Working as a Support Worker in the UK

Supported living providers in the UK provide care to people who may require support in their daily lives or struggle to live independently. Opportunities for supported living are available across the UK and care can be funded by the individual themselves or with help from their local council. Support workers are an important role in any supported living environment and work closely with residents on a day-to-day basis to enable independence and provide the necessary support.

The Hatch Camphill Community has been a provider of supported living provisions in Thornbury, Bristol since 1983. We support adults with learning disabilities to live life and empower them to achieve goals and aspirations throughout their daily lives.

What does a support worker do?

Support workers are a key role for supported living providers. Support worker responsibilities may vary across providers but generally include:

  • Managing personal care
  • Administering medication safely
  • Supporting residents to carry out daily tasks
  • Helping with any health care needs
  • Providing support for household tasks, money management and maintaining a tidy living environment.

Each day as a support worker can be different depending on the individuals you are supporting. However, each day is a chance to make a difference in other people’s lives.

How many hours do support workers work?

The number of hours that a support worker works can vary from person to person and can depend on the requirements of the employer. Typically, a full-time support worker will work around 37.5 hours per week with their shifts split across 5 working days. Full time hours can be different from employer to employer. Part-time support workers can expect to work anything less than a full-time employee. This could vary from 4 hours per week to 35 hours per week, depending on the employer requirements.

How much do support workers get paid in the UK?

Pay for support workers in the UK can vary from provider to provider depending on the geographical location and funding. However, all support workers should earn the UK minimum wage for their age, which is:

23 and over: £10.42
21 to 22: £10.18
18 to 20: £7.49
Under 18: £5.28
Apprentice: £5.28


At The Hatch we endeavour to provide our support workers with a living wage. Our support workers currently earn a minimum of £10.91 per hour.

Do I need qualifications to become a support worker?

No, you do not need any specific qualifications to start working as a support worker today.

When you start your career as a support worker, you will be provided with training to get you started. Here at The Hatch a comprehensive induction programme is provided to ensure you are fully prepared before you are signed off for unsupervised work. Once you have been signed off, we will then enrol you onto the Care Certificate qualification, which is the standards that define the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of health and social care workers. Once you have completed your Care Certificate we can explore other opportunities such as NVQs in Health and Social Care.

Career opportunities as a support worker

Support worker roles can be a great starting point for a career in care. There are plenty of opportunities for promotion within a supported living setting, to roles such as deputy team leaders, team leaders and into senior management positions.

Employers in care will often provide training in areas such as First Aid, Epilepsy Awareness or Positive Behaviour Support.  The opportunities are endless with a career in care.

What is a Camphill Community?

Camphill communities in the UK, and around the world, work to provide individuals with learning disabilities an environment that empowers independence. A Camphill approach to social care works with the local authorities whilst maintaining the anthroposophical ethos. This allows for support to be funded where necessary whilst creating a community where each person’s thoughts and opinions can impact daily decisions.

Camphill communities value meaningful work and encourage volunteers from around the world to live and work as part of the community for periods of up to a year.

Support workers are an important role for any supported living provider and play a key role in the day-to-day activities. The work completed by support workers is meaningful and makes a real difference in the lives of the individuals supported.

Does this sound like the career for you? Your next steps are waiting for you now.