Right at Home CareGiver represents social care workforce in a House of Commons committee hearing
Our 'Young Ambassador' spoke passionately about challenges facing the sector
Right at Home CareGiver Chevonne Baker delivered a strong message to MPs on the Health and Social Care Committee this week - challenging the misconception that working in care is a low-skilled job.
The 20-year-old, who started working for Right at Home Basingstoke two years ago, was invited to address the House of Commons on Wednesday to highlight the challenges faced by care workers in the social care sector.
Acting as a witness for the Health and Social Care Committee, Chevonne - who won Right at Home's Young Ambassador Award in September last year - brought positivity and passion to the debate by describing how rewarding a career in care can be.
She spoke in front of the Committee Chair Jeremy Hunt and MP for Telford Lucy Allan to bring to light how stretched the sector is in meeting client demands, but also highlighted how providers such as Right at Home are supporting care workers with benefits such as paid travel time and enhanced fuel compensation.
Chevonne spoke passionately about the need to challenge the reputation the social care sector has in the media and encouraged people to think twice when they hear negative stories in the news.
Speaking afterwards, she said: “I was thrilled to have the opportunity to express my opinions and represent not just myself but other carers; both in my team and nationally. I felt like there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders to be the voice for so many!
“I hope more opportunities will come from this to drive home the message that care workers are worthy of recognition. It would be nice to see some policy changes and I would love the term “unskilled worker” to be scrapped from the sector."
She added: “I’m really proud - although the magnitude of what today represented hasn’t quite settled yet!”
Chevonne's skills in flying the flag for the care sector first came to light last year, when her employers at Right at Home Basingstoke entered her into the network's nationwide CareGiver of the Year Award. While she lacked the experience of other finalists, having entered the sector just 18 months previously, judges were so impressed by her passion and commitment that they created a new Young Ambassador Award in her honour.
Award sponsor and CEO of the British Franchise Association, Pip Wilkins, said at the time: "Chevonne gives her all to supporting her clients independence and inspires others around her - she tackles the challenges in her role with positivity and is a superb ambassador for Right at Home."
Since receiving the award Chevonne has gone on to champion the wider sector, most recently highlighting how fuel price rises are impacting the home care sector, with some companies unable to increase travel allowances in line with the rocketing cost of fuel.
Lucy Campbell CEO of Right at Home praised Chevonne for stepping up to a daunting task, saying: “We are so proud to see Chevonne selected by the Health and Social Care Committee to speak as a ‘lived experience witness’ at their Workforce inquiry. In a sector deemed to be low-skilled by the Government, Chevonne really showcases the passion, talent, and professionalism we really stand for!”
She added: “It’s incredible to see someone so young speak up for the industry and tackle such huge issues. We are lucky to have Chevonne on the Right at Home team.”
You can watch Chevonne candidly discuss her experience on Parliament TV.