Rising Stars

Daniel Cole is Area Support Manager for Borough Care Ltd.

Career history

I joined Borough Care at the age of 16 as a casual care assistant. Shortly after that, I was offered a permanent role as a care assistant, working additional shifts as a domestic and a night care assistant, and gaining an NVQ Level 2 in Care.

In 2001, I decided to take on a GNVQ in catering and took an additional job role as a cook, whilst still completing care work part-time.

At the age of 21, I was promoted to full-time Care Supervisor. Being in this supervisory role was when I first realised I could start to make a bigger difference to people’s lives, as well as building a good career path and focused on developing my skills and knowledge to further myself.

During this period, I completed an NVQ Level 3 and a degree in Health and Social Care.
When I was 25, I was promoted to the role of Deputy Manager, working in three of the homes across the organisation over a five-year period.

At 30, I was promoted to Home Manager and successfully managed the home for four years, during which time, we achieved Outstanding in Well-Led in the Care Quality Commission’s Key Lines of Enquiry. More recently, I have been promoted to Area Support Manager, where I now have responsibility for the operational management of six homes.

Your organisation

Borough Care is an Industrial and Provident Society with charitable status, and manages 11 homes across the borough of Stockport. The homes offer a number of services, providing dementia care, high-dependency care, short-stay, day care, intermediate care and end of life care.

The governing body is the Board of Directors. Members of the Board are mainly local people who have experience of business or the health and social care sector. The Board meets monthly and also carries out regular visits to the homes.

Borough Care is a fantastic company to work for; I find them very supportive and open to new ideas. They offer excellent career development for staff and a comprehensive training package which all staff are offered. They hold regular consultations with employees through an employee focus group where they can put forward their views and wishes. I like the way that Borough Care recognises its staff and is happy to promote internally. I, along with some other managers, started with the company as care assistants.

Current role

I have been Area Support Manager for just a month. However, for the last four years, I was the Registered Manager of Wellcroft, which is one of the homes within Borough Care. I had been in post since May 2013 and really enjoyed the challenges and variety in my job.
I would say I wanted to become a manager simply to have a platform to support the staff, by leading them to aspire to make a difference to the residents, their loved ones and their colleagues.

As Area Support Manager, I do have a lot of responsibility on my shoulders and this makes for interesting times. It is very hard to describe a typical day as there are so many different parts to my work, but I see my role as leading and supporting the managers to ensure that high-quality care is delivered on a consistent basis.

One day, I can go from taking part in discussions with GPs, social workers and other professionals in the sector, to ensuring the excellent care that is delivered in our services is consistently maintained, and to enable us to retain good occupancy levels.

I have to ensure the marketing of the homes is continually being monitored and devise new and innovative ideas to promote the business, as well as ensuring the homes’ financial budgets are being managed effectively.

I can even be found getting out the vacuum cleaner every now and then or unblocking a toilet. I really do believe in the motto ‘Don’t ask someone to do something you’re not willing to do yourself’.

I would say the hardest part of being a home manager is the expectation to be an expert in every field. It’s about knowing your limitations and ensuring you have great people surrounding you to work together as a team.

Although my day can be very busy and varied, I wouldn’t change a thing. Seeing the residents happy in their home environment is a reminder to me how much I love my job.

Rising Stars

It was a surprise when I found out that I’d been nominated for the Rising Star programme and that I’d been nominated by our Chief Executive, Ingrid Smillie.

When I found out I’d actually been chosen, I felt extremely privileged to be one of 10 in the country to be recognised.

From the initiative, I am hoping to further develop my leadership skills and build on my knowledge to become even more effective. I am looking forward to working with the other 9 candidates, having that support network available and gaining new skills.

The future

In my new role as Area Support Manager, I want to be able to help move each home forward and excel in the service that they deliver, and inspire people to do the best they can.

It is a privilege to be in a role that allows me to lead, influence, improve and grow the service as well as contribute towards changing our culture, so that we can be the best quality care service.

Being on the Rising Stars initiative, I am hoping the insight, expertise and knowledge I can gain from others will allow me to achieve success for Borough Care.

Advice

My advice is to never forget where you started and where you have come from. As you move up the ladder and progress, yes, the job role may change, but you must never forget the hard work and dedication that our care workers put into their jobs day in, day out.
I have been fortunate to work for and alongside some very inspirational people throughout my career so far, and have learnt some very valuable skills which have taught me well.

Daniel is part of the first ever cohort of Rising Stars. This innovative programme, developed by National Care Forum and supported by Carterwood, is designed to identify leading lights within organisations who will shape and form the care sector in the future.

More information about the programme, the candidates and future opportunities can be found at www.nationalcareforum.org.uk

CMM subscribers can read the other Rising Stars’ interviews here.

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