The above average pay increase for all staff at the Society will be backdated until the beginning of May 2022, and comes as the charity continues an ambitious expansion of services.

As NEAS looks to fill dozens of vacancies in caring roles, Chief Executive, John Phillipson, has sent out the message:

If you think you know what being a carer involves, think again.

Over the past two years, we have opened two new schools on Teesside, while also increasing its support services across the North-East, and plans are in place for that growth to continue.

Consequently, there are a host of new opportunities for rewarding careers in caring roles, with the five per cent pay rise making a career change more attractive.

In an announcement to more than 1,000 employees, Mr Phillipson, said trustees had taken the “bold decision” to approve the pay rise, even though the scale of the increase will exceed the Society’s anticipated surplus for the year, and could lead to the charity drawing on its reserves.

However, the trustees agreed that it was essential to do as much as possible to help staff cope with the cost-of-living crisis and to attract new recruits, while ensuring the long-term future of services wasn’t placed at risk.

There is a particular urgency to recruit nearly 50 Care Support Assistant positions in Durham, Northumberland,  Newcastle and Sunderland due to the expansion of new Independent Supported Living services across the region.

Mr Phillipson added:

There are a lot of misconceptions around working in care. Of course, we want empathetic and caring staff, but our focus is very different from the hotel model of caring for customers.
We are looking for people with transferrable skills from different careers, who can become active support workers and relish the idea of helping autistic adults to reach their full potential.

The roles are based on personalised support programmes for adults. That might include supporting them to become more engaged in the community, have holidays, enjoy day trips, visit to the pub, go swimming, play sport, or try arts and crafts.

NEAS has an extensive induction training programme to support new staff, so previous experience in the care sector is not essential.

For example, Paul Halford, had become disillusioned with his previous job as a supermarket butcher, so he joined NEAS as a support worker at a NEAS residential home at Newton Aycliffe.

In just three years, Paul has already progressed up the career ladder, and says

I haven’t looked back. The support I’ve had has been first-class and the rewards come with seeing the positive results of what you do.

Find out more and view our current vacancies