Christine joined Jewish Care as an unqualified carer working as bank staff before being employed on a permanent contract as a night time carer.
She says, “Over time I realised that I like helping others. It’s fulfilling to make a difference to a person’s well being every day and see a major improvement in clients because of your work.”
Her aptitude and passion for care was recognised by the team at Jewish Care; “I’ve had time off to study for my NVQ’s 2 and 3 and Dementia Certificate training, with support from my manager. I shadowed the team leader at night and then decided to do more training to become Team Leader at Kun Mor & George Kiss Home, a specialist residential home for people living with dementia”.
Christine was one of three staff members selected to take part in Skills for Care’s Aspiring Managers pilot programme last October which has benefitted her work, she says, “The programme has helped with managing and supporting the team to follow procedures, carry out responsibilities of recording and follow personalised care plans.
“The management encourage staff to progress,” Christine continues, “when they see potential in staff the team leaders give them support and encouragement. Supporting each other in the work place is what makes people content and happy here. It feels like we’re part of a one big family with the people we care for and the people in our team.”
Ele Osen, Jewish Care’s Senior Learning and Development Advisor, explains, “When we recruit we look for people whose values and vision fits with those of the organisation. We create a positive environment for staff to work and grow, investing in people’s career development and encouraging them to progress so that they can thrive at different levels.
“We know that a good care worker is very difficult to recruit. Once they are here we do all we can to retain them. This seems to work as the average time people stay working for Jewish Care is 7 years, significantly higher than the sector average. In our staff surveys, people tell us they enjoy working for Jewish Care because it’s interesting. The depth and breadth of our services helps.”
Last year, Jewish Care supported their biggest cohort of 30 unqualified and qualified care workers to achieve their Level 2 and Level 3 Qualification Credit Framework through their in-house apprenticeship programme. Ele continues, “There is a strong commitment to providing support from our Learning and Development Team to help people to attain skills within the apprenticeship scheme framework, including helping with literacy, numeracy and technology, where needs are identified. This not only helps people at work but also in their everyday lives.”
Today, Mira Stamatova is a Care Manager at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff home for older people living with dementia and Rela Goldhill for people with physical disabilities which sit on the same site. Mira entered care work by chance when she came to the UK from Bulgaria but along with many of her colleagues she has stayed in the profession because of the rewards and satisfaction it brings.
Joining Jewish Care in 2010 as a Team Leader, Mira went on to complete her Level 3 and 5 QCF’s and was appointed as a Care Manager in 2016. She says, “Here your professional knowledge, hard work and personal input is appreciated and that’s been very important to me. I’ve always received support from all levels of management and my team. We work well together and have a good rapport. We all know why we’re here and that is to provide excellent care for our clients.
“I was clear with my manager from the get go that I wanted to progress. I always ensure I support staff to develop and reach their potential as I too have had this opportunity.”
Blake Ezra Photography