Case Study: Mark's Story

Meet Mark, Care Expert at Bluebird Care Cornwall North and winner of our Care Expert of the Year Award at our 2023 Bluebird Care Awards. 



When the weather is warmer, I take John to the beach, I buy him a burger and we watch the sun go down. John is 43 and a tetraplegic and when we do that kind of thing, I can see that he’s happier in himself. John spends his day in a wheelchair, or in bed. I get so much back, just to see him smiling or to see his life being improved. The privilege of being given the chance to help someone in this way is amazing.  


I worked in factories for 30 years before I joined Bluebird Care in 2020, it was 30 years of doing shift work. Then I discovered I had a benign tumour between my ear and my brain. It gave me a bit of a check on life. I thought: ‘I’m going to do what I want to do.’ And that’s when I became a care assistant. 


Instantly I felt like I’d found my vocation. This role makes you feel good about yourself. You’ve made someone else feel good. 

For Tim, Friday night was music night and we’d put on his Country and Western CDs and sing along with them. Tim looked forward to Friday nights, he loved to sing with me, and I loved to sing with him. It’s all a two-way thing. 

There are little things that you can to do make someone’s day a bit better, and that’s what it’s all about. Then you go home thinking: ‘that was a good day.’ 

Frances was 90, and she loved tomato sauce. I made her an omelette and I put her initials on the omelette in tomato sauce. You’d have thought I’d given her gold to see the smile on her face.  

I treat everyone as an individual, they’re all so different. Stuart has dementia. When we go for a coffee and cake, or when we go to the war museum, I take a picture. Then I ask the office to print the picture and I take it to him. We go over the pictures hoping he’ll recognise the places and remember them. 


I like to treat my customers like royalty, they deserve it. When I get into the van and drive down the road, I know I’m going to help someone and I always go in to see my customers with a smile on my face, every single one of them. 


Ada has bad rheumatoid arthritis and one leg, and she’s the most amazing upbeat lady you could imagine. We just laugh and laugh. Last night I put her to bed, and when I went outside, I was looking over the ocean and looking at the reflection of the stars. I work in a beautiful place. ‘Tomorrow, I don’t have to sit on the end of a conveyor belt,’ I thought. I’ve had the opportunity to meet this lovely lady. see beautiful nature and enjoy every moment.’ 

I’m 58 now and a grandfather. I wish I’d done this job before. 


When I joined Bluebird Care I was at a low ebb mentally, but I found the process of helping others has improved my mental health dramatically and given me a real purpose in life. I laugh most of the time, I feel ecstatic. 


This job has lifted me up. The people I work with, the team I work with, the clients I work with, everyone has helped me. That’s what makes the care industry so great, the people who do it care. 

My bosses are very supportive and genuinely nice people. I try to be encouraging and helpful to my colleagues. I tell them how good they are. I like to say to people: ‘I’ve really enjoyed working with you.’ I do what I can to make everybody feel good.  


In 2023 I was awarded Care Expert of the Year in the Bluebird Care awards. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t consider myself to be any better than any of my fellow carers.


The large glass trophy is on my bookcase at home and every time I go out, I look at it to remind me that I’m good at what I do. 

This morning, I was working with John who is tetraplegic and the whole morning was just a laugh. Seeing John on his bed, laughing so much, makes it all worthwhile. He’s an inspiration. If I didn’t do this job, I’d never have met him.