One of our Support Workers in Lancashire is celebrating 20 years in the role and is encouraging others to consider a career in social care.

Karen Elderton, from Lancaster, is celebrating her 20th year at Alternative Futures Group. She said: “I love looking after people, so this job is perfect for me. It sounds cheesy, but we’re just one big happy family. It doesn’t feel like work.” 

Karen has supported Steven, 57, who has a learning disability and Susan, 62, who has a learning disability and bipolar disorder, for 19 years.   

“My mum was a psychiatric nurse and I always knew I wanted to do something to help others. I joined Alternative Futures Group in 2003 and I’ve never wanted to leave.  

“It’s so rewarding to know you’ve made a difference. When I first started looking after Stephen, he wouldn’t even look you in the eye and didn’t trust anyone because of past negative experiences.  

“Now we enjoy going out and doing all sorts – I take him swimming, cycling, dog walking along Morecambe promenade and to shows, which he loves. He has the confidence to do things like make his own meals and do his shopping which he would never have done before. 

“Susan used to be a dancer, and one of our favourite things to do is put on some ballroom strictly music and she will teach us her moves. It melts your heart to see how far they have come and how your support has changed their life.” 

Karen says the thing she loves most about the job is the relationships she’s formed and the variety of the role.   

“Every day is different. I plan parties for Christmas, Easter, summer, Halloween – you name it – and a monthly karaoke afternoon where we can see colleagues and other people supported at AFG which is so much fun. I even convinced my sister to take up social work and she ended up working here for over 15 years. I can’t recommend it enough.”  

AFG is currently recruiting for a range of Support Worker roles across Lancashire and beyond, with flexible opportunities available immediately, including part-time, full-time, permanent or casual working.  

Browse our current vacancies to find a role that fits perfectly around your lifestyle.