From a background in engineering and retail, Rewal Jagpal began working for the North East Autism Society in 2004. For the last 12 years he’s been working within our residential care services, first with children and now in an adult home.

The dad-of-three from Newcastle, says: “It came at a time in our lives when my kids were grown up and my wife and I wanted to sell our shop and do something different. We wanted more time together and we wanted to make a difference. Then the opportunity came up to work for the North East Autism Society.”

Originally from Punjab in India, Rewal is now a Care Support Worker.

“I remember standing in the shop one day expecting a visit from the same old lady who came in at the same time each day," he adds. "She was just one of many elderly people in our neighbourhood, who were isolated and alone, and knowing that people like that existed made me want to stop what I was doing and help them.

You go your whole life wanting to make a difference. Working for NEAS means I get to go home every night knowing I’ve done just that.

Acknowledging the challenge it can be to work with autistic children, young people and adults, Rewal, 63, says: “It can be difficult at times, of course. Autism is complex and no two people are the same. But over the years it’s become much easier because we now know more and NEAS has developed Positive Proactive Support so the same level of physical intervention isn’t needed, we have incredible, spacious homes that have small numbers of residents too. If you combine these with lovely staff it makes the reward all the greater too.”

Rewal Jagpal case study

Since joining NEAS Rewal has made full use of our learning and development schemes, obtaining his NVQ Level 3 in health and social care.
Asked to sum up why he loves his Sunderland-based care role, he says: “There’s lots of rewards actually.

“Practically, I loved shift work because it meant I had more time with my family. I love the staff here. Each home is like its own family and I really feel part of something. But the real reward is seeing the difference to the lives of the people we work with, and seeing how that difference impacts their families.

“If I go home at night knowing I made someone smile, or if I see a mum go away happy that their son or daughter – whether a child or a grown up – is happy and thriving, then I go home contented. Every day when I come to work I know I make a difference. That makes me very happy.”

Rewal’s manager Jill Earley, says:

I’ve worked with Rewal for seven years in this home, and had worked with him previously in another setting. He’s incredible. A real gentleman, with a great work ethic. Nothing is ever too much trouble. He’s also brilliant with the service users. Rewal is certainly someone who can bring a smile to their faces. We’re lucky to have him.

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