Wokingham News Centre
  • News home page
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Instagram
Search our Site
Main menu
Page menu
Celebrating success and building for the future of social care

Celebrating success and building for future of social care

14 March 2022
Social work week.png

As we begin Social Work Week, it is an ideal opportunity to show thanks to the people who have made an invaluable contribution to the lives of some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents.


The national campaign allows Wokingham Borough Council to reflect on their staff’s passion and resilience, which have been tested by the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The week includes World Social Work Day (15 March) which recognises the hard work and dedication of social workers everywhere. For the first time, there is also Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection (17 March) which is a chance to pay tribute to a lost loved one, thank a care worker for their support, or say well done to a colleague who has worked hard to keep people safe over the last two years.


Although it is a fulfilling career, there is a national need to raise the profile of why adult social care is so important and recruit people to the sector. It is predicted an extra 650,000 care workers will be needed by 2035 to keep up with the rising number of people aged 65 and over.


The biggest portion of the council's budget is spent on delivering adult social care and wellbeing, which reflects how important it is, but also the scale of ensuring all our residents have the opportunity to lead happy and healthy lives.


You won't find a more rewarding career

Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “Although we have a week to reflect on and celebrate the tremendous value of social care, the reality is that there are dedicated and talented people working extremely hard all-year round to ensure our residents get the support they need and deserve.


“It is an important and hugely rewarding career to choose and a service that we as a council are proud to provide to the highest possible standard. We couldn’t achieve this without the hard work of social care staff and it is only right that we stop to celebrate their contributions.


“I would urge residents to consider a role in adult social care, as it gives you the chance to make a meaningful and positive contribution every day as part of a supportive team.”


Adult social care maintains and promotes the independence and wellbeing of disabled and older people, as well informal carers. Wokingham Borough Council is responsible for providing these care services and it is our ambition to attract, retain and develop the best workforce possible for our residents.


The council has its own care company, Optalis, which provides care and support services to older people and adults with disabilities. Through Optalis, the council provides a variety of services, including home care and day services for older people and adults with physical and learning disabilities.


You can find out more about Optalis by watching this video.


Throughout the week, the council will be sharing stories from social care staff to highlight their achievements and why they would recommend it as a career.


There are many benefits to care work in Wokingham Borough, including flexible hours, competitive salary and training opportunities to allow you to progress.


With the development of a new dedicated adult social care recruitment webpage, people can search and apply for jobs and watch case study videos from care staff and residents who benefit from our services.


The true value of social care is reflected in the many testimonies from our staff and residents with lived experience.


Ione’s story


Born and raised in Wokingham, Ione Sellens is a senior occupational therapist at Wokingham Borough Council. Her mother spent many years working for the council in social care and she decided to follow in her footsteps.


She said: “She always commended Wokingham on its flexibility. I thought I’d better try it for myself and I can honestly say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.


“I see people from all walks of life and I spend a lot of time visiting people in their houses, assessing their environment and recommending adaptations to maximise their independence at home. I’ve often found the simplest adaptation or piece of equipment can positively change and make such a big difference in someone’s life. That’s why I find my job so rewarding.”


You can find out more from Ione by watching this video.


Matt’s story


Director of adult services Matt Pope has a long history with social care. He started working with the council as a social worker in 1998, but his passion remains as strong as ever. It is his ambition to see Wokingham Borough be in the top 10 per cent performing councils in the country for adult social care.


He said: “The big thing for us – like all adult social care across the country – is the challenge of delivering adult social care reform going forward. We’re really pleased that the Government has bought into needing to reform adult social care and has set out a vision for that.


“I started here as a newly-qualified social worker way back in August 1998. I’ve had all the help I need to develop and prosper as a social care professional. In terms of our priority and vision that’s really simple here: it’s about supporting people to achieve the life they want and maximising independence.”


You can hear more from Matt by watching this video.


Stephen’s story


As a resident with sight problems, Stephen has first-hand experience of how valuable the adult social care team is. He was helped by the council following a difficult time when he was struggling with glaucoma and Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can lead to dizziness and hearing loss.


The council’s sensory needs team supported Stephen by allowing him to retain his independence, while at the same time making it easier for him to carry out everyday tasks.


He said: “I’d lost my job, my driving licence and my home. My confidence was low and I needed that bit of confidence back. I’d heard about the sensory needs team at Wokingham and they got in touch and came round to see me.


“They built up my confidence again and gained be back my identity. It gave me some kind of self importance because I felt very useless at the time. I got the place where I’m living now through Wokingham. If they hadn’t come along and weren’t there for me, I don’t know where I’d be now to be honest. I was feeling so low, but now it’s made me feel so much better.”


You can find out more about Stephen by watching this video.


More from Wokingham Borough Council



Stay connected


Stay connected to the communities around you. Enjoy the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic, general news, updates and highlights straight in your inbox. Subscribe to our Wokingham Borough Connect newsletters now.


Give website feedback