Social Care Work

“Fairway family” for care leavers

A care provider committed to quality and excellence, Fairway Homecare employs hundreds of health and social care professionals working in more than 200 homes across the West Midlands.

Fairway Homecare – Alex O’Neill

Signatory: Fairway Homecare

Fairway Homecare

Based in Sutton Coldfield, Fairway became a signatory of the Care Leaver Covenant to help care leavers find a career they love in health and social care.

Their Operations Director, Alex O’Neill, is delighted to support the #WeCanBeHeroes campaign.
“The campaign is a perfect fit with our ethos and values, giving people of all backgrounds and circumstances an opportunity to build a career in health and social care,” said Alex.

“Individuals who have had a challenging start in life will often have valuable experiences that they can call upon and relate to others. We have long believed that real people with real life experiences are the very best care professionals to be empathetic, understanding and comforting.

“Fairway actively seek vocationally driven people who value the importance of caring for others and making a difference.

“We welcome enquiries from people who may have experienced barriers to a career in the past,” he added.

Support every step of the way

Fairway operates a flagship, free four-week ‘My Care Portfolio’ (MCP) programme which care leavers living in the West Midlands, who want to work in the care sector but have little or no experience, can benefit from.

Fairway describes MCP as “an unrivalled opportunity to many who were hard to reach, disenfranchised, long term unemployed, lost or looking for something new”.

Jobseekers need to be 19-years-old plus and have been living in the UK for a minimum of three years. Individuals can apply themselves to the programme or their local job centre will need to make the referral.

Run in partnership with their sister company Embark Learning Care Academy, Fairway has also now signed an agreement to extend the MCP programme to more locations in the West Midlands, with an ambition to create 1,000 new health and social care professionals over the next year.

Some 125,000 hours of care will be delivered this year alone by care workers who were not care staff previously.

There are multiple career paths available to explore for those on the programme, including roles as health care assistants, support workers, community carers, chefs, and activities co-ordinators.

Grace Simpson is Fairway’s Compliance and Candidate Liaison Manager and is available to talk to any care leavers to help answer any questions they have.

She also has first-hand experience of the My Care programme. After leaving high school, Grace wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Her mum was a carer for Fairway and Grace joined the company in 2016 via the programme.

“I started at Fairway as a community carer after completing the programme and have now progressed to being a recruitment manager. The course was really informative, interactive and the trainers were great – the programme really helps to build your confidence,” said Grace.

“We want to help everybody regardless of their circumstances. At the end of the programme, we understand that some participants may not want to continue in the care sector, but we hope they gain the confidence to find their passion in life and realise they can do whatever they put their minds to.

“We greet people with open arms regardless of their situation and understand first-hand how those who have experienced care deserve the opportunity to find a way to live their life independently.”

Grace added: “We have the best interests of our applicants at heart, we will support them every step of the way. We are open and approachable – we are a Fairway family.

“If you’re open minded and would like to hear more about pursuing a rewarding career, helping those who need it the most, then we’d love to hear from you.”


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“We greet people with open arms regardless of their situation and understand first-hand how those who have experienced care deserve the opportunity to find a way to live their life independently.”

Grace Simpson

A rewarding career

Currently Fairway and Embark run four MCP programmes a month, with around 30 people on each course.

Participants gain an accredited qualification at the end of the course and a guaranteed job interview. To date, more than 500 care staff have been trained and developed though the programme.

Grace said: “Over the last year with the pandemic, we’ve really seen just how important those working in care are to society.

“No two days are the same. You will work a with a huge range of people, aged 18 plus – not just the elderly.

“It is challenging but it is a really rewarding career and it’s nice to feel you’re giving back.”

The My Care Programme course is highly practical and those on the programme benefit from attending a state of the art in-house ‘Skills Lab’ based in Sutton Coldfield, which provides an environment that allows people to experience the day in the life of a carer.

Their state-of-the-art equipment includes full size mannequins to help practise core skills such as moving and handling to personal care.

A key element of the MCP programme is also a work experience element, with a work placement in a care home, shadowing an experienced care professional, to get a real taste of working in care.

Participants receive feedback to help them improve their skills during their probationary period. Other advantages include monetary incentives and 24/7 support from a safeguarding officer.

Fairway Homecare - Grace Simpson

Fairway Homecare – Grace Simpson