Meet Anne-Marie, Registered Manager at Bluebird Care Bournemouth and Poole and winner of our Registered Manager of the Year Award at our 2023 Bluebird Care Awards.
At 52, I find my role as Registered Manager hugely rewarding, especially to see the difference you can make to people. It’s the whole team that makes a difference, not just me.
Janet was in her nineties; she was doing so well and was able to look after herself with our support. Then she had an accident and ended up in hospital. She desperately wanted to be home again; we knew she hated being in the hospital.
Janet was in hospital for about three months. Carers prepared meals and took them in for her, she hated the food there.
She didn’t have any children; and she had no family. Our team were her family as much as we could be, and we felt it was really important to fight for her.
We helped Janet to come home again. We liaised with the hospital team and put everything in place that they had requested to discharge Janet home.
I was so pleased for her. Janet knew she might not have long left, but she was just desperate to be at home and around the carers.
Her husband’s ashes were in the house in an urn, and she talked to him every day. We used to say ‘hello’ to him on the way in. It was the house she’d lived in all her married life and all her memories were there, she loved her garden and was very independent.
Home was where Janet wanted to be and to be able to do that for her really made the job worthwhile, I loved it. It’s just amazing when you see someone looking so happy and to feel that you were a part of that.
I joined Bluebird Care in 2019. Before that I worked in a nursing home, I loved working in care and wanted to try something different. I’ve always enjoyed working in care, the sense of purpose it has given me, and it’s wonderful to be able to support people. I wanted to do more to help people stay at home, and if we can help people to live well then they can stay at home for longer.
Now, at 52, I find my role as Registered Manager hugely rewarding, especially to see the difference you can make to people. It’s the whole team that makes a difference, not just me.
I’m so proud of my team at Bluebird Care, each and every one of them, we genuinely care about what we do. We recognise that and we celebrate it.
I have created an ‘above and beyond’ board and there’s all sorts of things on there. It’s the little things that mean a lot and we look for opportunities to add those personal touches, to make sure that each person is valued as an individual and we listen to what matters most to them. One of our customers was making little crochet squares to keep herself occupied, and one of my carers stitched them all together and made them into a blanket for her which she was delighted with. Another carer repaired some clothing because the customer was upset that it was ripped. Another carer helped a customer get dressed up and do her hair & make-up so that she could feel special to have a photograph with her husband – it ended up being the last picture she had of them together and it was treasured.
None of the staff team want to boast about what they do but I look at the care notes and the emails we get from customers and can see that what they’re doing is making a real difference. The whole team are really excellent. I think every member of the office support team is somewhere on the board, and there isn’t a carer that wouldn’t go above and beyond.
You can’t teach people to be caring or to have empathy. When we recruit for new team members we look for people who genuinely care, people who can genuinely put their feet in the other person’s shoes and understand. I care and I hope that comes across.
I believe my team treat every single customer the way they would want to be treated themselves or the way they would want their family to be treated. Everybody deserves to have the best life they can. They should be treated with respect.
Dementia is my main passion. I do research, attend courses and run workshops. I have put a booklet together to give out to families. I like helping the community and giving back.
I never planned to be in care. I started out in engineering management. The reward for me is the difference that I can see I’ve made. It’s wonderful when you can try to help people.
Bluebird Care is a brilliant organisation. We make sure we look after our customers. It is a really good place to work, and we are allowed to develop. They provide training, they respect us, and they look after us.
I was awarded Bluebird Care Registered Manager of the Year 2023. I was shaking when I received the award. I was so pleased, not just for myself but for all the team. We don’t do what we do for an award but it’s nice to be recognised. We work incredibly hard, we always put on a smile, and we do our best. It’s nice to be recognised for that.