Miranda and Gay are two overseas care workers who, having overcome initial obstacles and broken promises, have found the stability and the bright futures for which they left their homelands to come to the UK. Miranda, from Uganda, and Gay, from Zimbabwe, are two shining examples of how the contentious Health and Care Visa route can work and to the benefit of all – the migrant carer, the community and the care provider.
Home Counties Carers, an award-winning home care provider based in Surrey, have successfully been employing a number of overseas care worker since the Health and Care Visa route was introduced last year. Added Matthew, “We look at the future of our overseas care workers. Look to understand what it is that they have given up, sacrificed by coming to the UK and why. If you can understand that you can work with them to achieve their goals. Then it’s a win-win for everybody and it isn’t overly difficult to achieve this. Of course, you need to invest. You need to consider how and where you would accommodate carers coming from abroad. We provide cars to the care workers. And we also provide the attention and support needed by someone who has left their own country, left behind loved ones.”
Miranda and Gay now both work as domiciliary care workers for Home Counties Carers. They originally arrived in the UK sponsored by other care companies and had the kind of bad experiences that have been prevalent in the press.
Said Miranda, “When I left my family back home, my husband and four children, including a two-year-old, to come to England in search of greener pastures, I thought I had made the best choice. I soon found out that I hadn’t. My life was crowded with anger, regret and frustration. I felt used and enslaved.
“When I later met Matthew he said, we shall treat you better, pay you well and work less hours. We look after our carers so that they can look after the clients. If the carer is happy the client is happy.
“It has now been seven months. They [Home Counties Carers] actually put on my shoes and walked miles in them. They have supported me emotionally, psychologically and financially, making sure I make it through these tough economic times. They housed me in affordable company accommodation, and I am forever so grateful.”
Added Gay, “When l came to the UK through another company it was hectic, all that was in the contract was not what l found when l arrived. There were no hours and no accommodation. When l joined Home Counties Carers, a company with people at heart, l was given accommodation, enough hours and a company car. Most importantly they assisted me in getting my husband’s visa to come and live with me.”
Matthew finished, “Miranda’s husband and children will soon be joining her here. It will be fantastic for them and fantastic for us, fantastic for the people in our community who Miranda is caring for.”