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Former Leicester City footballer backs project

The Inspired to Care programme has launched

Team shot of an inclusive football team and their coach
Former footballer Tommy Williams (far right) with a football team he coaches as part of his role as a senior support worker

A former Leicester City footballer is encouraging people to set themselves a new goal by starting a ‘rewarding’ career in care, as part of a new county council project. 

The local authority has launched Inspired to Care, a website for people to explore the different types of social care roles available, to meet a growing demand for care.

Tommy Williams, a senior support worker for Support & Connections - a day service in Melton Mowbray - is hoping to encourage people to take advantage of the new tool and look into a career in care.

The 61-year-old, who made 271 appearances for the Foxes during the 70s and 80s, before becoming a police officer, said it was never too late for a career in care. 

He said: “I came across this by chance and I’ve been a support worker for almost six years now. I started out by providing community transport and now I coach an inclusive football team, run multi-sports sessions and cycling for adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities.”

The former Leicestershire Police officer’s daily schedule includes a mixture of leading group sessions and working with individuals to support them with learning new skills and participating in activities. 

He said: “I was in the force for 23 years and it gave me a lot of experience. I think it has helped me to relate to people of all ages, such as those with mental health issues or people with disabilities.

“No two days are the same. It is great seeing people getting something out of it and I get a similar buzz putting smiles on faces as I did playing football. It would be great to see more people give it a go as a career.” 

The county council invested in the Inspired to Care programme and website to help develop the workforce in the care sector, by:

  • Improving the sector’s image;
  • Developing and retaining current staff; and
  • Attracting new staff.

Visitors to the site will be able to find what social care roles are available in their area and see the training and development opportunities there are.

Adult social care has a lot to offer and across Leicestershire people working in social care are making a real difference to people’s lives.

"Inspired to Care not only gives people new ways to develop and learn new skills, but also encourages future generations to consider careers in social care.

“We are committed to putting social care on the radar of a fulfilling career path, challenging negative perceptions that have grown around the sector and to attract and retain people seeking, what can be, exceptionally rewarding work.

People looking for new opportunities in social care can visit the Inspired to Care website: www.inspiredtocare.co.uk

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