Advice From a PA
What do PA’s say about being a PA?
I’m Megg, I’m 23 and my main hobby is sewing. I spend the majority of my wage on any and everything sewing! I love quilting and dressmaking, and I currently have a long list of UFOs (unfinished objects). I love sewing for my customers and picking fabrics based on their interests. I have a 7 month old pup, a german shepherd, Buddy who takes up a lot of my spare time. Buddy loves my customer Erin (permission to use real name) more than he loves me! My claim to fame is that I’ve been on stage at Manchester Arena and sang with Carrie Underwood!
I have been a PA with Kaleidoscope Brokerage for 6 years, I interviewed just before I turned 18, so I was ready to take on customers when I had my 18th birthday. I became a PA after I hijacked my sisters’ interview with Kaleidoscope as I was looking for a part time job alongside studies. But I decided there was no way this couldn’t be my full time job! I currently have 8 customers, and each customer is completely different. But what they all have in common is that we do what they want to do. The customer decides how they want to use their hours, what they want to do, and who they want to spend their time with. I interviewed with some customers that decided I wasn’t the right fit for them and their needs, but don’t despair, when you match with a customer or family that is right, it’s worth the wait! I’ve been with my longest customer for 5 and a half years. It’s a great feeling when you find someone you click with.
I do a mixture of social hours and care hours. Care hours involve personal care, toileting needs, washing needs, feeding needs. Your customers' support needs will determine what level of support is needed. You can fill out a profile to match the type of support you are comfortable doing. Social hours are the best, you’re getting paid to have fun with your customer. I like to think part of my job description is to make sure my customers have a great time with the activities they want to do! Obviously covid has affected this, but we go to the cinema, bowling, out for lunch/tea. Shopping, Primark is a personal favourite for a couple of my customers. We do day trips where customers hours allow too, Blackpool, swimming, Ice Cream Farm, Safari. Anything and everything your customer wants to do. There is work to be done while you're having fun of course, supporting the customers to access these as independently as possible. Helping them communicate their needs to staff members, helping with money, ordering food. The most important thing is to make sure your customer is safe, so whilst it’s fun, it’s hard work too!
There is nothing I don’t enjoy about my job.
If you’re considering this line of work, contact Kaleidoscope. The process to sign up is really simple, and you pick and choose which jobs you can apply for after reading a short description of what is expected of you. Don’t delay because you won’t regret it. This job isn’t what you’d think a caring role would be, there’s no uniforms, and you’re not stuck in one place, like you would be with a care home. Being a PA is amazing, every day is different, you’ll love it!