Many staff will have seen the Council's recent campaigns to attract more people to work for the Care sector. This is an opportunity to get to know one of the officers behind the work, Gwenno Williams.

Although she has travelled across the world, the draw of her home in Llŷn is always important to her - and people have referred to her as a boomerang that always comes back!

What is your job and why did you choose the role?

Since January this year, I've been a Marketing and Care Careers Development Officer here in Gwynedd. 
What motivated me most to do the job was that - as a girl from Pen Llŷn - what goes on in Gwynedd is obviously very important and naturally of interest to me, and it was nice to have the opportunity to work in my home area.

I sit under the Council's Workforce Development team and the crew is very supportive. The opportunity to work more through the medium of Welsh was also appealing - often now when I go to meetings held through the medium of English I feel out of practice, and I trip over my words despite trying to put on my Best English!!

I've always been a people person and I love meeting new people. I also like the feeling of being able to help someone.

What do you do from day to day?

I think that the easiest way to describe the role is raising awareness and understanding of the Care sector, making people aware of the different roles available and hoping to open the sector and its opportunities out to more people.

I do a few different things to try and do this - give presentations to children and young people from year 6 pupils to young people who are finishing their degrees. Take part in Q&A panels. Hold face-to-face and on-line events as well as attend events organised by others. Create video material. Create work experience opportunities for young people and help create work experience plans for older people who want a taster of the sector before working in it full-time. I also put social media campaigns together.

There are many perceptions about the Social Care sector - many believe that it only involves personal care, others believe that it is a sector where older people work and then others believe that you need quite a few qualifications. But a big heart and willingness to help is the most important tool you have. If I can change the perceptions of at least one person then I'll be very happy.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Without a doubt, the networking! Whether that is with local colleagues or colleagues from across Wales, partners such as Careers Wales, employability teams, the public - I come across someone new every day. I enjoy this even more now with things gradually opening up after lockdown - it is nice to attend and organise face-to-face events again.

I also enjoy the fact that I have quite a few opportunities to be creative and to experiment with new things - I have been holding on-line and face-to-face job fairs, videos and I am about to start experimenting with podcasts. I am lucky to work in a job where there is an opportunity for me to learn new skills regularly and where I have received the support and encouragement to go for it!

What did you do before this job?

Before the lockdown, I got a regional job working on the We Care Wales campaign, working as the Coordinator for this campaign in the North. The role involved working over the six authorities of the North but I was located here in Gwynedd. I suppose that most of you would be familiar with the campaign by the TV advert - 'Gwên o glust i glust', and I had a very happy eighteen months working on it despite the challenges of the pandemic. The regional role helped to draw attention to the need for someone to do this job locally in Gwynedd.

And before then?

I graduated from Bangor University in Business and Marketing back in 2015 and I didn't have much of a clue what I really wanted to do. After a year of working in a Pharmacy in Nefyn, the backpack and I went to South-east Asia, then to work as an au-pair near Barcelona for three months, and then I went on a trip around Croatia.

After a period of finding my feet again, I started to look for jobs and I got one with the Council. I worked for just over a year in Support, mainly doing DBS checks and there I got a good foundation by getting to know the Council, its varied departments and chatting away with people. It did not take too long for the itchy feet to return and then off I went to travel around South America for seven months. I was very fortunate to be offered my old job back in Support when I was ready to return.

If you can think of anyone who works in the Social Care sector who would be happy to present their story in the form of a video, podcast or any other way, please contact Gwenno on GwennoAngharadWilliams@gwynedd.llyw.cymru