I joined ExtraCare as a Resident Support Worker (Carer) at St Dominic's Court in Stoke in 1992. I used to work ad-hoc shifts to fit in with my work-life balance. I then became a permanent member of staff at Camoys Court in Stoke.
In 1995 I was promoted to Team Leader at St Dominic's Court. Following a secondment as Assistant Manager I was then given the opportunity to assist in opening a new sheltered housing scheme at Bushfield Court in Wolverhampton. During this time I was promoted to a Head of Care position there.
After gaining more experience in this role I was then promoted, in 2001, to Manager of Camoys Court.
The Charity was growing at a considerable rate and was opening a new retirement village (Reeve Court in St Helens). I had the opportunity to open and manage this new exciting service for the Charity.
This challenge required me to develop a new set of skills as my staff team had doubled in size. The Village contained over 200 apartments and the role included looking after the well-being of over 300 residents.
I managed Reeve Court for several years and was subsequently assigned the role of ExtraCare Commissioning Manager in 2008. In this role I was responsible for setting up care services in new villages.
I have completed my NVQ 2 in Care, Assessors award, Invigilator award, Registered Manager Award and a whole range of training from Equality and Diversity to Negotiation skills.
We had a resident who moved into Reeve Court who had come from traditional nursing care. She was unable to care for herself and was very withdrawn. Within months of moving in her care needs reduced and she became a volunteer at the village taking part in every aspect of village life.
My role at ExtraCare has been challenging, varied and really absorbing. The Charity has always supported innovation and training where this has had the potential to improve my work and deliver innovation which will change the quality of our residents' lives. If you have a new idea and are prepared to run with it, you'll get the support - it makes a job in care so much more rewarding and our residents really notice the benefit.