Celebrities join former Leeds soldier in film to recruit more people to work in adult social care

A Leeds care worker is featuring in a campaign to recruit more people into social care. Catherine Scott reports.

Martin Wilson from Leeds features in a new and emotive film along with a host of famous faces.

The film forms part of the national campaign called ‘Care for others. Make a difference’ by the Department of Health and Social Care, and aims to inspire people with the right values and attributes to consider a career in the sector.

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In the short film Jo Brand, Rachel Riley, Adelle Tracey and Arlene Phillips pay tribute to the hard 
work and dedication of care 
workers during the pandemic and encourages people to consider a career in social care. In a series of tributes, they share their own experiences and explain how care work has impacted their lives, 
with the aim of encouraging more people to consider a career in the sector.

Martin Wilson from Leeds Autism Services features in a new and emotive film along with a host of famous faces. Picture Tony Johnson

And they are joined by a number of carers, including Martin.

Martin left school at 14 with no qualifications and joined the army at 16.

“After leaving the army I ended up working at the Doncaster Dome as a lifeguard and that involved helping some challenging youngsters to swim. I found it really rewarded but I thought that because I had grown up in care that I wouldn’t be able to work in social care myself. But I was wrong.”

For 15 years Martin worked in a local authority residential home for 12 to 18-year-olds with very challenging behaviour.

Former soldier Martin Wilson now works with adults with autism and learning difficulties. Picture Tony Johnson

It was very tough and in the end he ended up taking a break, but then he discovered that he had a brother with learning difficulties in a care home in Rotherham and he decided that he really wanted to work with adults with learning difficulties.

He now works with Leeds Autism Service helping adults with a range of needs.

“It is so rewarding knowing that you are making a difference. It can be tough but even if you just help one person realise that they can achieve something they thought they couldn’t then it’s worth it.”

The campaign comes as new research suggests the vast majority of people now believe adult social care is important work and that jobs in the sector make a real difference to people’s lives, with one in three people considering a role in the sector.

It highlights the thousands of vacancies in the adult social care sector, open to people regardless of their experience or qualifications.

Roles in adult social care can be flexible, varied and rewarding, and could offer those who have the values and attributes needed to be a care worker the opportunity to make a difference.

The ‘Care for Others. Make a Difference’ campaign and everydayisdifferent.com website seek to highlight the breadth of options available to those considering a job in adult social care. In the UK there are currently 1.5m people working in adult social care.