My Career Journey
I started my career working in retail for Box Clever, where I worked my way up to management level, but unfortunately I was made redundant. As I was made redundant at a very young age, I decided that I wanted to embark on a different type of career challenge.
I didn’t have any previous care experience, but I knew people who’d worked in care, and so I decided to pursue a career in this field.
When I joined Abicare (which was originally known as Milford House Homecare) I phoned up and got an interview for the role of Coordinator. The interview was very relaxed and I was already made to feel part of the team. I got the role, but as I didn’t have any previous care experience I decided to do all my carer training so that I could go out and deliver care for the first 3 months whilst doing my role.
Why did I join Abicare?
When I applied for the role of Coordinator I was new to care and Milford House Homecare was also new. I wanted to join a company that was fresh, where I could work my way up.
I felt that Milford House Homecare would give me those opportunities, and during my interview I already felt part of the family. I did have other interviews booked with several other care companies, which I immediately cancelled as I felt that I instantly fit in with Milford House Homecare. As the company grew, it rebranded and became Abicare.
I have always enjoyed managing and working with people, helping them to achieve their goals. I took my career progression slowly, step by step – I started off doing rotas and helped develop the team, especially when we moved away from doing everything on pen and paper to a computer based system. I worked in a small friendly team, who supported each other and helped develop each other.
I have been with Abicare for 21 years, in which I have had a long and varied career:
- I started off as a Coordinator at Milford House Homecare, and then at Abicare I was a Care Coordinator, helping to develop care in Salisbury and then Amesbury.
- As the Salisbury area grew, more Care Coordinators were brought in to cover the Salisbury area. Abicare then started to expand into West Sussex, and I was involved with setting up and developing this area.
- I then enrolled to become a Level 4 Registered Manager.
- I moved from covering Salisbury to Westbury, and I handed West Sussex over so I could help set up the Bradford on Avon (BOA) office, and I became the Registered Manager for BOA.
During this period I had my first child, so I took 1 year maternity leave. When I came back I continued to be the Registered Manager for BOA, working alongside Angela Dawson. However, I really struggled with being on call due to having a small child so Abicare helped develop me to become Area Manager, where I covered Dorset, Swindon, Salisbury, BOA, Eastleigh and Thatcham. This role supported on call rather than me having to go out and deliver care.
- Abicare then went through a restructure, which focussed on live-in, and I started to get involved with this. I then became Care Operations Manager for visiting and live-in care.
- As live-in has continued to grow I have remained as the Care Operations Manager for visiting care, and Jake Smith manages live-in.
Why have I stayed with Abcare?
I have spent most of my working life at Abicare, I feel part of the Abicare family – the company has a supportive family feel, and they are flexible and adaptable in their approach.
Abicare have always encouraged me and given me confidence with my career progression – I have done lots of internal and external training, which they have always been happy to fund and support, including my Level 4 Registered Manager’s Award, which they funded and allowed to to take time out for study time. When I had children, Abicare also adapted to my needs, helping to support my work/life balance.
Sometimes the work is challenging, but it’s also very rewarding – I have seen the business grow from the ground up and I want to help it continue to grow.
I think that Anne-Marie Perry is an inspiration, she is constantly trying to change the face of care, to make it more accessible and to develop it, helping to change people’s lives and make a difference.
I would say to anyone who is new to care that if I can do it then anyone can. When I joined the industry I had no experience whatsoever, but it’s so satisfying to know that I am helping to make a difference in the lives of our clients. Even if you’re not out delivering care, you will still make a difference by being a part of the puzzle.
“Working in the care industry is extremely rewarding - looking after people and supporting them in their own homes is an amazing feeling. No matter what challenges arise, a client’s smile, positive feedback or a thank you makes it all worthwhile, and you get a warm feeling knowing that you have helped make a difference." - Sarah
Career Pathways at Abicare
Abicare are proud to support all staff with their professional and personal development – we recognise that every single person has different skills, strengths and interests, which is why we offer a wide range of training on various topics by our in-house training team. We have a number of varied roles (including carer roles, working in management, office based roles, etc) so whether you’re new to care, you’re already a carer and wish to progress, or you are looking to join Abicare in a non carer role, our supportive team can help you to meet your full potential.
Request more information or call us today - 01722 343 989
Abicare changes lives. Get in touch to find out more about how Abicare services could help the lives of you and your family.