How I ended up working for Yorkshire care firm after moving here from South Africa: Michell Bowyer

Looking back over my career over the last four years, it has been a whirlwind since moving to the UK.

In 2020 my family decided that we were no longer safe in South Africa, so went through the rigorous process of immigrating to the UK.

It was a massive, and very expensive step to take, with the cost of visas for us all, and also the move not only for myself and my husband, but one of my daughters as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Arriving in the UK, what to chose as a career? I had previously worked as both a beauty therapist, and also a real estate agent.

Michell BowyerMichell Bowyer
Michell Bowyer

One of the things I had enjoyed doing beauty therapy was working in care homes and providing treats for the residents, as it made such a difference to their day, and their appreciation was so genuine.

I therefore answered the call for the need for more carers in the care sector and responded to an advert with West Park Care in Harrogate.

They just came across as different, I immediately had a rapport with them, and it was the right move to make.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Four years later I am now the Deputy Manager, overseeing most of the staff and I sit in with the board meetings.

However, learning from the ground upwards has given me a significant appreciation for all the roles within the company, and the importance of the level of care that we provide.

It has been a rollercoaster of a journey, as my arrival was at the start of the pandemic.

We were not only caring for our clients based in their homes, but we also covered the overspill from hospices, looking after the terminally ill who chose to return to their own homes to free up spaces in the hospice for others.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This was the hardest form of caring, when you knew straight away that your time with the individual concerned would be limited, and intense.

As a company we were supported throughout this time and had to take additional care with existing clients too.

I was then able to progress to being a senior carer within a year, and then a care supervisor overseeing training for new starters.

We have our own training room at West Park Care, and it makes such a difference being able to fully train staff in moving and handling a client, and medication training before they go out into the field dealing directly with our clients.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

So for people who think care is a dead-end job, which is rife in the industry, not only have I progressed quickly, but I also did it entering the UK from a different country too.

I still watch features on the news about immigration and the negative comments about it, but it has cost my family nearly £50,000 to transition here, and we have paid our taxes from the first month that we arrived.

My daughter has finished her degree and is also now working, so we make a considerable contribution to the economy.

Moving forwards we will soon be starting complex care, which will require all staff again doing more training.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

My job is forever growing, and the care industry is definitely not the way a lot of people perceive it.

I do miss the daily face to face with our clients, but often stand in and oversee new starters.

You cannot replace the buzz you get making such a massive difference to someone’s day, and the difference high quality care can make.

Michell Bowyer is Deputy Manager at West Park Care

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.