Meet Neil: Being a Dementia Support Worker Neil Jones works as a Butterfly Support Worker at our Haviland House dementia care home. He was kind enough to answer some questions about his role. How did you begin your career in care work? My background was in corporate IT in Berkshire, which I did for over 28 years, but for some years I also ran a club for Mencap for 16-24 years olds with learning disabilities. When I moved down to Sussex I decided I wanted to put down local roots and make local friendships. Although IT pays well, it is soulless and is not rewarding. I had always wanted to get into a care setting so I applied to work at Haviland House. What’s the best part of your job? The best part of the job is definitely the interaction with our residents, who we call family members, and knowing my contribution has made a real difference. That can be anything from singing along with one of them or sharing a cup of tea. It’s hugely satisfying to have moments like these and I feel privileged to spend time in the company of an extraordinary generation. It’s hard not to become emotionally invested in their world and to develop close bonds with them and their families. Why do you love your job? I know that I make a difference when I am here. Our family members recognise me. That’s because we’ve built up a bond with them which is really rewarding. I also like being a keyworker, meaning that I am the single point for the family for two of our family members. This means that relations can speak directly to me with any concerns they have, or to book dentist appointments and other special days. I really do build up a rapport with both the family members and their relatives too.