A care worker has urged others to enter the industry - saying “you are putting a smile on someone’s face”.

Katie Farrell, 27 works at South Oxhey Day Services and has helped people including the elderly, people with learning disabilities and mental health difficulties.

Katie always had a passion for care but she decided to choose it as her career after she went on holiday with family at 15.

She said: “I went to a holiday park with my sister and a group of people with learning difficulties were there on a break.

“I loved spending time with them, we were dancing and laughing everyday and since then I thought I would love to work with people who have additional needs.

“I would always say to my family and friends I would love to do support work and so after leaving school and working part time in a restaurant I found the Level 1 Health and Social Care Apprenticeship with Hertfordshire County Council.”

Katie is taking part in an initiative celebrating care workers to encourage others to think about working in adult care.

Hertfordshire County Council and the Hertfordshire Care Providers Association is highlighting the changes care workers make to people’s lives.

Since she began her training at 17, Katie always enjoyed the joy and happiness she brought to others through her work.

She said: “I love seeing the enjoyment the service users get from coming to day services. They’re grateful and that makes the job easy.

“You are putting a smile on someone’s face. You need to give encouragement, be supportive, help people to try new things and at the same time you’re building their confidence and improving their independence.”

Katie’s work has seen her spending time out in the community to support the people who use the service to take part in activities, attend clubs and learn new skills.

She helps service users plan and prepare for activities, new experiences as change can be unsettling for them and helps them fill in control of their routines as much as possible.

Katie added: “We always promote independence so while I’m there to help I’ll always encourage people to do things for themselves in the first instance, Ill support them rather than complete the task on their behalf.

“Obviously the needs of the people using the service are varies and so some people need more hands-on help than others, but that’s just second nature to me”

But Katie admits even her work can become challenging as she is dealing with different types of people every day.

She said: “No two days are the same, there is always a chance that there could be challenging behaviour from the people we’re supporting but that’s just because of their needs.

“The most important thing in my role is good communication, you get to know the people you’re caring for and how they like to be spoken to.

“You build that relationship and earn their trust so its important that you are clear on what plans will be and that you explain any changes to routines to help them feel confident and safe.

“I would recommend care work. It’s a very rewarding job, its amazing to see other people happy and achieving their goals.

“Some people rely on you. you build a special bond, and someone is putting their trust in you. They are trusting you to help them.”

There are currently 31,000 people working in adult social care in Hertfordshire but each year 4,000 new care workers need to be recruited to keep up with increasing demand.

Throughout the month there will also be activities held at care providers in Hertfordshire.

Head of operations at Hertfordshire Care Providers Association Wesley Strahan-Hughes said: “This is a great opportunity to join in the conversation about good care and to post messages of support and thanks for care workers who look after a loved one or a friend.”