We are so proud of our committed and dedicated Managers.
Here is what they have to say, in their own words:
From Coordinator Daisy Richford
Throughout school I wasn’t sure which pathway I wanted to follow. I was young, shy and easily influenced. I was happy following in the shadows of my friends and that’s why I finished up at college studying Health and Social Care.
I was 18 when I started working for Bluebird Care and the thought of people relying on me was a scary one. One of the things I found most difficult was being as young as I was. Not because I didn’t consider myself capable but because to some people I was young enough to be their grandchild and for them it was understandably difficult to comprehend that I was there to support them with things that they might not necessarily want someone of my age to help them with.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence but we all have to start somewhere and Bluebird Care gave me that opportunity. I enjoyed the freedom of being out in the community and due to working in Canterbury for most of my time as a care assistant it was quite common that I’d be lone working. I met people from all different walks of life with different stories to tell.
Working on a pattern of 12 days on and 2 days off meant I spent a lot of time, if not more, with customers than my own family. It becomes part of your daily routine and people get as used to you as you do to them. One of the most important things about being a care assistant is building a rapport with customers. People that you probably wouldn’t meet in every day life.
I took a break from Bluebird Care for a few years and tried my hand in a different area of health. Before coming back to Bluebird Care in July this year, I spent a couple of years working on an acute mental health ward. This role gave me the opportunity to enhance my skills and knowledge of an area that today still carries a huge stigma.
In September of this year I was all set to start a new journey. I was returning to education to pursue a career in nursing but after taking many things into consideration and through suffering a personal loss of my own I decided that maybe now wasn’t the right time.
I have come back to Bluebird Care as a Co-ordinator. A role that sounds quite simple but believe me, really isn’t. As a care assistant I never fully understood what took place in the office and how much planning goes into everything. It was a big jump for me and not something that I had considered. Was an office job something I wanted to do? It was certainly something I’d never seen myself doing before and I can openly say it’s been a bigger challenge that I thought it would ever be. I’m still learning now but the one thing I can definitely take away with me is that no one is perfect.
I expected to pick up on the role quite easily and having grown up with computers I wondered what could be so difficult. It isn’t quite what I had imagined, it certainly involves a lot of organisation (something I’m continuing to work on) and a tough head on your shoulders.
What I have learned in the short time I have been co-ordinating is that you can’t get everything right all the time. There are days when I think being out in the community is better suited to me but I’m enjoying the challenge and if there’s anything I’ve learned up until this point, it’s that giving up is not an option.
From Management Assisstant Chelsea Lambert
"When I joined Bluebird Care I was young and shy, I had studied health and social care but had no physical experience in care. After my training I was so nervous to start, but after my first week I knew this was where I wanted to be!
I joined Bluebird Care nearly two years ago now and my confidence and passion for the job has developed dramatically, also my confidence in myself! Visiting our customers, helping them in any way, giving medication, chatting, giving personal care and even just being there to listen gives me a feeling of pride and I leave knowing I’ve made a slight difference to someone’s day.
I left Bluebird briefly but my love for the job drew me back. I know care isn’t the most glamorous job but it’s close to my heart and I love it! I can’t thank Bluebird Care enough for giving me the confidence in myself and in my work, the progression and training they’ve made available to me and the support from fellow carers and all office staff.
My job involves being there to make someone comfortable or hold their hand on their last days or even caring for children and giving their parents a break from their tough reality, I know I make a difference and that is why I am a carer."
From Registered Care Manager, Frances Atherden
My career journey started with Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet in September 2010. I applied for the position of Care Assistant; at the time I was a full-time mum of 3 teenagers and required a job that could work alongside my parental responsibilities.
My youngest child is Autistic, so I had to spend a lot of time supporting him through the problems he was having at both school and home. I would often meet with various health professionals to discuss ways of supporting my son through his difficulties. This is when I first realised that I would really like a career in the Health & Social Care sector. I felt this, and my other characteristics would be ideal for becoming a Care Assistant.
On being accepted for the role I was given full training and worked in the community alongside fellow employees. I cannot express easily in words how excited but nervous I was when arriving at my first customer’s house. After a few days of shadowing I was ready to work without any assistance from existing staff. My confidence grew week by week when facing various challenges that most Care Assistants will be aware of from their own personal experiences of care. I would, once I finished my shift, go home usually tired but with a big smile on my face because I knew that I had made someone else’s day just that little bit easier.
After a few months I settled in to a regular shift pattern and with my teenage children becoming less dependent I had a bit more spare time on my hands. Due to this, I decided to approach the office to ask if I could assist with any admin tasks on a voluntary basis. I was told I needed a qualification, such as a NVQ in Health & Social Care which luckily, I had completed a Level 3 at college prior to looking to return to work.
Suddenly a position to become a Supervisor arose and I was offered the role. It was an ideal opportunity for me and I took no time in deciding that I wanted to give it a go. From then on, I have never looked back. I learnt each of the roles, supervising, mentoring, training, recruiting and co-ordinating and was then promoted to Assistant Care Manager in 2015. I really enjoyed all aspects of working for the Bluebird Care Team in this new role and was supported throughout by both the Directors.
After a while, another opportunity arose for me to be promoted to Care Manager. Although I was a little nervous I literally jumped at the chance. I spent the next 2 years studying whilst working and gained a Level 5 qualification in Management and Leadership. I am going to be honest, it was really hard work but so worth it. In January 2017 I became Registered Care Manager at Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet and celebrated my 8 years of service on the 28th September 2018.
I really love and enjoy working for Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet. It is the most rewarding job I have ever known, and all the staff are so friendly, caring, supportive and welcoming. That’s why I would highly recommend it to anyone looking at starting a career, changing their career or stepping back into work after having children. I can honestly say don’t be afraid to give working for Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet a go. Who knows where it could lead?"