People come into care from all walks of life. Here at Cera, we strongly believe that the variety of experiences our carers have had, help us to create a stronger, more diverse workforce.
The things we go through both change and shape the people we are today. One person whose journey has definitely moved us is carer, Viktoriia Elnasri.
Viktoriia joined Cera after coming to the UK to escape the war in Ukraine. This is her story.
How did you find yourself in the UK looking for work?
My story is similar to thousands of other Ukrainian stories - the stories of mothers who fled with their children from the war in Ukraine. I, like many mothers, tried to save the most precious thing that I have. My children.
The initial shock and confusion when we left gave way to depression, as we watched the situation unfold in Ukraine. My two children - a 17 year old son, and a 7 year old daughter - struggled with it. It was a very difficult period having left behind friends, family, and teachers. I wanted to look for work, but I knew I needed something that fit well around them.
How did you discover a career in care?
I started looking for a job, but my availability did not fit in the vacancies of the Job Center. I am very grateful to the government and the people of the UK for the great support during this time. A non-profit organisation called "Wirral Change" helped me by making an appointment with Stephen Cork, a job advisor.
He got to the bottom of my situation and sent my CV to Premier Care, owned by Cera. His advice was very meaningful, and he shared that care would be perfect for me. I had night work, as well as some calls in the community, but the main thing was that I could take and pick up my daughter from school. I also had time to cook food and take walks with my children so they felt supported.
I want to say a huge "THANK YOU" to some very organised, talented, and kind people; Paul, Lisa, Lian, Gizel, Mo, Bo and the coordinators' camp. Not only are they the most reliable team and the most beloved colleagues, but without them I could not have coped morally, nor physically. Their support was the most important thing in my situation and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
What would you say to someone considering working in care?
Communication with people always leaves a positive mark on your soul and the desire to cheer them up is powerful. I want to instil the same hope in service users that my instructors instilled in me.
How has work with Cera made a difference to your life?
The work fits well around my children and allows me a good balance whilst providing for them.
In addition, earlier this year, they gave me a bonus of £500. For me it was a definite surprise, because before this event there was a situation with my dad that was worrying me. He broke his arm and could not work or drive, but this financial support helped me pay for a taxi for him to go to physical therapy.
I want to say a special thank you to Lisa for her support in particular. She instilled in me the belief that I would be comfortable in this profession and she was right. I want to fill life with the comfort and care of my clients, in response to the opportunity to raise children in a world without war.
The things I have experienced and seen as a result of war have deeply changed me and I am thankful for the opportunity to make a difference. Now my insomnia is passing for the benefit of society as I work nights, instead of watching the news in tears. It keeps me busy and that is very important for me.
Thank you Viktoriia for sharing your incredibly powerful story. We are so thankful that you and your children are safe, and our thoughts are with those still in Ukraine and their families.