Award winning Tracey Rogers is an inspirational manager who was nominated by her team for the 2018 Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards. Care Talk caught up with Tracey and asked her about her journey into social care and what she feels are the qualities needed to provide true person centred support.
I had four children at a young age and although it was what I always wanted reality set in when my third child was diagnosed with Aspergus Syndrome at the age of two.
I was twenty four and had a family to provide for and so applied for a job in a sheltered housing scheme with Housing & Care 21 as a cleaner, which I was able to fit around the children’s school and toddler groups.
Over the forthcoming years I fought many battles to get my son the support he needed whilst hitting many brick walls along the way. At the same time I became involved in supporting the Manager of the housing scheme with social activities, chatting to customers and helping out above and beyond my normal duties as a cleaner – very soon realised I was thoroughly enjoying every minute of this.
My Manager must have seen something in me because when her assistant retired she advised me to apply for the post. At first I felt totally inadequate but she encouraged me telling me that although she could teach me the job role, the ability to care was something that couldn’t be taught, and was a quality she had already spotted in me.
Feeling heartened I applied and got the job. With the full support of my Manager I progressed through the company, from Cleaner to Assistant Manager to Housing Manager, and finally to my current post of Housing and Care Manager having achieved a Level 5 in Leadership Social Care and Health Diploma.
Throughout my career in social care I have faced many challenges along the way, both professionally and personally, but with ongoing training and a supportive culture, I have never once wanted to give up.
I have always felt I had the benefit of someone seeing something good in me which gave me a chance to fulfil my potential in a job that I adore. I have now adopted this philosophy with my own staff team; everyone deserves a chance to progress and if you are prepared to work hard and prove yourself then you will succeed.
Making a difference is why I go to work each day. I am proud to work with such a dedicated and passionate team who really do go the extra mile in ensuring the people we support live fulfilling lives as independently as possible.
An example of this that I am particularly proud of is the personalised support for Lennon*, a gentleman with severe anxiety and a learning disability. Although initially reluctant to leave his apartment we worked with Lennon to help him access a life changing operation by helping him to build confidence with the medical teams.
We ensured that Lennon was supported around the clock whilst staying in hospital to ensure his operation was a success. Since the operation Lennon is now mobile and enjoys spending time with others in and around the service. This is just one of the many wonderful examples of how my amazing team support our tenants to live life to the full.
I’ve always had to work hard to get support for my son and I now support others to achieve their goals and get the support they need. I don’t see my work as a job; it’s a vocation and I am so privileged to feel I am making a difference to people who may not have a voice themselves.
*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality