I lit the candles on the birthday cake and stood outside. It was Janice’s eightieth birthday. And when she opened the door, I sang ‘Happy Birthday,’ and she blew them out. ‘You’ve made my day,’ she said. And that’s always satisfying to hear. She was so surprised and grateful.

It’s about doing the little things. The other week I bought her a picture frame and put a photograph of her great grandson inside so she could put it on the mantlepiece.

It’s always nice when you see someone smile.

I was a veterinary nurse for 15 years and then worked for my parents on the farm. I wanted a change and joined Bluebird Care in April 2020. I wanted to do something rewarding and I really enjoy it.

I have a caring nature. I like meeting people and talking to them. Everyone is different and everyone has a story to tell.

Margaret was such a lovely lady. Sometimes I went to her call early or I’d come back during my break. She just wanted me to spend a bit of time with her and I’d chat to her. She’d ask me where I’d been walking, or we’d talk about the farm or her flowers. Sometimes she just wanted me to sit with her and we didn’t talk. She just wanted company.

I helped Margaret to send her Christmas cards. She wrote the cards, and I addressed the envelopes and put them in the post. Not long afterwards I heard that she’d passed away. I sobbed my heart out.

You get attached to the people you care for, it’s a bond that builds as the months go on.

I think to be a carer you need to be a compassionate person. You will go that extra mile if you have kindness and compassion. This is not just a job. You have to care.

I like the flexibility of working for Bluebird Care. I have about 20 pet sheep that I keep in a field, and they all have names. My ewes were expecting, and I had time off to lamb them. With Bluebird Care I was able to do that. I would miss my sheep if I didn’t have them. The people I care for like talking to me about them and they love seeing photographs of the lambs.

Sometimes they just want a bit of joy. I think you need to have a laugh with them too.

The other day I sat there with Janice and giggled. She sat there giggling with me. She said: ‘I’m so glad you have come; you have brightened up my day.’ She likes a bit of fun.

Anna is around 90 and always playing jokes on me. There’s a twinkle in her eye and you wonder what she’s going to do next. She is so funny.

It’s important that people are able to stay in their own homes. They love being at home, and they tell me: ‘I want to stay at home as long as I can.’ I think that’s because they have their own comforts, and they may have lived there for many years. It’s like taking their independence away to ask them to move.

I find that being a carer is rewarding. I can see the difference I make. I think you must take pride in what you do if you are going to do it the best you can. Making a difference makes you feel like a better person.

I look forward to going to work and when I get home, I think: ‘that was a good day.’ The reward for me is making people happy. I’m happy when they are happy.