Gareth and Hayley
Gareth has had the support of his Personal Assistant (PA) in Care, Hayley for 10 years. She’s been by his side at his college courses, volunteering and gives him the confidence to get what he wants out of life. Here they tell us a bit more about why the relationship between an employer and their PA is so special.
Gareth: “I am 37 and love watching United in the pub, playing on the Xbox and going for walks. I’ve employed Hayley for 10 years as my PA. She helps me do certain stuff – like travel to new areas, try new things. She gives me confidence to do things.”
Hayley: “I’m so happy I found Gareth. He is the first person I supported as a PA and I came to be in the role a bit by accident. I live close to Gareth in a small village just outside Oldham. I like fashion, design, gardening, cooking and socialising. I originally studied Fashion at University, but found it difficult to pursue a career in that area when my 2 boys came along. I found out about the PA role when I saw a friend of mine supporting a disabled lady. I’d seen her out shopping, it looked interesting, so I asked about it. At the time, I was doing cleaning jobs and supporting an elderly lady but looking around. I got in touch with the brokerage organisation my friend had found her job through. This organisation was helping Gareth find a PA, and that’s how we met.”
Gareth: “Hayley works two days a week for me. With her support I have completed college courses, volunteered (including designing and delivering training courses) and been part of a research project run by Birmingham University. Hayley supports me to travel, and over time I have built confidence to do more of that by myself.”
Hayley: “Being a PA is about supporting someone to have a good life, and helping them to do things that they’d struggle to do on their own. Its about facing issues and barriers with someone. Over time you can look back and see how you’ve helped them achieve more than they thought they were capable of. Gareth is a brilliant boss, he’s lovely.”
Gareth: “Having Hayley as a PA gives me confidence, and the ability to try different things – including things having autism makes difficult for me. I try to be a good boss by listening and understanding her issues. I get help from the brokerage organisation, Instream, with the finance and paperwork side of things and that makes being a boss a lot easier.”
Hayley: “My advice to anyone thinking of being a PA is to give it a try – there are so many people out there who need support - every day is different, its not like groundhog day, you can get to be out and about, and the job can fit well into your life.”
Gareth: “I think it’s a good job – you can find a person that you want to work with, with hours that suit you, nearby to you, so it can fit in with your life.”
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Personal Assistant in Care and help disabled people lead good lives – whatever that means to each individual.