ND Recruitment Services https://www.new-directions.co.uk Education, Social Care, Care & Support and Pharmacy Recruitment & Training Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:54:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 161681595 93% of education professionals believe they should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2021/01/93-of-education-professionals-believe-they-should-be-prioritised-for-covid-19-vaccine/ https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2021/01/93-of-education-professionals-believe-they-should-be-prioritised-for-covid-19-vaccine/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:54:39 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6660 And over a third say they should be in the same category as over 80s and keyworkers

More than 93% of headteachers, teachers and education support staff believe they should be listed in the priority list for a Covid-19 vaccine, with 42% claiming they should be categorised with the over 80s and key workers.

Currently, teachers and support staff are not listed on the vaccine priority list, despite them still working in schools for vulnerable children, children of critical workers and learners undertaking essential exams and assessments.

New Directions Education, Wales’ largest education recruitment company and one of the leading providers of supply teachers and long-term staff across the UK, surveyed over 1,300* headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants, support, and staff about their feelings on the vaccine and how education staff should be prioritised.  

Of those surveyed, 89% said they would take the vaccine, if offered, and nearly two thirds (58.8%) believe they should be prioritised in the first two tiers of vaccinations.

According to the New Directions Education survey, front line teaching staff also appear to have borne the brunt of the infections in school, with 11% of teachers asked saying they had tested positive for Coronavirus compared with 8% for all education staff.

Gary Williams, Director of New Directions Education, said: “We have been supporting schools and colleges in Wales, the Midlands and the North West of England during the pandemic and have seen first-hand the difficult conditions and stress that working under the cloud of Covid-19 has had on education staff.

“With the wonderful news that three vaccines had been approved for use in the UK, we were disappointed to see that teachers and support staff were not included specifically on the priority list, and so wanted to ask the education professionals themselves what they thought.”

“Unsurprisingly, and resoundingly, most felt that education staff should be pushed up the priority list to allow all children back to access classroom-based education.” Gary added.

“Working in a school, in any capacity, during a global pandemic is not an easy thing to do. Staff face the prospect of infection every day but have carried on with their important work regardless. Parents who are now home-schooling will no doubt appreciate the work of teachers and education staff even more.”

A petition of more than 46,000 signatures prompted a debate with MPs in Parliament this week, and UK Government’s vaccine rollout minister Nadhim Zahawi said that teachers would be prioritised along with other front line workers once the first phase of vaccinations had been carried out.**  Likewise in Wales, over 16,000 people have signed a petition to prioritise teachers, schools and childcare staff for the vaccine. Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams has said that teachers will not be pushed up the priority list, as other more vulnerable people would suffer, however, evidence will be submitted to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as they make further decisions on the further rollout of the programme. ***

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ND Care & Support wins contract to provide care and respite services to children in Caerphilly https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2021/01/nd-care-support-wins-contract-to-provide-care-and-respite-services-to-children-in-caerphilly/ https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2021/01/nd-care-support-wins-contract-to-provide-care-and-respite-services-to-children-in-caerphilly/#respond Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:47:38 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6657 ND Care & Support has been awarded a five-year contract to provide ‘Support at Home’ care services to children throughout Caerphilly.

The leading South Wales-based care provider will deliver respite and care services for children with additional care needs, and their families.

The contract comes on top of an existing agreement between Caerphilly Council and ND Care & Support providing domiciliary care services to adults in Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent under the Support at Home framework and with the option for an extension by another five years.

Rebecca Ford, Director of ND Care & Support, said: “ND Care & Support provides a range of care services to adults and children, ensuring they can live as independently as possible in the comfort of their own homes. Securing this contract, alongside our existing agreement, gives us the opportunity to develop and maintain a fully cohesive home support system for both adults and children living in these areas.

“As a team, we are dedicated to providing quality care services to those within our communities who are in need of extra care at home, and even more so with the current stresses and strains. The support we can provide to these children through this contract will help to improve their confidence and to promote the development of social skills, whilst providing much needed respite for their parents and guardians.

“This agreement will allow us to deepen our commitment to supporting families in any way we can at a time when, arguably, they have never needed supporting more.”

A registered member of Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), ND Care supports more than 450 individuals and their families, with over 350 care workers working across Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen, and Vale of Glamorgan.

The ND Care workers and their support teams across South, South East and South West Wales work with local health boards, the NHS, private bodies, families and individuals to create and deliver bespoke care packages to suit every individual’s differing requirements, such as learning disabilities, physical needs, mental health needs, dementia, Asperger’s syndrome and autism, or a variety of other complex and additional challenges that the people they care for face every day.

Rebecca added: “We place the safeguarding of the people we work with at the heart of everything we do and are always on the lookout for like-minded people who have the passion and drive to join us and help us continue to provide essential care to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Our staff make sure the people we care for get the support they need day in day out, and we’re always keen to hear from anyone looking to play a worthwhile and vital role in the lives of families across these regions.”

If you have passion and drive and are interested in pursuing a career in care, find out more about what we can offer you here

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New Directions Christmas Food Bank Match https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/12/a-little-extra-goes-a-long-way/ Fri, 18 Dec 2020 14:20:00 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6486 In response to the increased need for food bank donations across the country, New Directions introduced its Christmas Food Bank Match Appeal, and invited its clients and staff to tag or send in photos of their food bank parcels, to be ‘matched’ by an additional donation from New Directions.

Customers from all companies within the New Directions Group were invited to take part and as a result we were overwhelmed by their contributions.

Sophie Cecil, Group COO at New Directions said: “It’s been such a difficult year for so many people, and we were all in agreement at New Directions that we wanted to do something together with our customers to support local food banks.

“We received photos of donations from schools, teachers, sports clubs, pharmacies and care workers we work with all over the UK, including in Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Wrexham, Chepstow, Bristol and Birmingham, and we will therefore be sharing our donation between Trussell Trust food banks based in these areas.

“We are also pleased to be supporting the Trussell Trust Cardiff Harvest and Christmas Appeal, which is raising funds for a new van to ensure they can continue to make the necessary food deliveries across the city, and of course we have our own food parcels, which are being delivered to a number of food banks this week.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part, and from everyone, at New Directions we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Find out more about our ND companies who took part in our Food Bank Match Appeal

For recruitment and training support visit:

New Directions Education

New Directions Social Care

New Directions Pharmacy

For specialist domiciliary care, find out more about:

ND Care & Support

For fast and affordable employee checks, please check out:

Online DBS

A Little Extra Goes a Long Way https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/12/a-little-extra-goes-a-long-way-2/ Thu, 03 Dec 2020 18:31:29 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6588 Are you planning on donating to a food bank this Christmas? We want to extend your kindness by matching it with a monetary donation to local food banks to provide families with an extra helping this festive season.

How do you get involved?

To make it easier for everyone to qualify for our #NDFoodbankmatch, we have a number of ways you can let us know about your donation:

  • Post a picture of your food items you plan to donate on social media, tag us into it (see our social media accounts below) and use the hashtag #NDfoodbankmatch
  • DM us with your picture via social media
  • Email your picture to marketing@new-directions.co.uk


  • Drop your items at one of our local branches, see the full list here (with link)

Simply choose one of the options above before the 16th December 2020, and we’ll then make a further monetary donation to various Trussell Trust offices across a number of regions / areas to ensure we cover as many local food banks as possible.

Why do Food banks need our support?

Food banks are designed to help people in the community who may be struggling to pay for food. Trussell Trust’s food bank network alone distributed 1.9 million three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis from March 2019 to March 2020, this is a 18% increase on the previous year. More than seven hundred thousand of these went to children and in our current climate, we can only imagine the demand is even higher. Most importantly, over 90% of the food distributed by food banks in the Trussell Trust network is donated by the public like many other foodbanks – that’s why our food donations are absolutely vital.

One amazing thing to come out of 2020, has been the true community spirit and we can no doubt all agree that food banks have a special place in our communities right now!

What items do food banks need right now?

A typical food parcel includes:

  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
  • Lentils, beans and pulses
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tea/coffee
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits
  • UHT milk
  • Fruit juice

Essential non-food items

  • Toiletries – deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes
  • Household items – laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid
  • Feminine products – sanitary towels and tampons
  • Baby supplies – nappies, baby wipes and baby food
  • Face masks and hand sanitiser

Every business within New Directions is supporting our Christmas Food Bank Match initiative. Check out our social media handles below to see where you can tag us into your posts.  You only need to tag one social media account listed below, but please remember to use the hashtag #NDfoodbankmatch so we don’t miss your pics.

A little extra, goes a long way. 

Look after your mental health and wellbeing if you are staying home https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/06/look-after-your-mental-health-and-wellbeing-if-you-are-staying-home/ Tue, 09 Jun 2020 10:59:12 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6388 Plan your day

We are all adjusting to a new, rather strange, way of life at the moment. This can be a risk to our mental wellbeing.

As tempting as it might be to stay in our pyjamas all day, regular routines are essential for our identity, self-confidence and purpose.

Try to start your day at roughly the same time you usually would and aim to set aside time each day for movement, relaxation, connection and reflection.

Move more every day

Being active reduces stress, increases energy levels, which can make us more alert and help us sleep better.

Explore different ways of adding physical movement and activity to your day and find some that work best for you.

Even at home, there will be lots of ways to exercise and keep your body moving.

Try a relaxation technique

Relaxing and focusing on the present can help improve your mental health and lighten negative feelings.

Try some breathing exercises to see what helps. For example, sometimes we can be so tense that we do not even remember what being relaxed feels like.

Two breathing exercises to choose from:

First – 4-7-8 technique, focus on the following breathing pattern:

  • empty the lungs of air
  • breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
  • hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
  • exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a “whoosh” sound, for 8 seconds
  • repeat the cycle up to 4 times

Second – Deep Breathing

  • Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees
  • Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air
  • Breathe out through your nose
  • Place one hand on your belly
  • As you breathe in, feel your belly rise
  • Take three more full, deep breaths

Connect with others

Staying at home, especially if you live on your own, can feel lonely. Find creative ways to keep in touch with fellow team members, friends, family, and others to help you (and them) feel more connected and supported.

Explore ways of connecting that work for you, whether that’s by post, over the phone, social media, teams, video-chat, face time etc. This could be anything, from sharing a cup of tea over video, or simply sending a supportive text-message.

Improve your sleep

Feelings of uncertainty and changes to daily life may mean you have more difficulty sleeping.

There is a lot you can do to improve your sleep. Aim to go to bed and get up at the same time each day, even at the weekend if you can, and try to get some natural sunlight (by opening your curtains and windows) where possible. This helps to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep better.

Wind down before bed by avoiding using your phone, tablet/iPad, computer or TV for an hour before bedtime.

We are in this together, so please drop one of us a line if you need a little extra support during this time.

Mental Health Awareness Week – Be kind to yourself https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/05/mental-health-awareness-week-be-kind-to-yourself/ Fri, 22 May 2020 08:49:48 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6375 It’s important to be kind to yourself as well.

Whatever you can manage today is good enough. Some people feel that the lockdown is giving them the time and chance to learn new skills or try new things. This maybe you, and if so, enjoy and celebrate that.

If this isn’t you, try not to beat yourself up about what others seem to be doing. If things are hard right now, try and find some small things to celebrate each day. Getting up and washing your hair can be just as much of an achievement as someone else posting about a 5k run on Facebook.

Be kind to yourself

  • Plan in some ‘me’ time, self-care is so important. Take time to relax and reflect on how you are feeling
  • Take a break from social media for a day or two
  • Do something that you enjoy, whether that be reading a book, listening to music, or just simply making good use of your daily exercise
  • Spend some time in nature, which is good for our mental health

Take each day as it comes, don’t over plan or set unrealistic expectations on yourself. We will all have good days and bad during lockdown, therefore being kind to yourself by setting realistic milestones is important to ensure you don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

A little every day, builds up to achieving a lot at the end of the week!

Mental Health Awareness Week https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/05/mental-health-awareness-week/ Wed, 20 May 2020 08:44:00 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6370 Mental Health awareness week this year is about raising awareness on ‘how’ important kindness is in life, especially during these strange times with the coronavirus.

Kindness is choosing to do something that helps others or yourself, and is motivated by genuine warmth and kindness.

Evidence shows that helping others can also benefit our mental health and wellbeing such as:

  • Restful sleep
  • Improved mood
  • Reduction in stress
  • Sustained happiness

The key is not to over think it!

There are many simple ways that we can be kind and help others during these times. Good deeds don’t need to cost much time or cost much money.

Helping others is thought to be one of the ways that people create, maintain, and strengthen their social connections.

So, what can you do to be kind and stay connected:

  • Pick up the phone for a chat
  • Take an interest in what you hear
  • Take notice and comment on what people are doing (baking, gardening, reading)
  • Drop someone a text, or WhatsApp message
  • Offer a listening ear if that is required (remember nobody expects you to have the answers, but a listening ear with kindness can make all the difference)
  • Arrange a get to together via Zoom, WhatsApp, or teams and have a bit of fun with a little game

It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something!

Acts of Kindness During Mental Health Awareness Week https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/05/acts-of-kindness-during-mental-health-awareness-week/ Mon, 18 May 2020 08:47:00 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6373 Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. We can all make a start in showing kindness to one another in our words and actions.

So where do I start, I hear you ask?

At home or in your community

  • Say I Love You as often as you can to someone that means a lot to you
  • Call a friend or a family member that you haven’t spoken to in a while
  • Write a letter or get in contact via Facebook with a someone that you have lost touch with
  • Send flowers or a favourite chocolate bar to a friend out of the blue
  • Ring someone who lives on their own or Facetime them
  • Help out around the home, whether it be with cooking/gardening/cleaning
  • Offer to help an elderly or vulnerable neighbour (adhering to social distancing, maybe with shopping, gardening, walking their dog or even putting the bins out)
  • Check in on someone that you know is having a tough time

At work

  • Remember to say ‘hi’ to colleagues and ask them how they are – whether that be face-to-face or virtually if you are working from home
  • Support one another with technology (remember it’s not everyone’s bag)
  • Make the time to setup a team catch up, maybe with a cuppa and a slice of cake (ND Bake off)
  • Be patient and understanding through these difficult times (remember everyone deals with things differently)
  • Remember to say please and thank you
  • If you say your going to do something do it!

Public areas

  • Adhere to rules on social distancing and guidelines  
  • Wish a passer-by a good morning or good afternoon (remember you maybe the only person that person see’s or speaks to all day)
  • Be considerate to others

Evidence shows that being kind really does improve wellbeing and the more you do for others, the more they are likely to do for you!

Understanding and getting a better night’s sleep https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/05/understanding-and-getting-a-better-nights-sleep/ Sat, 09 May 2020 11:08:00 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6391 We have all had those nights when we can’t switch off from everything that is going on in our lives. During these difficult times, we would like to clarify ‘the stages of sleep’ so you can better understand your sleep pattern and also, provide you with some top tips.

Normally when you sleep, you initially enter the stage called ‘Non-Rapid Eye Movement’ (non-REM), which is ‘light sleep’ that lasts for about 25 minutes.

Following this, you enter what is known as ‘deep sleep’. Deep sleep is the really critical part of your sleep where your body repairs itself, restores energy, and releases hormones – all the good stuff!

Finally, you enter the first ‘rapid eye movement’ (REM) stage of your sleep about 90 minutes after going to bed. This is the part of your sleep when you typically dream. REM sleep is thought to be involved in the process of storing memories, learning and balancing your mood.

Because your sleep cycle repeats (normally in 90-minute cycles), you enter REM sleep several times during the night. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. After that, each REM stages gets longer and longer, with the final one potentially lasting up to an hour.

Most people need between 7-9 hours a night to ensure that they are not compromising on the quality of sleep and are completing enough sleep cycles.

Several factors can affect your sleep quality, usually by reducing the amount of deep and REM sleep we experience.

This leads to us waking up feeling exhausted. There are a number of sleep tips we can follow to prevent the quality of our sleep being compromised.

Below are some top tips to sleep better

Tips on how to sleep better
Tips on how to sleep better

We all know that when we haven’t had a great night’s sleep our mood can massively be impaired. Have a go at the top tips that have been provided, maybe keep a sleep dairy to identify any patterns, or maybe download some of the following free apps (can be download on iPhone and android)

Relax Melodies

Sleep cycle


Sleep time

Relax & sleep well

New Directions finds IT solutions during lockdown https://www.new-directions.co.uk/blog/2020/04/new-directions-finds-it-solutions-during-lockdown/ Thu, 16 Apr 2020 15:20:44 +0000 https://www.new-directions.co.uk/?p=6338 Leading Wales-based recruitment and care services group, New Directions, has reacted quickly to the complications posed by the Covid-19 lockdown by introducing a range of IT solutions to ensure its services are maintained.

The fast response has enabled the company to quickly harness the skills of candidates across all sectors and redeploy them where they are most needed – particularly in care homes and pharmacies across the UK.

While still ensuring that all safeguarding procedures remain in place, Cardiff-based New Directions has been able to use trusted video solutions for remote interviews, online signature capture, high quality scanning for identification documents and meet interim DBS and Right to Work requirements by verifying ID during video calls.

While some of the online solutions and ID validation will revert to normal Government standards when life returns to normal, the company plans to retain a number of the new, dynamic ways of working together with a new streamlined screening process.

Said New Directions’ chairman, Jeff Tune: “We are proud of the speed with which we were able to transfer our recruitment business online, and we are committed to continuous improvement. As a result, we have been able to provide candidates with the same quality of service they have come to expect from New Directions.

“We will continue with this digital transformation while ensuring that we remain compliant with all government rules and legislation. Our fast response has enabled us to redeploy candidates during this most difficult of times to where they are most needed.”