As part of International Men’s Day, we caught up with Simon Evans, Operations Manager to discuss his career journey, working in health and social care as a male.
Simon had his first brush in the sector when he began work experience at a local cottage hospital. However, this wasn’t the path he planned out – having originally left school to pursue a career in the armed forces, so this is exactly what he did.
Simon quickly realised that a career in the armed forces wasn’t for him. The 38 year old, took the jump and joined the social services team.
Originally working in an administrative role, Simon knew he missed the face to face interactions he had when he worked at the cottage hospital – so he decided to move to the Rehabilitation team.
Eventually, Simon had worked various roles in the NHS, before moving into the private care sector – and this is where he has stayed for the last 13 years.
Hi Simon, thank for you taking the time to chat with us today! Firstly, could we ask why did you choose care as a career?
I think I fell into the career. It is easy to dedicate yourself to a role that you enjoy and being a support worker was extremely enjoyable and so varied. Working in health and social care, there is always more to learn and no two days are ever the same.
Why do you think men are under-represented in the care sector?
Unfortunately I think this is due to misconceptions and a little prejudice of what working in health and social care is.
It’s also a cultural thing - when in school I was always told to get a career, gain a trade etc. Health and social care didn’t even float as an option.
When I meet people fairly new into health and social care, it’s common to hear “I love this job, I’ve never done anything like this before, I used to be a brickie/soldier/truck driver”. This role is for anyone who enjoys working with people.
Over the years I have had the pleasure to support lawyers, doctors, builders and even football players. My role has involved supporting people from making a cup of tea, playing golf, going to the cinema to helping people structure their family’s week, household budgets and even in employment.
Have you experienced any barriers in your care career?
Not really, in the past, my friends and family have said things like “I could never do what you do”, but I believe this is an education issue.
What attributes do you think males in the care sector bring?
I quite often think that people gravitate to others of similarity. The vast majority of the people I support, are young males and I think that bringing similar life experiences, similar interests can help develop good relationships quickly.