West End actor finds new calling in care
- Credit: Courtesy of Calvin Marketing
A Stevenage actor of stage and screen has described how he turned his hand to a new role in the thick of the pandemic while his beloved theatres remained closed.
Mike Burns found a new calling in the social care industry, helping seniors to stay safe and well in their own homes.
Mike, who works for Home Instead Stevenage and North Herts, found himself out of work during the pandemic, as lockdown measures forced all theatres and shows to close.
Looking for new roles across his local area, he came upon Home Instead, a company based in Stevenage whose caregivers provide care and companionship to older and vulnerable people in their own homes.
Mike - who has recently starred in Matilda the Musical and has just finished filming for the new season of Call the Midwife - said that he was intrigued by the opportunity to help the community during this difficult time: “Training as a caregiver in the height of the pandemic was a life-affirming move for me.
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“After 25 years as a performer, it was daunting to try something so new and to learn to work with people so intimately. It took a little while to feel confident and comfortable being responsible for those people’s needs, but once I settled into the role I was sure it was for me.
"I learnt so much; especially about gratitude and forbearance. It has changed me, and my perspective, forever.”
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With the easing of lockdown meaning theatre doors can open once more, Mike has now returned to the stage.
He added: “Although I am now back in show business, I will never forget the people I cared for, nor the affinities I felt with them. If I ever found myself out of work again, I would definitely return to care and I know I would be welcomed back to an amazing team.”
Home Instead's owner and director Dave Marsh said: “Mike has been a great part of our team throughout the pandemic. The past year has truly demonstrated our caregivers’ roles as key workers, and their roles have become more recognised and respected by the wider public.
He added: “We know businesses throughout the area have been affected by the pandemic, resulting in store closures and job losses. We are a local company who are actively recruiting and are keen to grow our team, as well as provide training and opportunities for career progression.
"Mike has shown that individuals don’t need experience in the sector to make a real difference to people’s lives through their caregiving roles.”
To find out more about Home Instead Stevenage and North Herts, visit homeinstead.co.uk.