Personal assistant to disabled couple
Position: Personal assistant to Chris Kellett and Daisy Nash
We are Chris and Daisy. We are an engaged couple in our twenties, both with cerebral palsy and in wheelchairs. We need assistance with most practical aspects of daily living, from dressing to cooking and beyond. We would love to be each other’s sole care giver, but this is impossible, so we need to find people we don’t mind hanging around to help us. We are looking for women, as Daisy feels more comfortable with them for her care.
- Have evidence of your legal right to work in this country.
- Have no convictions under any jurisdiction for criminal offenses of a violent or sexual nature, and be willing to disclose your full record of criminal and professional misconduct.
- Hold a valid driving licence and be comfortable driving a manual vehicle.
- Be female.
Between 07:00 and 23:00: £15.63 where one on duty to cover both employers, £10.42 when covering only one.
Between 23:00 and 07:00: £7.83, or national minimum wage.
You will be delegated responsibilities by us including, but not limited to:
- Assistance dressing and undressing.
- Assistance in manual transfers (e.g. getting into bed or onto the toilet).
- Assistance showering.
- Assistance preparing meals.
- Driving our vehicle.
- Overnight cover.
- Speaking on the telephone on our behalf.
- Scanning documents.
- Occasional dictation.
- Wheelchair cleaning and maintenance.
- Handling our money and sensitive information with discretion, as directed.
- Accompanying us on social engagements upon request.
- Giving us our own space upon request.
Though we have someone with us the majority of the time, there is plenty of downtime. For example, Chris needs someone available to help him transfer to the toilet, but may not need anything for a few hours around this. Staff need to be comfortable keeping out the way and occupying themselves when there is nothing to do, as well as being proactive in completing the duties assigned to them.
Similarly, whilst we need someone available overnight in case we need to evacuate or are sick, we very rarely need assistance.
Importantly, we want to remain 100% responsible for the following things ourselves, and do not employ people to manage them:
- Making decisions about our health or safety.
- Our medication, treatment, and engagement with medical professionals.
- Our calendar.
- Our responsibilities as tenants.
- Scheduling, reviewing, and dealing with the misconduct of staff.
- The relaying of information about us to anyone, including our family, friends, professionals, or your colleagues.
- Anything more obvious than the above.
Training and experience:
We are not looking for experienced or well-qualified carers. We would much prefer candidates with compatible personalities and the openness to learn from us. We will provide shadowing experience with the current team, as well as information and formal training around Daisy’s mental health conditions. Life experience is more relevant, particularly when it comes to understanding our situation or making you an interesting person.
We are looking to put together a new team. Chris is funded for twenty-four hour support, Daisy for a bit less. We therefore need the team to collectively cover at least twenty-four hours every day, including holidays, sickness, etc., with some times when we have two on duty. We need full-time employees who are willing to do overnight shifts, as well as considering part-time employees to give colleagues time off and cover all eventualities.
We have previously based our teams around 48 or 72 hour shifts on a weekly or fortnightly pattern. However, we are looking for more flexibility, and would certainly consider a different breakdown of the week if the requirements of the candidates we liked fitted together in another way. The application form includes a section for you to state your availability and minimum and maximum weekly hours. Anyone who can do ten hours a week may find a place to fit in, although there will certainly be more than one full-time position of forty-plus hours.
Breaks during the day of up to a few hours with no-one coming in to cover can be easily arranged, especially with good notice. Leaving us alone is even preferred when all duties have been covered. However, we reserve the right to keep you here throughout your agreed shift if we think we will need you. Any such breaks will be paid, with the expectation you will return within an agreed time if called.
Given the nature of the work, we need people flexible enough to cover emergencies, such as a colleague’s sickness, and holidays like Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, spreading the load across the whole team. On such occasions, we are happy to make allowances and work with fewer hours, but we do expect every team member to chip in.
We live in a well-adapted property that makes transfers, showering, storing many wheelchairs, etc. easier. The staff has their own bedroom, with TV and a basic kitchen set-up. The staff are free to use the main kitchen as well as other utilities. They may also store limited items here, so long as this does not inconvenience us or colleagues. However, we ask that you do not come here (unless invited!) when not on duty.
Hi, I’m Chris. I’m 28 years old. I have travelled the world, started businesses, and helped run a charity. I have two degrees from Oxford, specialising in the ancient history of the Middle East, and hope one day to do a doctorate. I have an interest in coding and web design, and play far too many computer games. I am absolutely devoted to Daisy, and to helping her reach a safe and happy place. I believe nothing is impossible if you accept the consequences of failing. Daisy says this is naivety protected by my being a lucky bastard so far, but I occasionally have success in persuading her to reach out for the things she wants.
I am looking for a person who is comfortable accepting my judgement about all aspects of my life, from the way I manage my health to how I spend my time. I am willing to accept advice from a friend, and hope that any successful candidate becomes one, but I need people who feel no more responsibility for my wellbeing than they would for a friend, and professional responsibility only to do as we instruct. One of the most important traits is flexibility, which works both ways between boss and employee.
My name is Daisy. I’m 22 years old. I often can be really hard to work with because of my mental health and my life experiences, but when you get to know me I’m a quirky individual who can show you this crazy life of mine. My formal diagnoses are PTSD type 2, depression, and anxiety. My physical diagnosis is cerebral palsy. When you first meet me, I probably won’t say much, as I want to see first what you are like. I love animals, especially cats; I’ve kept my cat’s ashes because I couldn’t let him go. I have been with Chris for nearly two years. I love him to bits, but I would never have thought I’d be with a man because at school and college I preferred women, yet here I am engaged to one!
I need a person who is open-minded and has experience with people who have mental health problems. They have to be understanding, non-judgemental, and willing to learn. No prior training is needed, as training will be given.