Dina, with her family in her home town in Portugal

Dina’s story

Dina is a support worker for Autism at Kingwood, who has been isolated from her family due to Coronavirus.

“I love the rewards of my job and the way I feel when I help the people I support, giving them a better quality of life and helping them to enjoy themselves. This job for me, is all about feeling. I live in England on my own; I don’t have my children with me, so for me, the people I support are like my family and I feel I can really do something for them.

I challenge myself to help them lead a happier life, and do things that they never did. Every day I try to see them becoming a bit more independent.

As a care worker, the people I support are more restricted at the moment, we cannot do so many things that we were doing before, we cannot go out, we cannot do the things they like, we need to keep them at home most of the time. It is very hard for them.

For me, it has also been very difficult, because I used to go home to see my family every two months. I haven’t seen them for a long time, I don’t know how they are, I am always worried about them. When I go to work, I try to leave my problems at home, but it is impossible.

I have been at Autism at Kingwood for 1 and a half years, 6 years in the care industry, and I don’t think our pay is adequate, we should have more. It’s so much responsibility. To ensure the well-being of the people we support, we need to know exactly what they need and they like. From the beginning of the shift until the end of the shift, we have to make sure they do everything they need to do. I am always watching to see if they are OK, if they are not feeling well, if they need the doctor, why they are unhappy. I am not a psychologist, but we need to be a little bit of a psychologist in our role.

Any day, at any time, something can happen that can be a problem that we need to handle and I think we should be more well paid.

I don’t have enough money to have my own place. I need to share with others and when I come home after a 14 hour shift and I am tired and I need to relax, it’s very difficult. I should have my own space, but it’s not possible. I can’t afford it.”

Please sign the petition #BetetrPay4SocialCare https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/betterpay4socialcare

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