The locality manager of a non-for-profit-charity in the borough says staff are being “stretched” due to a lack of carer jobs that aren’t being filled.

Jan Aylott, who works for Dimensions in Barnet, says there are 10 full time vacancies that need filling at the charity, which supports people with learning disabilities and autism.

With an expected national shortfall of 1.1m carers by 2037, Mrs Aylott said it is important that there are more staff for vulnerable people to get the support they need.

The 56-year-old said: ““Staff shortages are a massive issue for us at the moment and with a lot of unfilled vacancies, myself and my staff are very stretched.

“I think the government should focus on social care and finally treat it as a priority. Social care should be properly funded and a career in social care should be recognised and promoted accordingly.”

Mrs Aylott started working as a cleaner at Dimensions before becoming a support worker in 1992, later moving up to being the charity’s locality manager in Barnet.

But she thinks jobs in the sector are undervalued and have an “underserved bad reputation”.

Mrs Aylott, from Barnet, added: “It’s such a rewarding role, even if some of our achievements might seem small.

“You might spend six months working with someone who cannot feed themselves and if, after those six months, they are able to put a spoon in their mouth, you realise you helped them make a great step towards becoming more independent. The slightest difference you make in someone’s life feels so amazing.”

She continued: “The best thing about being a support worker is seeing a smile on people’s faces when you’ve helped them with something – it’s then when you know you’ve done something right.”