Sheffield man says his social care career was a life-changing move

A Sheffield social care worker has spoken about how his life changed when he moved into his current career.
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Joe Greaves, aged 38, works as a senior locality manager in Sheffield for not-for-profit Dimensions and has spent 17 years providing care to those in need.

Dimensions supports people with learning disabilities and its Sheffield office is in Meetinghouse Lane in the city centre.

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Before joining Dimensions, Joe worked as a painter and decorator.

Social care manager Joe GreavesSocial care manager Joe Greaves
Social care manager Joe Greaves

He said: “I didn’t get anything out of it - I would go home and think ‘what did I achieve today?’”.

At the age of 21, a Dimensions job advert with the headline ‘could you make a difference?’ caught Joe’s eye. He appreciates the opportunities that working in social care has given him: “The skills I’ve learnt, the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met have all helped me to develop personally, as well as professionally.

"When I started I didn’t have any qualifications but now I have a level five diploma in health and social care and lots of additional training. And every new thing I learn I can also apply to my personal life and develop as a person.”

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Joe is particularly proud of his work with someone he supports. Dan has had a lot of challenges and struggled to communicate how he was feeling and what he wanted.

Dan, who has been helped to live a more independent lifeDan, who has been helped to live a more independent life
Dan, who has been helped to live a more independent life

Joe and the support team worked to develop a support plan that allows Dan to set his own boundaries, giving him independence and control.

“I’m massively proud of Dan,” Joe said. “Difficult moments can still happen but they’ve reduced in number by about 20 times. It’s all happened through empowering him and his support team to have honest conversations with each other.”

The job comes with challenges, especially during the pandemic. “It’s been stressful and tiring but so rewarding. It’s been great to see how well Dimensions has coped and the work managers and staff have done in keeping people safe and still empowering them to live their lives.”

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He is pleased that the pandemic has had a positive impact on people’s attitudes to social care: “This year we have really shown how important we are and the impact of the work we are doing.”

Joe would encourage people to take on a career in social care. “I would tell you not to hesitate. You don’t need special experience or training, just the right attitude.

"It’s a very rewarding job where you’re making a difference to others.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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