THE bright lights of the theatre were calling Molly Lloyd’s name before she found her true calling as a residential child carer with the North East Autism Society (NEAS).

The 26-year-old, from Sunderland, studied musical theatre at Bird College in London, before returning home to the North-east. And, after working as a make-up artist and briefly in Fenwick’s, in Newcastle, Molly took the leap into the care sector three years ago.

“I always knew I wanted to do something around kids, helping them, working with them,” Molly says. “Working in retail was just something to pass the time until I got where I wanted to be.”

A friend of the family, who works in one of the schools operated by the Society, suggested that Molly should consider a career with NEAS – and she has never looked back since. 

Molly says she loves seeing the children thrive - whether that’s by developing a new skill, doing well at school or simply having a great day. And, recognising the responsibility she has in her role, Molly has worked to build strong relationships with the families of the children she cares for at Braemar Gardens.

“You are looking after their children,” she says. “It’s nice to make a strong bond with the family so they know they can trust you.”

All new starters are required to complete a week-long induction programme before starting their duties and Molly says that the induction, along with online training, helped to prepare her for the job. However she says the real learning only starts once you’re in the home and working alongside the children.

She adds: “On the job is where you learn the most. They can tell you stuff and advise you what to do, but until you get on the job is where you find out how you work best with the kids.

“The three boys who live at Braemar, I work with each one differently. You find your own little ways, things that work or don’t work with them, it's a constant learning curve and it’s always surprising!”

Asked whether she would recommend a career with NEAS, Molly says the job is “for some people, not for others”. However, for Molly, the job is made easier by the support of her colleagues.

You work really closely with your team members. It’s a nice, close-knit team,” she says. “In the best way, the people you work with make it better for you, they guide you through it, talk you through it, they’ve always got your back to help you with things.

“You’ve just got to take it day by day.”

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