My first job at the age of 14 was working in a kitchen. At 18, that led me to work in a bar in the port of Banus in Marbella, a very different career from now. Though I loved to party in the sun and be paid for it, making people smile and being proud of the care we provide on a daily basis is far more satisfying.
I started my career at Parkhaven Trust in 2003 as a care assistant at the James Page nursing home. Within two years, I had completed my NVQ Levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care and was promoted to care supervisor at Harrison House, the service I now manage.
I subsequently left Harrison House to become deputy manager at the Trust’s day care and respite unit. While I was there, I completed my NVQ Level 5 in Management and Leadership.
Since then, I have held posts in most of the services run by the Trust; this has really helped with my professional and personal development. One of the most important things I have developed is the skillset required to meet the daily challenges we face in social care.
The support I have received from various colleagues along the way has had a massive impact on me and my career. It is impossible to aspire without inspiration. I feel that I have come a long way since my first job at 14 working in a kitchen.
Harrison House is a residential service for 24 older people. We provide various levels of support in a friendly and homely environment. We also provide transitional and respite care to assist families, the NHS and the local authority.
Parkhaven Trust is a registered charity based in Maghull, North Liverpool. We provide a wide range of services to support people with dementia, older people and people with learning disabilities. Services range from care at home to end of life care.
We have a range of self-funded and local authority-funded service users and everyone is charged the same rate regardless of funding source.
I have been in my current role for 12 months. I wanted to become a registered manager as I love caring for people. It’s a great way to achieve so many things, too many to put into words. Importantly, improving the lives of the people I care for and the team that I lead gives me the biggest buzz.
I had a fair idea of what was involved in the role of registered manager because I had deputised for a number of years. However, when I become one, what struck me most was the level of responsibility you have as a registered manager. You are effectively on duty 24/7. However, over time this has become easier to manage with support and the benefit of experience.
The best part of the job for me has to be the people I come into contact with; the people that live and work at the Trust and others that I meet along the way. I love to lead and manage a team, I particularly enjoy empowering everyone as this usually results in happy faces and laughter amongst staff and service users.
That said, the most difficult thing I have faced is adapting to the increasing needs of service users. Funding is tight and people are living at home longer meaning they have much higher needs when they come to us, but there isn’t as much money to meet those needs. However, with our great team we are overcoming these challenges.
I wanted to become a Rising Star to build up my support network, knowledge and skills. In this career, we never stop learning, so to have access to a wide network is something not to be missed.
I was nominated by Kim Crowe, who is the Chief Executive of Parkhaven Trust and also my line manager.
When I found out I was accepted onto the programme, I felt a whole host of emotions. I was overwhelmed, I felt lucky, curious and excited to be chosen to participate in something so unique.
As part of the Rising Stars initiative, I would like to learn new things and build on my existing skills and knowledge. I believe this will help me become an even more effective leader. I am hoping to be able to take what I learn and apply it within my service and across the wider Parkhaven Trust. This will help us to continue to enhance the lives of service users and staff.
I am looking forward to, and have enjoyed, meeting new people through the programme, as well as gaining new skills and anything else that comes my way.
Looking to the future, I would like to continue to develop my skills and to take on further challenges as they arise. We are planning to move to a new building in 2019 and this will be a huge challenge to ensure that everything runs smoothly throughout the process. I hope that the Rising Stars programme will enhance my skills to enable me to ensure the move is successful.
I always believe the basis of a true health and social care leader is your roots as a care worker. Don’t lose sight of this as it gives you the foundation and insight from both a service user and staff perspective. Bearing this in mind, I have found that there are no unrealistic expectations for our services users.
I have always been taught to be innovative, but to know my own limitations and never be afraid to ask for help. This has served me well.
Without the support from senior managers, I don’t think I would be where I am right now. Throughout my career, senior managers have given me a chance and taken time to guide me. I would like to think that I have the ability to do the same for my team members. I know there are not enough hours in the day, but by taking time to help someone develop personally and professionally you can make a real difference not only to them but to the lives of the people they support.
Beccy 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