Bruce Clark is a support worker who helps young people in foster care. He also volunteers as a Special Constable with Staffordshire Police, where he assists police officers on the front line. We had a chat with him to find out what both of these jobs involve and exactly how he manages to fit it all in.
How did you come to be doing both these jobs?
I got into my role as support worker because of my previous experience working with young people. I had recently completed my degree in Youth Ministry with applied theology and also earned my professional qualification as a youth worker. I have a passion for working with young people with challenging behaviours and in my role as a support worker, I get just that.
And I joined Staffordshire Police as a Special Constable as my dream job is to one day work as a police officer. In this role I'm able to assist my local police force on the front line and get a good insight to what the job actually involves and build up some experience of it too.
What does the average day look like for you?
As a support worker shifts vary slightly depending on the needs of the young people. My role is to create the most ‘normal’ living environment for the people in our care and provide them with all the opportunities possible to develop into adulthood. This involves teaching them life skills, transport to school or college and any other activities they’re involved in, being a person to talk to and just being a good role model.
And when I’m being a Special Constable, no two shifts are the same. I take part in all tasks linked to being a police officer: from road traffic incidents to anti-social behaviour and engaging with the community.
What do your colleagues think about your role as a Special Constable?
My colleagues are very supportive – I am frequently asked for advice from staff if they have a particular police related issue.
How do you balance your time between the two jobs?
I’m very lucky to have the time to manage both jobs and it not affect my family life. My role as support worker involves me working a 16hr shift then sleeping over at work and then I have the next two days off. And my role as special constable requests that I dedicate an average of 16hrs a month. The times and dates I work are at my convenience which allows me to build it in around spending time with my family and looking after my 14 month old son.
What's the hardest part of working two jobs?
The hardest part for me is that I’m really passionate about them both. I would love a career as a police constable but due to cutbacks, jobs are limited. I am passionate about my role as a support worker and aim to build a career there but I find myself still wishing for a job in the police.
What do you love about your jobs?
I think the best part is making a difference. I know it sounds cheesy but there is nothing more rewarding than returning home from work and knowing you have made a positive difference in someone’s life. I’ll be honest - I don’t feel like that every day. Both roles are hard work but there are those few occasions when you see the difference you have made, it makes all the other rubbish days worth it.