Case Study: Michelle's Story

Caring came naturally to me. I’m a mother of six and now a grandmother. My children were growing up, and I felt I had so much to give to others, and that’s why I decided to become a care assistant. I knew there was a need, and thought I’d give it a go.

I was frightened when I joined Bluebird Care as a care assistant, I didn’t know if I could do it. I used to be an assistant manager in a hotel, and this was something completely different. I remember my first day was quite scary, but I soon found that I really enjoyed it. I felt like I was serving a purpose in the community and that’s a good feeling.

I remember working on Christmas Day 2020, a few months after I became a care assistant. I went to see Sarah who had no family, I was the only person she saw that day. I sat with her, and we had a cup of tea and a mince pie and a chat. It made it a really special Christmas to think I’d been to see her when she had no-one else. It was lovely to be able to do that.

Of course, you become attached to people, especially when you see them on a regular basis. We show that we’re professional in the care we provide.

I was out in the field for a year and during that time I completed my NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care. In September 2021, I started working as a care coordinator in the office. At first it wasn’t easy for me to be in one place, I was so used to going from one person to another.

I’ve just completed my NVQ level 5 in Management and Leadership. I’d like to progress further. Bluebird Care support us to do well and that backing makes you want to do better.

My role involves admin and doing the rotas and making sure the care team are ok. It’s important to have the trust of the care assistants. I’ve worked alongside a lot of them, and I understand. My job is a challenge and I like a challenge, every day is different.

Most of my time now is spent in the office but I still work as a care assistant, covering calls on my way home after work, and at weekends. It’s lovely to catch up with the people I care for. I feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.

Once you’re a care assistant you’re a care assistant forever. It’s something that doesn’t leave you.

I like to think I have a caring nature. I’m tolerant and patient and treat people how I’d want to be treated. If I can help I will. To be a care assistant you have to care.

I do little things to cheer my customers up. Daisy used to be a nursery nurse. Now she’s almost 90 and has dementia. We sing nursery rhymes together and she still remembers the words, she corrects me if a say a wrong word.

I think it’s important for people to be at home in their own surroundings, they have all their own things around them, the little things they like.

Sam is in his eighties and likes to be surrounded by teddy bears on the bed, it makes him feel safe, and he’s relaxed and contended. He has a lot of health needs and gets quite anxious and it calms him down. Everyone is different and treating them all as individuals is important.

When some is smiling as I leave it means the world to me, it’s nice to think I’ve had an impact on their life. The best thing about being a care assistant is that it’s so rewarding.

In 2022 I was named Team Member of the Year for Bluebird Care. I still can’t believe it now. We all do a fantastic job. The glass trophy is on my desk, I look at it now and again and think. ‘How did I get that?’ It makes me feel proud.

I care about the care team and my customers. Becoming a care assistant was the best thing I ever did.