Martin Taylor is a 32-year-old Service Manager at with YOU, a charity that provides care for people across Midlothian.

He supports people affected by homelessness and oversees six temporary accommodations, runs an outreach tenancy support service and manages the day-to-day operations of his team.

“I started working in social care at with YOU in 2014. I began as a support worker in the homelessness service that I currently work now. My job before this in sport and leisure involved teaching and coaching and part of that work with young disabled people and vulnerable groups led me into support work.

“When starting out in social care, the job’s not about who has the most experience but what people can bring to the job and how they can develop. I only had my high school education before starting in this line of work. After a year working at with YOU working as a support worker I was promoted to a Senior Support Worker in the mental health services. Six months later I was then promoted to Team Leader. I have been put through my SVQ3, PDA (Personal Development Award) in Social Care and I’ve completed various management training courses. Five years ago I was doing swimming lessons and sports coaching and now I’m a Service Manager so it is definitely possible to make career progression.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of working in social care is helping people every day and allowing them to live as independently as possible. We work with people with alcohol and addiction issues and you witness them on their journey to recovery.

“Working in social care can be challenging because you are working with vulnerable people and you need to ensure you are supporting individuals to become independent and achieve their own goals, you have to be supportive and resilient at the same time. But the rewards for the stresses of the job are that you’re making an actual difference to people’s lives every day and not stuck behind a desk or a shop till.

“To have a successful career in social care, you need to be understanding, friendly, empathetic and flexible. I’ve definitely developed both professionally and personally.”

Martin’s advice to people looking to apply for an adult social care position:

“Working in adult social care is enjoyable, rewarding, interesting, and fun.

“I think when people think of social care, they imagine there is a lot of personal care involved but a lot of the time that’s not the case. We’re out there to help people move onto a more independent life, to help them progress, and to meet their own personal goals.

“I would advise people thinking of applying just to go for it. I would ask questions about what the job involves, what the day-to-day entails, and be eager to learn more about it. You can progress in the service if you show you want to learn, and you are passionate about what you do. It’s a hugely rewarding profession to get into.”