Mick Sowerby, former homeless caterer becomes an award-winning carer.

Mick Sowerby Senior Support worker at Fairholme graphic of Mick with text describing what he likes about his job

Mick Sowerby, senior support worker at Fairholme in South Shields, went from working for a fast-food chain and sleeping rough, to receiving an award from our CEO, John Godden MBE.

Mick, who spent most of his childhood in care, started his career working in catering. After attending youth training schemes, he moved to London to find work, sleeping under a bush before finding suitable accommodation.

After a year of jobbing in different fast food restaurants, he decided the industry wasn’t for him and applied for a job in a residential school which supported children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Mick said: “As I spent most of my childhood in care with my brothers, I had so much empathy for the students there and wanted to give back all the help and love I could. I loved working there and spent five years supporting students, until I moved on to further my career.”

After a short-term agency job in child protection for social services covering all of the North East ended, Mick joined the Fairholme family, a residential care home in South Shields supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health issues.

Mick said: “At Fairholme, we have a great, balanced variety of skills in the team, and every day is completely different with a chance to learn something new.

“Mental health support especially fascinated me, so to continue my learning and training in that area, I went full-time as a support worker. I always love supporting individuals directly and thrive on passing on my skills and knowledge to them so they can achieve their goals and aspirations as I have done mine.

“I was honoured and quite shocked when I received a Salutem Star from our CEO, John, and when I read the congratulatory card from him, I got a tear in my eye.

“I’m not in care to take – I’m in care to give something back to the individuals who just need a little bit of support and guidance to help them live their best lives.

“Since joining Salutem, I’ve seen massive positive changes and progression, not just for the employees, but more importantly, all the individuals we support who we get out of bed for, work the hours for, and who make the job so enjoyable and worthwhile! I can’t wait to see where my career in care takes me next.”

John Godden MBE, CEO of Salutem Care and Education, said: “At Salutem, we believe it’s important to recognise the essential work our carers do for the individuals we support.

“Mick is an excellent example of someone who is dedicated to their role and gives his all to the people we support. Congratulations Mick! You’re an asset to the team.”

Fairholme Care is operated by Pathways Care, part of Salutem Care and Education. It is rated good by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).


Mick Sowerby Senior Support worker at Fairholme wearing glasses and holding a Salutem Star