The Yorkshire businessman who became a care worker during the pandemic

Like so many others across the country, David Sexton had to take stock of his life and career during the unprecedented events of the past two years.

The businessman had been running a successful self-catering holiday business in North Yorkshire.

But the coronavirus crisis hit the enterprise hard, with a slump in bookings caused by repeated lockdowns.

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During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, Mr Sexton found a solution as he considered a change of career while scrolling through social media.

David Sexton

He decided to apply for a role as a relief care worker in North Yorkshire.

The 49-year-old said his new-found profession has been so rewarding he intends to continue with the role alongside overseeing his holiday business.

He joined a care team co-ordinated by North Yorkshire County Council that helps people return to an independent lifestyle after suffering an illness or an accident.

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He discovered a second career, with a different set of rewards to running a business.

Mr Sexton said: “I came in because of Covid-19. It was an opportunity to do my bit. I am self-employed with a self-catering holiday business and because of Covid I had more spare time.

“At that time, things were chaotic and it was suggested more people were needed. I clicked a link. Everything was fast tracked and it went from there.”

The care provided by the team he joined is “completely invaluable”, he said, and “no shift or visit is ever quite the same”.

Tasks can vary from assisting with walking aids to collecting prescriptions and more personal care.

“When you have done whatever it is, and achieved whatever they need, you feel a lot better,” he said.

While Mr Sexton averages either one or two shifts each week as a relief care worker, leaving time for his other commitments, he said he brought flexibility to the role.

“When I am asked to cover, I try to cover as much as I can. The job is about trying to make people feel better,” he added.