Health and Wellbeing

Jamie Allen, new Healthcare Assistant

Jamie Allen, new Healthcare Assistant stood by a hoist with a person in the hoist

Posted on: 26 June 2020

When the country went into lockdown, the music industry in which Jamie Allen was working came to a halt so he began looking for new job opportunities.

With all that was going on with coronavirus, he applied for a job in the care industry.

He’s started this month, working as a Healthcare Assistant with Horizon Care and now he’s visiting vulnerable people in their own homes, helping them with their personal care, getting dressed and undressed, with their shopping or meal prep.

“I’d toured with bands as a guitar tech for a long time,” said Jamie, 43. ‘Mostly working with rock or pop acts.’

“I’ve only lived in Exeter a couple of years. You tend to live in a bubble when you’re away, so when I was home and lockdown started, I saw an opportunity to possibly do something in town in which I lived.”

So Jamie registered with Proud to Care,, to become a Healthcare Assistant. He’d not got any previous experience in care, but he showed the right aptitude for it, and enthusiasm, and keenness to learn. He showed that he wanted to make a difference, and that his communication skills, including his natural ability to talk comfortably with people, would make this a good choice for him.

He got in touch with Horizon Care, a family-run domiciliary care company in Exeter, and this month has begun his training.

“Initially, I was accompanying experienced care workers as they visited vulnerable people at home. They’d be helping them get up in the morning, and get washed and dressed, and maybe back to bed at night time. Some people might need some help around the house or picking up shopping.

“One of the things I’ve quickly observed is how important it is to be able to read the room. Bear in mind, quite a number of vulnerable people tend to live on their own, so sometimes you’re the first person they see in a morning.

“You might be here because this gentleman needs help getting up and dressed. But hopefully you can get a sense of how they’re feeling emotionally or mentally by taking in what’s around.

“There are techniques to learn, systems to use to record visits properly. There’s lots to know about what each individual requires. But then there’s also the thing that one would presume will only come with experience, and that’s about being able to read and handle situations.

“Everyone is different, and every situation is different. So hopefully I’ll be able to treat people with the respect to which they deserve.”

Kelly Heale, Horizon’s Recruitment Officer, is delighted:

“We’re really pleased to have Jamie working with us. He’s extremely modest about his former music experience and world tours he has accompanied bands on and has taken to the role of a carer so naturally. You wouldn’t know that he has been doing this for such a short time. Being approachable, hardworking and quick to think on his feet he is already proving to be a valuable member of our care family.

“Coronavirus has brought with it many challenges, and it’s changed the way we have had to work. But what’s not changed is our ethos; to provide great care and to see every person we assist as the individual they are”.

Jamie said, “I’ve got massive respect for care workers, and how they engage with people; how they get on with them in their homes and how they treat them as people.

“I’m not saying I was unhappy in the music industry. But I’m welcoming the new challenge.”

To find out more about becoming a Healthcare Assistant visit the Proud to Care website,

Posted in: DCC Homepage