Meet Leah, Operations Manager at Bluebird Care Bromley and winner of our Team Member of the Year Award at our 2023 Bluebird Care Awards.
I’ll always remember her face that day; it was a few days before she passed away. Hazel was adorable, and I just loved her. She had motor neurone disease and was unable to leave her bed, but one of her dying wishes was to be able to enjoy her garden again. We managed to get a bed on wheels, wheeled her into the garden, and had afternoon tea with her. She was blissfully happy and looked completely at peace. She never thought she’d be able to see her garden again. Such a small gesture made such a huge impact.
Small changes really can make a difference to someone’s life, it may be listening to them, empathising, or going that little bit above and beyond.
My career started as a registered nurse. I enjoyed it but I felt that my time with people was too short-lived. I never knew what happened to the patients when they left the ward. In health and social care, you look after people sometimes from the beginning of their diagnosis right through until the end of life. I didn’t get as much job satisfaction as a nurse.
I became a care expert before joining Bluebird Care as a Coordinator in 2010. I saw it as a chance to progress. I went on to become Deputy Manager, then Registered Manager. Now, at 40, I’m Operations Manager, overseeing the care operations of three businesses.
I’m constantly learning and the training I’ve received is fantastic. I’ve been very fortunate to have good role models and good support.
Throughout my years with Bluebird Care I’ve always made an effort to do care visits as well so that I can stay in touch with the staff and the customers, that’s what I enjoy.
I think I have one of the best jobs in the business. I get to work in the office and work with every team, but I also go and deliver care.
I relish responsibility, challenges and learning opportunities. In the office I like helping other people, getting them to recognise their potential and ability to progress. It’s important that they’re happy in their jobs.
I like to think that I’m approachable and I get on well with most people. I wouldn’t ask any of my team to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. I coach and support them as best I can. I believe if you put a smile on your face and show empathy you can usually resolve any issue.
I’m often told that I’m good at managing people but the most enjoyable part for me is the care delivery and providing a quality service, making people’s lives a little bit better.
Iit’s nice to be nice, that’s always been my motto.
One day we had a call to support a customer who had attempted suicide because he was so lonely. John is in his nineties, and we started care a couple of days after he came out of hospital. We got to know him, listened to him, and made it feel like he had a purpose in life.
Now we take him shopping and three times a week we take him out for lunch- he chooses the restaurant. He goes out with different care expertss each time because he likes different conversations. He trusts his care expertss and the office team. We invite him to our social events. Four days a week we take him to a local authority-run day centre that we put him in touch with, and he has made so many friends.
John is absolutely thriving; he’s a completely different person.
His personality and his outlook on life have changed. He’s more positive, it’s really nice to see. John loves to dance and was up dancing at the King’s Coronation event. He’s very sociable and will throw himself into anything. He took over the bingo calling at one of our events and he loved it, I saw him beaming. Bluebird Care has changed his life. It has given our whole team a sense of pride.
The moments you enjoy in health and social care will always outweigh the tough times. Bluebird Care aim to provide a premium Homecare service. They put their customers and staff at the forefront of everything they do. I feel proud to work for them.
I was awarded Bluebird Care Team Member of The Year in 2023. I really didn’t expect to win. I’m so grateful for the award but I didn’t get there on my own- I had a great team behind me. The award is for all of them, it’s a reflection of how hard they’ve all worked, I couldn’t have achieved what I did without them.
Bluebird Care has a family feel. The reaction from my team when I won the award was overwhelming. I’m tearful when I talk about it. I had an outpouring of congratulations, people saying how much I deserved it. It’s so nice to feel so valued by my team. They made a space for my award on the shelf and couldn’t wait to put it up there.
It’s an absolute pleasure to work with Bluebird Care, I just love it. I’d never work anywhere else.