travel?

Yes! Origin funds the cost of 16 - 25 or 26 - 30 Railcard for our Spinal Injury Personal Care Assistants.

If you're unfamiliar with Railcards, they can be used for work and leisure trips in the UK. By having a Railcard, you'll be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits and rewards. These include:

  • Discounted train tickets
  • 50% off Theatre tickets
  • 20% off Virgin Experience Days
  • 5% off holidays with companies like Hoseasons, Cottages.Com and Haven
  • A free Taste Card for 3 months and heavily discounted rates to purchase after 3 months. Taste Cards provides benefits such as 2 for 1 meal, a 50% discount off food or a 25% discount off food & drink, and many others.
We kindly request that PAs use Railcards when booking journeys for work assignments, as this will always result in the best-discounted ticket prices. This provision is reviewed regularly to ensure it is both cost-efficient and utilised, so please take advantage of it.

Who are Origin clients?

Origin Spinal Injury Care offers specialist live-in care to adults in the UK living with spinal injuries who all have full mental capacity. For the most part, the clients are adults, who are busy and active, both in work and socially. With good care, their fear of an unfulfilled life is held back, enabling lives with spontaneity and freedom of choice.

How long do I spend with each client?

You will be living with clients for one to two weeks at a time, but as client/Personal Care Assistants relationships blossom some flexibility may be possible.

Providing you get on well, we like to provide longer-term client/PCA pairings to make the job easier, more enjoyable and more comfortable.

Where do I live during care assignments?

During each assignment, you’ll live in the client’s house. You’ll always have your own private bedroom, and access to a shared bathroom. Accommodation varies depending on the living arrangements and locations of the clients – you can go from city centre hustle and bustle to serene countryside in just one job, so if you’re looking to explore the UK, this role is perfect for you.

Do I need to have been a carer or live-in carer before to work at Origin? 

No. Our specialist training course is designed to equip you with all the job skills you need to provide the best possible care you can.

Regardless of experience, all successful candidates are required to come along to our training course, and to take part in regular refresher training courses throughout their employment.

What training is provided?

We have developed our own CPD-certified specialist and highly focussed training course, which will make sure you can confidently handle all the unique challenges being a live-in carer might throw at you. It’s considered the leading course in the UK of its kind, so you’re in very safe hands!

The course lasts for 5 days, and it’s intensive, meaning we’ll bring you up to HQ for the full duration, covering hotel and travel costs, as well as the cost of the course.

Led by senior carers and medical professionals, the course covers everything you need to know to make sure you’re looking after your client well and that you understand your role, like:

  • managing medication, including completing necessary charts and reporting changes to the client’s health
  • anatomy and physiology of the spine, including the impact of injury levels on paralysis and understanding the risks associated with immobility
  • duty of care, privacy and dignity, as well as safeguarding
  • infection prevention and control
  • health and safety including risk assessment and legislation
  • fluids, nutrition and food safety, including hydration, cleaning, cooking and food storage
  • first aid for burns, bleeds, shock, recovery position and CPR

If you have no (or little) experience doing some of the things we’re asking you to do, don’t worry; our course covers all of these things in depth – we promise, they’ll all be second nature in no time! We’ll teach you:

  • effective bowel management, including manual evacuation, removal of faeces and trans-anal irrigation
  • urinary management, including associated complications and use of equipment such as catheters, leg bags and drainage condoms
  • manual handling of your client, including safe techniques for use of hoists, slings and sliding boards
  • dressing/undressing your client safely, including brushing their teeth, shaving and washing them

At the end of the course, you’ll be given a care certificate from Origin, and you can add the certificate to your CV.

How often do training courses run?

We run one training course each month and if your application is successful, you’ll be booked on to one that works for you during the recruitment process. See our upcoming training dates.

Are there any other training opportunities?

If you want to learn whilst you earn, we provide a unique support scheme for furthering your studies with a host of suppliers, including The Open University. This means you can gain work-related qualifications whilst working with us, including QCF/NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, and/or a Certificate in Health and Social Care. This fee support initiative is available to Advanced PAs only, so if you’re looking for a long term care role, this could be for you.

Can I be a student and live-in carer?

Whilst working as a live-in carer won’t suit students currently in full or part-time study, it’s an ideal choice for graduates and gap year students looking for a life-changing experience.

Will you carry out any checks on me before I get a job?

Yes. Because we’re inviting you to live in someone’s home, we’ll carry out full criminal background checks. We’ll also need to carry out DBS checks and ISA Adult 1st checks. Normally, these cost £63.20, however, we’ll cover the cost of these during the recruitment process.

Do I need references to work at Origin?

Yes – we ask for two good references as part of each application.

I’m already a PCA – can I recommend a friend to work at Origin?

Yes! We’d love to hear from like-minded individuals that have a true passion for making a difference to people’s lives. If you know someone who’d be perfect for the role, tell them to get in touch with us on 01524 34100, or to apply now, and make sure they mention your name!

The best bit? When they’ve been with us as a PA for 3 months, we’ll give you £1000!

How do I apply?

Step 1: Check you meet the criteria on our Essential Information page
Step 2: Fill in our Application Form online
Step 3: Check out the journey to joining Origin and wait for us to get in touch!

Upcoming training dates

  • 17th June - 21st June
  • 29th July - 2nd August 2024
  • 19th August - 23rd August 2024
  • 9th September - 13th September 2024
  • 30th September - 4th October 2024
  • 21st October - 25th October 2024
  • 4th November - 8th November 2024
  • 25th November - 29th November 2024

When you complete your application form, please indicate which course you would like to attend.

If you have any recruitment/training queries, please call John Hardy on: 020 7617 7894 or email: johnhardy@origincare.com.

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