From one of our members:
“I worked for Mencap for about a year in 2014 as a support worker. I started off working in the midlands where I was living at the time. I had a positive experience working at Mencap there, I was a part time worker and didn’t have to do any sleep ins. I mostly did shifts on the weekend and evenings which suited me as I was in my final year of uni.
When I graduated I moved back to Bristol and asked to be transferred as I hadn’t yet found a job in Bristol. I was transferred into a 30 hour per week post in Bristol although I ended up doing more hours than this, I was happy to do up to 37ish as I needed to work full-time as it was low pay. I was often put down on the rota for more than this though.
When started working in Bristol I very soon got the vibe that the management were unorganised and unprofessional which turned out to be true.
I had to do at least one sleep in shift a week. On these days we would start at 10am and finish at 10am the following day. We were meant to get 2 day’s off a week however the day that we finished at 10am after a sleep in counted as one of the days off. This wasn’t really a day off as I could not have a lie in and I was at work for some of it.
One of the people we supported lived alone and a 24 hour shift with them was spent on your own with them with no break it was still long and intense. They would often get up in the night and sing or play music, which they was totally entitled to do in their own home however this meant that I did not get a good night of sleep.
On one occasion I was on the 24 sleep in shift at another Mencap home I also worked at as part of my contract. At 10am when my shift was due to end the work who was due in to take over phoned in sick. As it was the weekend all managers had their phones off. I rang around staff members but nobody was able or willing to come in and take over from me. I rang around around the agencies that we used but none had any staff who could come in to cover. One staff member came in for a short shift in the afternoon which allowed me to at least go out and buy some food. However they couldn’t stay over night. Therefore I had no choice but to stay another 24 hours at work if I had left 4 people with LD would have been left at risk and with no medication. I was finally relieved the next day after more than 48 hours at work.
At the next team meeting with the manager and the regional manager present I asked what they planned to do to ensure this never happened again. I thought they would write a policy or action plan but instead the regional manager dismissed this saying ‘that’s part of the job. you just have to do it and get on with it’. No apology was given to me for what happened. I resigned soon after this when I thankfully found another job.”
Come out on the 27th and give Mencap a piece of your mind!