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Before starting her new role at Lifeways, Amanda Peacher, who’s a support worker at our Peterborough supported living services, was a hairdresser.

We spoke to Amanda to find out how and why she switched careers.

What made you change from a career in hairdressing to a career in social care?

“My interest in care first peaked when I met my husband in 2010, as his eldest son has autism. I then started volunteering at a charity called Little Miracles Peterborough back in 2011 and our family had support from the charity. My eldest son has Asperger's, too.

“A couple of years later in the barbers, I had built up a big clientele list of children with sensory processing disorder and autism, as well as the children that hated haircuts.

“As time went on, I began working with adults with disabilities and I found I had a gift for connecting with people with disabilities.

“It got to the stage at the barbers where I only stayed because of my regulars, and I wasn't happy, but I knew I had more to give."

What brought you to Lifeways?

"There was a young man that I got on well with, and as I was cutting his hair, I got speaking to his support worker and she told me to apply to Lifeways.

“I was over the moon when I got the call to say I got the job.

“I have enjoyed the reward of helping support one lady in particular. The lady is possibly one of the more challenging to support within the services I work in.

“It has been amazing to see the change in the lady, as she has put a lot of hard work into herself to be able to communicate her feelings a little better - but to also be assertive and confident enough to say no if she doesn't want to do something."

What is the biggest difference between the two careers and are there any similarities?

“I don't go home covered in hair! On a serious note, I do feel that the biggest difference is I am more happy and confident when I’m helping people, and being able to give them my full time and full attention is amazing.

“In the barbers it felt like a conveyor belt of people at times, and some people wanted to talk about anything, but I couldn't give them that time when there are other people waiting.

"One similarity that being a support worker has with hairdressing is when you listen to people and they confide in you, or ask for advice.”

Thanks for sharing your story, Amanda!


Grow your career with Lifeways:

Looking for a change of scene at work? Or are you looking to grow your career in support? If the answer is yes, check out our careers page to find a role near you.

About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

We support adults with diverse and complex needs, including learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and mental health conditions. 

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