Language tutor goes on 'learning experience' to train as carer in pandemic

Adele Pennington trained as a carer with Extra Hands

Adele Pennington has been able to continue her work as a language tutor as well as train to be a carer during the pandemic. - Credit: Ian Burt Photography

A Norwich-based tutor teaching English as a foreign language has added carer to her CV having loved "every minute of it" since she started a year ago.

Adele Pennington began working for Extra Hands as the pandemic had impacted her travelling to teach and overseas visitors coming over to learn and decided to become a pupil herself. 

Mrs Pennington has been able to continue both careers, running online teaching alongside her care work. 

She said: “I’ve learnt so much in the last year, it’s been quite refreshing.

“Caring was something completely different – by nature I’m a people person, which is part of my teaching work and all the travelling I do, so that side of things didn’t worry me, but it was all about making sure I could take care of service users properly. Learning about medicines, how to handle people, how to deal with dementia – it’s been quite an experience.” 

She said staff at Extra Hands, which has an office in Horsham St Faith, and its company office in Heacham, have supported her as she shadowed other carers, not knowing what the future held at the time.

She said: "It was a bit strange learning on the job after shadowing other carers, you have to use your common sense and judgement, but you can always call the office if you need help and that’s very good.

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“I can call the office and ask anything or share a concern, and they’re brilliant. You’re on your own when you’re out on the rounds, but I’ve always felt backed up, never at a loss.” 

Heading into the unknown, she said it was "stressful" at first but has been a great learning experience.

Mrs Pennington said: “It’s gone really well – it was stressful at first, but once you get into your routine, you feel really confident in what you’re doing, and the company has been very good,” she said. 

“I now have a lot more understanding of different conditions and family relationships now, so for a step into the unknown 12 months ago, it’s been a great learning experience. If I saw myself as I was 12 months ago now, my advice would be – don’t worry, everything’s going to be ok."