Help and support for carers has never been easy to access… that is until Gill Hinton founded ‘Carers’ Education’. ‘Carers’ Education’ is a not-for-profit company that offers fully-funded, free training to anyone who works with clients in their own homes.
Back in the good old days
Looking back over the last 60-odd years, Gill and I would probably agree that we were both what might have been termed ‘bright girls’. We didn’t know each other back then. Having only recently met, we find that we do have a lot in common. Both of us come from a working-class background and of course, we’re girls! Back then, in the 1950s and 1960s, girls were not encouraged to follow an academic route when their male counterparts were. And of course ‘Equal Pay’ was still a long way off, not being introduced until the late 70s… an absolute age away.
A very clever lady
I met Gill at the Old Police Station in Retford https://www.kingsparkhotel.co.uk We shared a pot of tea andchatted for over an hour. It was nowhere near long enough to fully understand the achievements of this unassuming, unpretentious, clever lady.
Hard work pays off
Gill told me that she had worked as a nurse in the NHS for thirty years at Bassetlaw Hospital. She finally ended her career with the NHS as the ‘Education Lead for Nursing’ after a very long climb. During this time she introduced and developed the ‘Clinical Skills Training Department’ for an NHS Trust.
A passion for learning
Her passion for education grew as she worked with medical students. This bright girl who left school at 16 and had a baby at 17 went on to complete a Masters degree in Medical Education at Nottingham University in 2008. At the same time, she gained a rare distinction… quite an achievement! And in 2013 she was part of a team that won a Nursing Times award for training.
Research for her Masters involved the development and evaluation of an induction programme into the NHS, for doctors who had qualified overseas. The programme was a great success and the NHS Trust found itself with a waiting list of up to six months just to get a place on this course.
A growing client list
Since retiring, Gill has worked with a number of individual clients. She developed a range of bespoke courses for carers and registered professionals. Her growing client list includes the local Community Care Group, Nottinghamshire County Council, Mencap, Sheffield University and the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
With a history of work in the public health sector of over 30 years, Gill recognised the challenges faced on a daily basis by carers. She witnessed the difficulties confronting the care industry when her daughter became seriously ill and sadly died. Gill experienced first-hand that it is a very difficult role to fulfil and also that good quality training and education support is very hard to find.
It’s never too late
Gill founded her own company ‘Carers’ Education’ when she retired in 2019. She felt the need to address the problem of ‘lack of proper training’. She wants to begin with the provision of fully-funded, appropriate instruction – to help carers, their clients and ultimately the care sector as a whole – free of charge! Work books are freely available from skillsforhealth.org for nurses to complete assessments. Gill has devised a programme for delivery to carers, which consists of 2 full days and 5 half days.
‘Carers’ Education’ provides access to free training courses to help with basic care, life-support training and first-aid certificate training. Carers who complete the fully-funded programme are then equipped to support their clients with confidence and competence. New and also prospective carers, are given the opportunity to acquire new skills to make them stronger, better-informed and safer carers. Gill said: ‘Our training builds confidence and competence in the carers with whom we work so that they feel more capable to deliver quality care to their clients. As confidence grows a positive attitude develops which is ultimately passed on to the client.’
Gill is currently waiting to hear if her application for funding from the Big Lottery to support the work she does, has been successful. Keep your fingers crossed for her!
To find out more about giving carers the tools to deliver higher standards of support to their clients or relatives visit carerseducation.co.uk