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When I Grow up I want to be a Carer

I am Jenni Mack, Marketing Executive and passionate campaigner for change in Social Care.

Prior to my current role I worked in Craigielea Care Home in Renfrew for 4 years as an Activities Coordinator. I LOVED my job there and became so passionate about it I decided to move into marketing so that I could help show the world the wonderful things that happen in care homes and help change public perception of them from places of sadness, loneliness and grief to the true colourful, bright, happy and fun filled places they are!

I had never even been in a care home before my own wee Granny (a matron and nurse herself) moved into Craigielea 14 years ago. Like many people who grieve the loss of a loved one prior to their actual death I avoided visiting as it confused and upset me when she didn’t always know who I was and conversation was difficult. I wish I had known then all that I know now about the joy I could have brought her with very simple activities and interactions. I spent a period of time punishing myself after her death for “letting her down” but now 14 years later with care experience under my belt I know she’d be proud of the other lives I’ve touched using the skills I should have used with her.

Craigielea Service Manager Sheila Inshaw and her amazing staff helped me learn so much in such a short time and I’m now a passionate advocate for compassionate care and changing the social care sector from the poor neglected younger sibling of the NHS to an equal partner and like childcare to be an expected and appreciated part of growing old.

Intergenerational Activities are a HUGE thing in the sector at the moment and hundreds of children across the UK have (pre COVID) visited care homes with their nurseries, schools or groups. I think this is an ideal time to tap into that awareness and help children to aspire to a career in care! I believe that if children can see how special a role in social care is then it will work wonders for the future of health and social care. Like Whitney Houston said… “I believe that children are the future, teach them well and let them lead the way….”

While attending Scottish Care workshops with Becca Young and Tara French we had many discussions around the future of the social care sector and what we could do to help. I joked that I could write a children’s book and after thinking about it later I thought… why not!?

The support I have had from others in the sector has been overwhelming. Impact Arts Charity has become an integral part of the book with Wellbeing Support Worker Marie Gal setting me up with a local artist John Lavery who attends Impact Art’s Craft Café and who has illustrated my whole book. The first £500 profit raised by the book is being donated to the charity so I’m hopeful to reach that goal.

Sekoia’s Morten has been my partner in all of it and together we have published “When I Grow up I want to be a Carer” now available on Amazon.


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