Mainstay DRP Careers

Ready to make a difference? Join our Mainstay Family!

Here at Mainstay DRP, we really care about what we do – opening doors for adults with learning disabilities, and supporting them to achieve independence. Our wonderful staff are the backbone to our success.

We look for truly caring people who are passionate about developing a career supporting adults with learning disabilities in all aspects of their lives. If you’re the kind of person who rises to challenges, thrives in a people-focussed environment, and has genuine compassion and resilience, then Mainstay DRP could be the place for you.

Some experience in any kind of caring role is desired, but is not always essential – some of our best people have had previous careers in areas like trades, retail, and manufacturing. What really sets them apart is their willingness to make a difference to people’s lives.

And there’s no doubt that working with our incredible clients is life changing for our staff too.

As well as working every day in a fulfilling career, we also offer –

  • Comprehensive training aligned to NISCC
  • Support to gain market-leading qualifications
  • Mentoring and on the job training from our experienced staff
  • Health Cash Plan
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Pension
  • Free parking on all of our sites

What is a Personal Assistant (PA)

Personal Assistants (PA) perform a variety of tasks, including domestic and personal care, support to access community, or leisure and social activities. It’s an important role and can be an extremely rewarding career, as you will be supporting someone to live an independent, active personal and social life to the best of their abilities.


Why are Mainstay moving to Personal Assistants?

Mainstay are moving from Support Workers and Residential Works to PA’s, we are choosing to use the term personal assistance because it is less emotive than care and support worker and shows the person/client is in control of the assistance they receive.

JOB DESCRIPTION – Personal Assistant (PA)

Job Title: Personal Assistant (PA)

Location: Mainstay – Downpatrick Location will be determined on appointment. Please note that all team members may be subject to transfer between locations according to client’s needs.

Accountable to: Registered Manager of the service

Reports to: Senior of the service/Team Leader

Hours of work: Up to 40 hours per week (Work includes irregular hours e.g. daytime, evenings, weekends, split shifts. And will require regular waking night duty to meet the needs of our clients)

Salary: £10.69 per hour/ £22,235 per year

As well as working every day in a fulfilling career, we also offer –

Comprehensive training aligned to NISCC

Free meals while on shift (all frontline staff)

Support to gain market-leading qualifications

Mentoring and on the job training from our experienced team members

Auto enrolment pension

Free parking on all of our sites

Refer-a-friend bonuses

Employer funded Healthcare scheme (which includes savings on high street retail outlets and gym membership)

Annual Leave:  20 days per annum (plus an additional 3 days following 5 years’ service)

8 Bank Holidays per year

Job Purpose: To support Mainstay in delivering their vison for any individual with a profound and multiple learning disability to lead a happy, healthy, fulfilled life of independence within their local community. All whilst being given choice and support, enabling them to live their best life possible. As a PA you will ensure everyone is provided with choices and support to lead a happy, healthy independent life to the best of their abilities within their community.

Main tasks and responsibilities are:

Support ALL clients to live THEIR best lives!

Your overall responsibility will be to support the client not do for them, all clients will need different levels of support but your role is not to step in to do but to see how much they can do with support. Your role will involve being a client’s key worker, supporting them to set outcomes and goals for themselves and supporting them to achieve them. Below are some examples of tasks you may be asked to complete each day, however each and every one of our clients are individual and have a different level of support required so all their care and support plans will let you know what they need.

• Help with personal care, such as washing and dressing (although not all PA roles involve personal care)

• Support clients to manage their money and take responsibility for ensuring all finance related policies and procedures are adhered to.

• Support with the administration of medication

• Support clients to access community, social and leisure activities

• Help with household tasks, such as cleaning and laundry

• Helping/supporting preparing shopping list and preparing meals

• Support clients with their communication to help them overcome social exclusion

• Helping individuals to get to work, college or day care

• Assist clients to maintain relationships with family and friends

• Support clients to meet new people and develop new friendships

• To get about in the community, by providing transport, driving their car or using public transport

• To maintain hobbies and interests, like going to the cinema, gigs, swimming or going on holiday

• To support clients communicate their wants and needs

• To support clients become healthier after a physical illness, for example, through a better diet or more exercise.

Skills you will need

You will need to be able to develop a strong and trusting relationship with the person you are supporting and enjoy helping them to live life the way they choose. Your role is not to make decisions for them, but to help them live an independent life. A PA needs to be –

• Highly motivated, and committed to delivering service excellence

• Commitment to personal and professional development

• Can develop an approach to practice based on critical thinking, reflection and feedback

• Have the capacity and self-confidence to innovate

• Non-judgemental, with ability to empathise with clients

• Honest, trustworthy and respectful

• Possess cultural awareness and sensitivity

• Flexible, energetic, positive and calming disposition

• Resilient and self-caring

What we need from you

• Remember you are a professional Social Care worker and have signed up to the NISCC code of Standards and Practice

• To be punctual and demonstrate a strong teamwork ethic

• That you act in a professional way at all times

• Dedicate your time at work to supporting our clients

• Support your shift leader, team leader, senior and Managers to deliver a first class service for our clients and service users

• Partake in training to ensure personal and professional development and maintain the required level of training compliance

• Follow all Heath and Safety guidelines

• Take responsibility for your work

• Share your skills and knowledge to support the organisations ongoing development

Essential Criteria

• Experience working with or offering support a vulnerable client group

• Experience of providing personal care for vulnerable adults

• Ability to work under pressure • Excellent IT and report writing skills

• Ability to maintain accurate documentation

• Knowledge of social care and NISCC standards


Desirable Criteria

• NVQ Level 2 in Care or Equivalent qualifications (or willingness to work towards), or suitable experience

• NVQ level 3 in Care or Equivalent qualifications

• Experience of working in a supported living/residential/care organisation

• Experience of working with people who have a learning disability and/or autism

• Experience of administration of medication

• Full and Valid UK Driving License (or access to suitable transport to allow you to for fill the duties of the role)

NOTE This position is subject to an Enhanced Access NI check. Copies of the relevant policy on the recruitment of ex-offenders as well as the Access NI Code of Practice are available on request. Please note that having a criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a position with Mainstay.

Apply Now



Job Title:                              People and Culture Manager

Location:                              Central Office – Mainstay, Downpatrick

Accountable to:                  Head of Finance and Business Resources

Reports to:                           Head of Finance and Business Resources

Hours of work:                    Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm

Closing Date:                        22nd March – 17:00


Salary:                                   £30,000 to £33,000

Health Cash Plan

Employee Assistance Programme



Annual Leave                      25 days per annum (plus an additional 3 days following 5 years’ service)

                                                8 Bank Holidays per year


Job Purpose:

Mainstay DRP are looking for a People and Culture Manager to join our team to focus on driving all aspects of the HR function and supporting us to further develop our offer to our 120 team members. We are looking for an individual to support the organisation with guidance, information, advice and training ensuring that compliance and best practise are at the forefront of the HR function.


Who we’re looking for

This role will be ideal for someone who is looking to take the next step in their career and had developed a solid foundation in all things People and Culture. The role will suit someone who has a passion for providing a first-class People function supporting the growth and development of all team members within the organisation.


Main duties and responsibilities are:

 HR Best Practice

  • Provide expert advice and guidance to managers across the organisation on all aspects of HR including absence management, grievance and disciplinary matters, providing solutions through intervention and prevention while ensuring standards are implemented fairly and consistently
  • Take the lead on the development of the People and Culture strategy along with the Head of Finance and Business Resources.
  • Design, deliver and review workshops in areas of HR best practice to support with the enhancement of knowledge and skills of the management team
  • Monitor and review all HR practises and processes within Mainstay DRP ensuring compliance and best practice is followed


 Recruitment and Selection

  • Support managers with recruitment and selection processes ensuring that job descriptions, person specifications and recruitment materials are supportive of attracting the best talent to the organisation
  • Support managers with the development of competency-based interview questions and developing their skill set in recruitment and selection best practice
  • Ensure that recruitment and selection campaigns are conducted in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Work to support the HR Administrator to ensure that all recruitment paperwork is accurate and appropriately recorded
  • Conduct periodic reviews of team members benefits and current terms and conditions to ensure good levels of team attraction and retention.


HR Systems

  • Monitor and review HR information systems with support of the HR Administrator to ensure offerings remain fit for purpose and cost effective
  • Produce monthly management reports for the Senior Management Team to provide concise and accurate updates
  • Co-ordinate and undertake audits on all HR systems to ensure that all data is correct, ensuring you appropriately address concerns should they arise
  • Develop a standardised set of processes/system/databases to be used across the HR function. Regularly review to ensure consistent application.


Training and Development

  • Oversee the training operation within Mainstay DRP ensuring that compliance levels are maintained at a high standard
  • Ensure that regular TNA’s are conducted across the organisation to identify development areas and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to address any identified gaps
  • Work with members of the Management team to identify internal succession and ensure that development plans are implemented to support internal growth and development


Employee Relations

  • Work proactively with Line Managers in dealing with absence management, grievance and disciplinary matters, providing solutions through intervention and prevention while ensuring standards are implemented fairly and consistently
  • Oversee the team members relation cases completed ensuring that they are to the appropriate standard, ensuring a fair and consistent organisational approach
  • Support the HR Administrator with the preparation, compiling and management of documentation for Employment Relations cases
  • Ensure that HR policies, systems and procedures are updated in line with legislative changes and best practice are being implemented appropriately.
  • Participate on the management of employee relation cases relating to sickness absence. This includes making recommendations, giving advice and support to managers, liaising with occupational health, completing case review meetings, and implementing appropriate actions
  • Promote good people management by ensuring Team members are managed consistently and fairly
  • Provide training, advice and guidance to managers within the organisation on matters relating to the interpretation and implementation of the organisations polices and procedures.



  • Line management responsibilities for the organisations HR Administrator supporting with their continued professional development.
  • Ensure the organisation meets its requirements in relation to RQIA standards and NISCC standards
  • Drive continuous improvement across the organisation in employee engagement, health and wellbeing
  • Create an environment of trust and expertise, shares information between team members, displaying a strong knowledge of current HR practices, policies and employment law
  • Identify focused HR solutions which will improve performance
  • Manage projects to enhance our team members’ skills and knowledge, such as professional qualifications, apprenticeship schemes and in-house learning opportunities
  • Complete the annual HR Operational Plan. Prepare monthly reports for Senior Management and Committee including sickness absence, recruitment information, and workforce composition and planning.
  • Prepare the organisation’s annual Monitoring Return form and Article 55
  • Liaise with relevant external agencies, Occupational Health Service, Training Providers, Equality Commission, LRA and advertising agencies as appropriate
  • Manage own performance and personal development


Essential Criteria

  • Third level qualification in Human Resources or a related discipline (or equivalent)
  • CIPD qualified to Level 5 or working towards.
  • Minimum of 3 years HR generalist role to include experience of:
  • Managing the recruitment & selection lifecycle
  • Management of employee relations including disciplinary, grievance, performance and attendance management.
  • Policy development and review to ensure legal compliance
  • 2 years demonstrable experience of working in a HR role taking responsibility for driving improvements and managing change.
  • 2 years experience in coaching management teams in all aspects of our staff management and development, including employee relations issues, performance coaching and development
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Excellent IT and report writing skills


Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge of social care, RQIA and NISCC standards
  • Experience of working in a supported living organisation

Apply Now

Are you currently studying a health and social care qualification and would like to add some excellent work experience to your CV?

Here at Mainstay, we really care about what we do – opening doors for adults with learning disabilities, and supporting them to achieve independence. We now have some fantastic opportunities for students to join us on flexible, student summer contracts.

Working as Assistant Residential/ Support Workers, you’ll gain excellent training and development to help you start your career working with adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Our residential and supported living teams support adults with learning disabilities in everyday tasks, caring for their individual needs while enhancing their independent living skills. Working as part of a team, you’ll get to know our service users, from helping them with daily tasks on a one-to-one basis, to supporting them on social and recreational activities.

While some experience or knowledge of working in a caring role is desired, what’s most important to us is a genuine passion for caring for adults with a learning disability, and a willingness to develop a career in this rewarding field, where you’ll really get the opportunity to make a difference. Full training is provided.

Working hours include daytime, evenings, weekends, and may include long days/ split shifts on a rota basis, as well as some night duty

Essential Criteria:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong team player
  • Motivated to work in a challenging but extremely fulfilling care environment
  • A good standard of education, with good numeracy and literacy skills
  • Must be 18 years+


Desirable Criteria

  • Currently studying or just completed a relevant qualification such as QFC/NVQ 2 in Social Care (Adults) or any similar health and social care related qualification
  • Full Driving Licence acceptable to the organisation’s insurers


What’s on offer: 

  • 30 hours, 40 hours or flexible Bank contracts during the summer months depending on what works for you
  • Opportunity to continue working for us if your studies are finished, or on a Bank contract while you continue your studies
  • Comprehensive training aligned to NISCC and mentoring from our highly experience permanent employees
  • Training specific to each of our clients’ needs, like Diabetes, Epilepsy
  • Additional Sleep-in rates of pay – £70
  • Overtime at 1.5 times hourly rate
  • Health Cash Plan
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Pension
  • Free parking
  • Free meals
  • Discounted Gym Membership


Rate of Pay: £9.70 per hour £9.90 per hour (driver, after completing driving training)


Apply Now

“I changed my career from working in a trade to working with Mainstay DRP. I worked my way up and now I’m a Senior Support Worker in our Supported Housing Service. It’s very different to what I used to do, but I love it! Our service users are fantastic, and I’ve been fully supported with great training and qualifications.”

Mark, Senior Support Worker, Ardcora Supported Housing

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