An interview with Cheryl Holdship

I am an independent fully qualified social worker with an honours degree in social work. I have been a volunteer for The Evergreen Trust since 2017. This role gave me the opportunity to participate in a research project concerning the difficulties around accessing care support in the community as a self funder.

What might be the benefits of the research project for older people funding their own social care?

The benefits of the research project is to highlight how difficult it can be to access care support in the community. Although Local Authorities provide information through their websites and care directories, this can be difficult to navigate for people who do not understand the internet. Now that the research project has been completed we are in the process of sharing our findings with policy makers. We are hoping that we will be able to share our findings with anyone that has an interest in care in the community and how this can be accessed by those in need of this support. We are hoping to make the journey around accessing care support in the community much smoother in the future.

How did the project help you personally as a social care practitioner?

As a social care practitioner participating in this research project I was able to listen to others around their experiences of accessing care support in the community. The other participants came from a varied background and were able to share their experiences and concerns. I learnt a great deal about the negatives as well as the positives around accessing care in the community which has helped during my role as an independent social worker.

What do you think are the benefits of social care providers like Evergreen engaging with Social care research?

I am a strong believer in the benefits of research. I feel that people in the community are not always heard and professionals are driven by laws and legislation which are not always to the benefit of people in the community. I strongly believe that all social care practitioners like The Evergreen Trust should take part or be aware of the recent research projects, This would enable them to gain a great deal of information around the thoughts and feeling of those who they support. By gaining this knowledge it can help processes to be put in place to best serve the community.

I am very grateful to The Evergreen Trust for allowing me to participate in this research project and I am open to any future participation in similar research projects.

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