Job title Lead Carer
Working at the Almshouses: Since 2004
1. What does your job entail?
I manage a team of carers looking after about 60 people in our Very Sheltered Flats and in Jubilee House. I’m also responsible for the routes the carers take, medication audits and ordering supplies.
2. What were you doing before you came to the Almshouses?
I’ve spent most of my working life at the Almshouses but I have always been a carer – I’ve done it for about 30 years in all. I moved to Woodbridge from Southend and I know a great many people in the community because of my passion for boating.
3. What was your first day like?
I was met by Mrs Mills, the Head of Care and I shadowed her all day. My first jobs were to cook breakfast and lunch and then I helped take people to the bathroom – that’s how it worked back then – in between the cooking we took care of the 6 residents.
4. What do you most enjoy about your work at the Almshouses?
I feel privileged to be working in the Almshouses. I love it when my team provides the support they need and then the people who live here smile – I like to see them happy.
5. What impact do you think your work is having?
For many people living here, we are their family – so the impact of what we all do is to relieve them of pressures that they find increasingly difficult as they get older. We share their problems and help them find solutions – and some of the problems are very practical – things like, how to change their televisions over to digital reception!
6. What sort of training have you had?
I’ve completed all the basic training – food hygiene, first aid, manual handling, health and safety, preventing adult abuse. In addition I have an NVQ3 in care and dementia and in team leadership and I am a fire marshal, a medication trainer, a risk assessor and I have NVQ Level 2 in care.
7. What changes have you seen during your time at the Almshouses?
When I started work here, the Almshouses were quaint but old fashioned. Now they’re modern and the standard of care is very high indeed.
There have been vast changes because we now have
- Very Sheltered Flats for 30 people who wish to live independently with care on hand 24 hours a day. Previously, the people living in the flats needed some care but not all that much – we made daily visits to them to make sure they were ok
- 19 rooms in Jubilee House for people who want more comprehensive care, where previously there had only been six
The Almshouses were very much smaller and less specialised than they are now so staff did a bit of everything.
8. What about the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Still in this sort of work. I’d like to run a dementia centre.
9. What is the nicest thing anyone has said to you about your work at the Almshouses?