What is life as an Origin carer like?

At Origin, we call won’t call you a carer. You’ll be a Personal Assistant (PA).

That’s because working at Origin isn’t care work as you know it; it’s your opportunity to transform someone’s life by providing them with independence, spontaneity and freedom of choice.

No two clients are the same; this means there isn’t a ‘typical day’ for an Origin PA. What each care assignment does have in common though, is that they’re all extremely rewarding.

What activities will I be expected to carry out?

Whilst no two care assignments will expect the same routine from you, there are some activities that come as standard. These include;

  • client personal care, including washing/bathing/changing/dressing
  • helping to get in & out of bed
  • full toileting, bowel & bladder routine
  • personal grooming, including hair care, nails, feet, eyes, etc.
  • general domestic duties, including laundry and shopping
  • cooking and serving meals
  • light housework, such as dusting and vacuuming
  • basic wheelchair & equipment maintenance

If you have no (or little) experience doing some of the things we’re asking you to do, don’t worry! That’s where our specialist training comes in. We’ll make sure you can do all of the above confidently before pairing you with a client.

Plus, all nursing requirements are carried out by medical professionals, so you’re never totally on your own!

Does a clients lifestyle affect my job?

Yes. Each client is different and has different needs, work and social commitments. Many of our clients work full time, some study, and some have active social lives that include disabled sports and/or spending time with friends and family.

How they like to spend their time will dictate the activities that you may carry out, but commonly, our PAs are asked to;

  • make drinks
  • assist with correspondence including opening letters, & assisting with calls and emails
  • drive and assist with getting the clients in/out vehicles comfortably
  • look after pets
  • assist the client on holiday (sometimes in the UK, sometimes abroad)

What does an ideal Origin PA look like?

Just like clients, every PA is different. Whilst we don’t need you to have any specific qualifications, there are a few things all of our PA’s have in common.

All Origin PAs, are:

  • drivers – we can only employ you if you can legally drive a manual car in the UK!
  • legally able to work in the UK – we open our doors to carers across the globe, as long as you have the right visas and permissions!
  • enthusiastic and lively – you’ll need to be able to fit into many different people’s homes and lifestyles comfortably.
  • able to confidently speak English – whilst we don’t mind what country you’re from or what your first language is, all of our clients are native English speakers who can’t all speak a second language, so being able to communicate effectively with them is vital.
  • in good health – you’ll need to do some lifting and bending in this job!
  • flexible – don’t worry, we don’t mean bendy; we mean we need you to be able to adapt your routines and working practices to suit each client you live with!
  • polite and discreet – don’t forget, you’re living in someone’s home, so we need to know that you can respect that.
  • aged between 21 and 50 – due to the level of activity we require our carers to do, we have had to place age restrictions on this job role. (This post is exempt from the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 as per section8(2)).

How much am I paid as a live-in carer?

At Origin, all of our PAs start on £770 a week (*based on £110 per day, made up of £96.50 basic pay and £13.50 holiday pay). All PAs are employed by Origin.

We’ll also cover the cost of all the food and drink you need whilst you’re living with a client, and we won’t ask you to pay any rent or mortgage contributions, either.

The longer you stay with us, the more you stand to earn – there are reviews and opportunities for promotion.

If my client travels, do I need to pay to go with them?

No. We will cover all your travel expenses when you’re with a client, including going abroad or on holiday with the clients you’re living with.

We’ll also cover all travel within the UK to get to/from a client’s home using public transport. Please note – we will not cover your own international personal expenses if you travel to/from the UK for work.

Who are Origin clients?

All of our clients are adults living with spinal injury. For the most part, they’re young adults, who are busy and active, both in work and socially. In a carer, they’re looking for someone to enhance their already fulfilled and invigorating life.

Around 90% of people with spinal injuries are men, so a majority of our clients are male, although we, of course, have some female clients on board, too.

How long do I spend with each client?

You will be living with clients for one to two weeks at a time, but as client/PA relationships blossom some flexibility may be possible.

Providing you get on well, we like to provide longer-term client/PA pairings to make the job easier, more enjoyable and more comfortable.

Where do I live during care assignments?

During each assignment, you’ll live in the client’s house. You’ll always have your own private bedroom, and access to a shared bathroom. Accommodation varies depending on the living arrangements and locations of the clients – you can go from city centre hustle and bustle to serene countryside in just one job, so if you’re looking to explore the UK, this role is perfect for you.

Do I need to have been a carer or live-in carer before to work at Origin? 

No. Our specialist training course is designed to equip you with all the job skills you need to provide the best possible care you can.

Regardless of experience, all successful candidates are required to come along to our training course, and to take part in regular refresher training courses throughout their employment.

What training is provided?

We have developed our own, specialist and highly focussed training course, which will make sure you can confidently handle all the unique challenges being a live-in carer might throw at you. It’s considered the leading course in the UK of its kind, so you’re in very safe hands!

The course lasts for 5 days, and it’s intensive, meaning we’ll bring you up to HQ for the full duration, covering hotel and travel costs, as well as the cost of the course. (Provided you stay with us as a PA for a minimum of four months afterwards).

Led by senior carers and medical professionals, the course covers everything you need to know to make sure you’re looking after your client well and that you understand your role, like:

  • managing medication, including completing necessary charts and reporting changes to the client’s health
  • anatomy and physiology of the spine, including the impact of injury levels on paralysis and understanding the risks associated with immobility
  • duty of care, privacy and dignity, as well as safeguarding
  • infection prevention and control
  • health and safety including risk assessment and legislation
  • fluids, nutrition and food safety, including hydration, cleaning, cooking and food storage
  • first aid for burns, bleeds, shock, recovery position and CPR

If you have no (or little) experience doing some of the things we’re asking you to do, don’t worry! That’s where our specialist training comes in; our course covers all of these things in depth – we promise, they’ll all be second nature in no time! We’ll teach you:

  • effective bowel management, including manual evacuation, removal of faeces and trans-anal irrigation
  • urinary management, including associated complications and use of equipment such as catheters, leg bags and drainage condoms
  • manual handling of your client, including safe techniques for use of hoists, slings and sliding boards
  • dressing/undressing your client safely, including brushing their teeth, shaving and washing them

At the end of the course, you’ll be given a care certificate from Origin, and you can add the certificate to your CV.

How often do training courses run?

We run one training course each month and if your application is successful, you’ll be booked on to one that works for you during the recruitment process. See our upcoming training dates.

Are there any other training opportunities?

If you want to learn whilst you earn, we provide a unique support scheme for furthering your studies with a host of suppliers, including The Open University. This means you can gain work-related qualifications whilst working with us, including QCF/NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, and/or a Certificate in Health and Social Care. This fee support initiative is available to Advanced PAs only, so if you’re looking for a long term care role, this could be for you.

Can I be a student and live-in carer?

Whilst working as a live-in carer won’t suit students currently in full or part-time study, it’s an ideal choice for graduates and gap year students looking for a life-changing experience.

Will you carry out any checks on me before I get a job?

Yes. Because we’re inviting you to live in someone’s home, we’ll carry out full criminal background checks. We’ll also need to carry out DBS checks and ISA Adult 1st checks. Normally, these cost £63.20, however, we’ll cover the cost of these during the recruitment process.

Do I need references to work at Origin?

Yes – we ask for two good references as part of each application.

I’m already a PA – can I recommend a friend to work at Origin?

Yes! We’d love to hear from like-minded individuals that have a true passion for making a difference to people’s lives. If you know someone who’d be perfect for the role, tell them to get in touch with us on 01524 34100, or to apply now, and make sure they mention your name!

The best bit? When they’ve been with us as a PA for 4 months, we’ll give you £500!

How do I apply?

Step 1: Check you meet the criteria on our Essential Information page
Step 2: Fill in our Application Form online
Step 3: Check out the journey to joining Origin and wait for us to get in touch!

Upcoming Training Dates

  • 21st June - 25th June 2021
  • 19th July - 23rd July 2021
  • 16th August - 20th August 2021
  • 13th September - 17th September 2021
  • 4th October - 8th October 2021
  • 1st November - 5th November 2021

When you complete your application form, please indicate which course you would like to attend.

If you have any recruitment/training queries, please call John Hardy on: 020 7617 7894 or email: johnhardy@origincare.com.

Apply here