Rebecca Greenhalgh 1 scaled

Becky Greenhalgh certainly made a good start to her career with Caremark Kirklees – within three months she had been named carer of the month.

The citation on her award states that Becky, 34, took to caring “like a duck to water” though the seeds to her success were planted many years earlier.

Becky’s mum has suffered chronic illness for many years, including kidney failure requiring a transplant. From a young age Becky and her sister, Lindsey, supported mum at home. They also spent a lot of time at their grandmother’s home, who they would also care for later in life.

 “I suppose that was early training for the role though in sixth form I didn’t consider caring as a career option as I felt it would be too upsetting to form bonds with more people who were often suffering severe conditions,” said Becky.

So Becky went into the retail world after school and then spent 11 years working in insurance, taking time out to have two children. In recent years she found herself wanting more from life. Further reflection during the pandemic and then whilst caring for her late grandmother made Becky think again about her career.  

“When I went back to work in insurance I just wasn’t happy. The company was fine I just felt I wanted to feel I was making a difference,” said Becky. “I’d seen carers come in to help my grandma and was so impressed by their devotion, I felt if I could do a job like that I would get more out of life”.

Becky admits it was a big step to leave a secure, well paid job in insurance but after talking it through with husband Phil she decided to make the break. It’s something she has no regrets about. Becky felt through her life experience she knew what being a carer meant. She came to realise that she had actually been a carer for many years and that would enable her to cope with the emotional aspect.

“It wasn’t a lightbulb moment, more a growing awareness of what caring meant, of how fulfilling it can be and that I had this life skill that could be put to good use,” said Becky. “I think there are many people out there in their daily lives in the same boat. They are carrying out caring roles without perhaps even realising it. It isn’t simply about handling medicines, it is that emotional support, showing that people are valued and you care for them.”  

Those life skills were put to the test when Becky arrived on a call to find an elderly lady had fallen. Without panicking she was able to comfort the lady, call the ambulance and give the medics all the necessary information. She then contacted the woman’s daughter to let her know what had happened and offer re-assurance.

“The daughter cares for the mother during the week and we visit on a weekend. Providing that respite for families is an important aspect of the job and the daughter told me how re-assured she felt knowing that support had been there for her mum,” said Becky.

The need for carers round the clock means there is flexibility around shifts and Becky works 21 hours a week mainly on evenings so is able to spend more time with her children, Ingrid 4 and Fred, 2.

“I’m so pleased that I made the switch,” she said. “I’m a happier person because I see more of the children and I feel I am making a difference to people’s lives. Just seeing the smile on people’s faces when you walk through the door is so rewarding.”


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