Brave Lancashire mum overcomes chronic pain to get first job in social care

With January being a tough month for many, a 40-year-old mum of four shares her inspiring story of taking up her first ever job in social care after undergoing treatment for chronic pain.

Marion Barraclough from Nelson, Lancashire, has a condition called degenerative disc disease, meaning she has experienced chronic pain throughout her adult life. In 2022 she had a spinal cord stimulator fitted which helps block pain signals travelling to the brain and was able to apply for paid work for the first time.

Marion said she considers herself lucky to be getting paid to support four people with varying learning disabilities in her first ever job at social care charity Alternative Futures Group.


Marion comments: “Before I had the device fitted I was in constant pain. I needed aids to walk and I gained seven stone that I couldn’t shift.

“Having the surgery was life changing. I am now in shape and working for the first time. I would never have thought of working in care before I got this job and now that I do, I feel like I’ve been missing out all these years as I absolutely love it.

“I support four ‘lads’ in a shared house and they are each amazing in their own way. I love giving them the care and attention they deserve, as well as learning so many new things. One of the people I support has epilepsy and I’ve been given specialised training on what might trigger a seizure and how to support him, which has been fascinating.”


Alternative Futures Group is an award-winning health and social care charity providing specialist support in the North West for more than 900 people with a learning disability or mental health condition, as well as other additional needs or conditions such as autism, acquired brain injury or a physical disability.

The charity is currently recruiting for a range of Support Worker roles across Lancashire and beyond, with flexible opportunities available immediately, including part-time, full-time, permanent or casual working.


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