We attract people from all walks of life – some are experienced care assistants and others have never cared before. Despite their different backgrounds and experience, they all share a passion for helping others and providing the kind of care you would want your own family to receive.
Our Career Compass (allows our staff to progress their careers, undertake training, gain qualifications, skills and expertise etc. Below are the career stories of four of our key staff – three started their careers with us as probationary care assistants.
We hope you find their stories both informative and inspiring. If you’re interested in a career in care get in touch at email@example.com or on 01628 605797.
Nicky Beadle – joined October 2011 as Care Coordinator – promoted to Care Manager in August 2013.
It took more than six months of waiting before the right opportunity came up for Care Manager Nicky Beadle, but since joining, she’s never looked back. Originally a sales assistant in a TV shop, Nicky’s move into care came after she noticed all her colleagues would encourage her to help any older customers because she enjoyed dealing with them.
She decided to study for a Youth Training Scheme in health and social care and once qualified, she started working for Westminster City Council as a home-help in Covent Garden and Soho. She said: "I wasn’t very academic at school, but once I started the YTS I realised what I really wanted to do and that was working with older people and caring for them at home.”
Nicky stayed for 15 years, working her way up to Assistant Care Manager and Acting Care Manager, before being made redundant. As the sole breadwinner and Mum to two young children, it was a stressful time.
Spotting a job advert from Bluebird Care, she nervously went for an interview – her first in 15 years! It went well, but because the person withdrew their resignation, the position was no longer available. Nicky subsequently applied and got an area manager job in Reading. However, a week before she was due to start, Anne contacted her to say a job had become available but Nicky declined as she had accepted and was about to start her new job in Reading.
After six months, Nicky’s new job wasn’t working out, so after prompts from her family she got in touch with Anne to see if there were any vacancies. The two met in a coffee shop in Taplow and Nicky was offered a Care Coordinator position. She said: "It took a while for the job to work out but I got there in the end. After two years, Anne asked me for a meeting. I thought I had done something wrong, but they offered me the Care Manager position!! At first I was a bit daunted and I wasn’t sure if I was capable but I decided to give it a go and I love it.
As a group we all want to deliver a high level of care to our customers and we do that genuinely and with a passion. I love the feedback from the customers and I really enjoy supporting the care staff to develop also.
It’s rewarding to do hands-on care and to know you’re helping people. The turning point for me was when I was a home-help and one lady told me I was the light in her life. We make such a difference to people’s lives and we meet a whole cross-section of society which makes the job very interesting.”
Nicky has completed her Level 5 QCF - reaching degree level in the health and social care qualification and is a big advocate of the training opportunities available.
"The training and opportunities give people a real career and you feel very proud of yourself when you’ve completed the training.”
Renay Clark, joined November 2011 as a probationary Care Assistant – becoming Care Assistant in February 2012, Senior Care Assistant in December 2012, Care Supervisor in August 2014 and now our Deputy Care Manager since May 2017.
Helping her sister look after her in-laws gave Renay Clark the confidence she needed to embark on a career in care.
Before that, the Marks and Spencer worker didn’t think she had what it took to enter the care sector.
It was a big leap leaving a job with M&S as I had children too, but it has paid off. I realised I wanted more from my job. "I think that’s where Bluebird Care stands out because the training is outstanding and there’s a real career progression. Because the company has grown to a certain size it means we can offer a lot of in-house training for staff now too. Caring is more than just about earning money and first and foremost, I am proud to say that I am carer. We do this job as we would want our parents and grandparents to be cared for.”
Renay decided to further her career once her youngest son was a bit older and as Care Supervisor now runs Moving and Handling courses, teaching new carers. Renay has completed her Level 5 QCF - reaching degree level in the health and social care qualification.
“I am passionate about the importance of manual handling training and it’s great to be able to offer these courses ourselves. I get a lot of respect from the carers because I have been a carer and worked my way up, so they can see how I have progressed and they think “I could do that” – it’s great!”
Gabi Racan – joined June 2014 as a probationary live-in Care Assistant – becoming a Live-in Care Assistant in September 2014, then a Care Assistant, then Field Supervisor in August 2015 and now our Lead Supervisor from May 2017.
Gabi swapped making pastries in Germany to making meals and working as a live-in carer with Bluebird Care. As a baker, she ran a department – ensuring strict hygiene and safety rules were followed, but after 17 years she decided something was missing. She said:
"I like to help people and my career just wasn’t giving me the satisfaction of knowing that I had made a difference, so I decided to change. The training is so good here that with that knowledge I can help vulnerable people in the best possible way. No two days are the same in this type of work – every day is like the first day in that respect. It’s a challenge, but it’s so satisfying. There are so many lonely people so it’s lovely to feel you are helping in some way and giving them the contact they need.”
As Field Supervisor, Gabi’s job is to collect the information for the customer’s care plan and support both new carers, as well as customers, and to keep care plans and risk assessments up to date.
As well as completing other training, she has just started her QCF Level 5 in Health and Social Care.
She said: "I’ve done lots of training and I am always happy to do what is recommended as it helps us to do our job better. You are also developing personally which is a good thing. It’s such a nice feeling at the end of the day that I can say I have helped someone who needed it.”
Aneela Habib – joined in October 2013 as a probationary care assistant – becoming a Care Assistant in January 2014 – Office Administrator in July 2014, Support Care Coordinator in January 2015 and Care Coordinator later that year, now our Live-in Supervisor from December 2018. .
I left university and was looking for a job when I saw the advert for Bluebird Care and happened to get it. I hadn’t really thought about a career in care before that but it’s been good for me.”
Aneela is now responsible for generating rotas for nearly 100 carers and 170 customers – ensuring that each customer has a suitable carer, and at the right time. She and a colleague work on producing the current week’s rota by Thursday each week to send it out to all staff in time, while also working on the following week’s rota.
The job is vital to ensuring the smooth running of the care provided, letting each carer know who they are helping, where and when. She said:
“In this job you have to be really patient and communicate well. I like people and dealing with the customers, as well as the carers. Working my way through different jobs with the company has really helped me and when I got this job, I knew the area well as I had driven round it as a carer, which is really valuable when planning the visits. Although I liked being a carer, I wasn’t so keen on the driving so I was able to change to the office team.”
Aneela, who has started to study her QCF Level 5 in Health and Social Care, said: "It’s really great to have the training opportunities that Bluebird Care offers and this job really suits me well.”