Janet Walker

Janet Walker

Job title Housekeeper

Working at the Almshouses: Since 1993

1.    What does your job entail?

We make sure the whole place is spic and span, wash the residents’ clothes, clean their rooms and keep the communal areas clean and tidy.  We used to be responsible for specific areas of the Almshouses whereas now we have a variety of ‘routes’ which we cover on a rotation basis so we get to know the whole Almshouse complex really well.

2.    What were you doing before you came to the Almshouses?

I was at home with my two young children.  When they went to school, I started part time at the Almshouses and picked up more hours as my children became more independent.

3.    What was your first day like? 

I was met by the matron and she showed me round and then teamed me up with a more experienced member of the team.  In those days the Almshouses were a bit of a maze and I couldn’t find my way around – I quite literally needed pointing in the right direction!

4.    What do you most enjoy about your work at the Almshouses?

I enjoy all of it – I love to get stuck in and I find the work therapeutic.  On top of that I love the people. I get to know them very well, they are like my family really.

5.    What impact do you think your work is having?

It’s crucial that the Almshouses are kept spotlessly clean and there is no better compliment than when a visitor notices and remarks on how clean the place is.  It’s a big part of running the Almshouses – our standards are exceptionally high. People say it’s like a hotel.  Of course, in a place full of people there are going to be mishaps and spillages but we are always on hand to put things right.

6.    What sort of training have you had?

I have done a lot here – everything on offer – for example safeguarding vulnerable adults, food hygiene, manual handling, infection control and COSHH.

7.     What changes have you seen during your time at the Almshouses?

When I started, the Almshouses were small. The residential home (Jubilee House) only had six rooms – now there are 19, thanks to a new block built in the 1990s. In 2005 the Very Sheltered Flats and the Day Centre were added.

There are a lot more people living here now than when I started and, because they can now live at home for so much longer, the people that come to live here are older with greater care needs

8.    What about the future?  Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I’m not looking for anything else – I love my job and love the people I work with.

9.    What is the nicest thing anyone has said to you about your work at the Almshouses?

When a visitor comments on how nice and clean it’s all looking. I get a lot of ‘thank yous’ which mean a lot!

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