Anton’s Story

Anton is a SEN Care Support Worker at Henshaws Specialist College. Here he shares his story about how he started his career in care after 22 years of being a chef.

About me

My name is Anthony Watson (Anton). I am 50 years old and I currently work at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, as a SEN Care Support worker.

My background

Before I moved into care work, I was a chef for nearly 22 years and spent over 15 of those years working in a large hotel in Harrogate. It was while working at this hotel that my interest in care first started. The hotel employed some individuals with learning disabilities through Doctor Barnardo’s and other services and most worked in the kitchens so we spent a great deal of time together.

I can’t explain why, but I found I was able to form positive relationships with these colleagues relatively easily, as we were drawn to each other. Well that’s how it felt. One day, while talking to a friend about this, she mentioned Henshaws College and suggested I enquire about some volunteering work.

I started volunteering 3 nights a week in March 2011 and I was hooked after the first week. I continued volunteering until July 2011 then applied for a full-time position. I got the job and in September started full time.

Volunteer to Student Support Assistant

My job is to support our students through their college day which includes timetabled sessions, break times and leisure time. Each student has a timetable tailormade to meet their needs.

After a few years of learning, training and gaining valuable experience, The Starting Point (Now Autism Education) opened up and I applied for a position. The whole idea of providing a service specifically for students with the disabilities I’ve mentioned, really appealed to me.

Autism Education is a department dedicated to our students who have Autism, learning disabilities and sensory needs which is situated in a low arousal environment. All our students are supported by trained and experienced SEN Care Workers, Education staff and our Positive Behavior Support team.

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