Ex-mechanic joins Extra Hands home care company at Heacham
Carer Pete Cox swapped his overalls and spanners for a new life with a Norfolk home care company earlier this year - and has already won an award.
Pete joined family-run Extra Hands in March after spending 25 years in the motor trade as a mechanic, but he has no regrets and is relishing his new role of caring for predominantly older people in the community.
He and his family moved to the area from London a year ago, and as part of a major change of life, Pete said he decided to embark on something very different from repairing cars for a living.
“It was my wife’s idea really. I said I wanted to do something completely different now we’ve moved out of London so having worked with motors since the age of 17, I had a complete change,” he said.
Now he has been awarded a Going the Extra Mile Award (GEM) by the company which has been helping people in Norfolk for 30 years. He won the award for the Heacham office where he is based.
He had cared for his late mum and knew that there was more to life than running a workshop, engines and oil changes.
“I love it - I love listening to them all, to their stories and what they have to say. I am very patient, which helps, and even if it didn’t bring a salary in, I would enjoy it,” he said.
Pete had previously volunteered in a care home where he used to live and said that he has absolutely no regrets about either changing his location or his career.
His nominations for a GEM Award outlined his kindness to service users which ranges from taking clocks home to repair, to printing pictures for them.
“He seems such a smiley, positive individual. From what I know he hasn’t worked in care before, but he has taken on the role that I feel he was made for,” said one of the three nominations he received.
“All service users love how gentle he is and the kindness to other carers, he can’t do enough and nothing is too much trouble for him,” said another.
Pete, his wife Katie and two stepdaughters moved to Wisbech with a menagerie including five sheep, four dogs, four horses, seven cats and rats.
Spare time is at a premium as Pete works with Extra Hands full-time and his wife is an accountant, so the couple get up at 5.30am to ensure they can fit in all they need to.
“That time of the morning here is lovely, no noise, no traffic - nothing. It’s just lovely,” he said.