As part of our #CouldYouCare campaign, we spoke to care assistant Ashleigh Boden, from Swimbridge House Care Home, about her confidence, her future plans, and coping with death.

A care assistant has spoken out about why it's the career she can see herself in for a long time.

Ashleigh Boden, 23, from Landkey, has been working as a care assistant at Swimbridge House Nursing Home for a year and nine months.

As part of our #CouldYouCare campaign, Ashleigh spoke to the Gazette about her day-to-day job, and how she got into the role.

She said: "At first I never thought about working in care; I was quite scared of the thought of things like washing people; it's quite an intimate job.

Could you care?Could you care?

"I started working part-time at a care home in South Molton and the more I did it, the more it became second nature to me.

"It's a really rewarding job to have because you spend a lot of time with the residents and you build relationships with them.

"It's a bit like having extra family members and they've got so much to tell you.

"You can get quite attached to them and it's a really nice job."

Ashleigh has just completed her level three qualification in health and social care alongside her job, and is hoping to study nursing and midwifery at degree level.

"I'd like to go into nursing but still in a care home environment; I see this as something I'd like to do for a long time," she said.

Ashleigh works as a day-carer, and works 12-hour shifts, from 7am-7pm, on a rota pattern.

On a busy day, Ashleigh said you have to keep a calm head, and there are some parts of the job which can be tough.

When residents pass away, it is Ashleigh's job to wash and dress them ready for the undertaker.

She said: "When I first saw a person pass away I think I blocked it out. I have had two people pass away I was very close to and it really threw me off.

"But we keep a book of remembrance for all of the residents who have passed."

Ashleigh's said her role has vastly improved her confidence and people skills, and has some advice to anyone considering a similar career.

"Don't hesitate," she said.

"A lot of people turn away from the idea before they have even tried it; if you don't try, you are never going to know if it's the right career for you."

Could You Care?

Could you care? That's the question we're asking in the coming weeks as we launch a new series of articles.

The North Devon Gazette and its fellow Archant titles in East Devon is launching the #couldyoucare campaign to look at the issues and challenges facing the adult social care sector.

We hope to encourage recruitment, raise awareness and most importantly, bring you the human stories of those who work in the industry, the people they care for and also those for whom the system is falling short.

And this is where we want to hear from you - do you work in care, or are you or a family member receiving care? Perhaps you work for an organisation or charity and want to get your message across?

If you'd like to share your story, email newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk or call us on 01271 345056.

Find out more about a career in care by going to www.devoncarejobs24.co.uk