My PhD combines research into the political economy of care with the history of the development of the sector. I want to answer the question: why is the English care sector experiencing a crisis?
Having finished my BA in History and French in 2016, I began work as a frontline careworker in the hope of doing a job that while I knew it would be difficult, would be less alienating than other forms of work I had done, and would allow me to have a positive impact on people's lives. Such naivety was shattered almost immediately as the scale of the crisis in the sector became apparent. Low pay, overwork, an almost total lack of training or support, and a feeling of futility in the face of how the work was being organised led to attempts to organise in the workplace. These went totally unsupported by our trade union, which would only discuss the details of people's so-called 'cases' individually: the notion a collective organisation seemed alien to them.
Eventually, I left the sector to go back to study. I completed a history MA and then decided to apply for a PhD at Nottingham Trent University which would examine why my experiences (which are fairly representative) in the sector were the way they were.