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How to be a good… Housekeeper

John Lever, Head of Housekeeping at Woodland Manor Care Home

John Lever, Woodland Manor Care Home 

John Lever, Head of Housekeeping at Woodland Manor Care Home, was a recent finalist in the Great British Care Awards, South East region in the Ancillary Worker Category.


John described this as ‘a great honour and a very humbling experience’. John has been with the care home since it opened three years ago and like a number of other individuals there, is one of the original members of staff.

During a happy three years, he has moved from hospitality to housekeeping. Initially, his hospitality role involved setting up the restaurant areas, including the private dining area where residents and their families can enjoy family celebrations and create memories.

Jude, Head Chef, says of his colleague, ‘He works in a kind and friendly manner and his ability to multi-task and think on his feet is exceptional.’

John clearly takes pride in everything he does and was pleased that his move over to housekeeping allowed him to still integrate with residents and their relatives, as well as ensuring the standard of cleanliness and provision of laundry all ran smoothly.

At every Porthaven home, there is always a strong emphasis on dignity and respect for each resident, which was is a large part of the selection criteria for all Great British Care Awards finalists.   John describes this as very much part of what he does and considers that it illustrates the difference between ‘workers that care’ and ‘care workers’.

This ethos of consideration and empathy is of course helped by the elegant, spacious yet practical design of the home, where each large private bedroom has an en suite wetroom. A good choice of communal areas such as sitting rooms, a café and cinema, all play their part in creating a happy community of residents. The award-winning leisure and wellness programme is also very much another way to encourage independence and dignity for every resident.

Testimonials are a large part of the awards process and John is justifiably proud of the praise from the people he cares for and their families. It is particularly rewarding when they recognise that he is an asset to the home and they also comment on the standards of hygiene and cleanliness for which he is responsible. To John, praise and favourable feedback demonstrates that the team are doing their job well.

One resident’s family, spoke of ‘…a constant, caring and totally reliable safe pair of hands….Woodland Manor would not be the same without him…nothing was ever too much trouble…an experienced and wise presence.’

So what does John personally consider are the most desirable qualities in anyone working in the care industry? Primarily, he thinks it is important to demonstrate respect, compassion and a genuine care for the wellbeing of others. Patience too is a very valid virtue.

Clearly, from the very glowing testimonials and warm feelings that John creates around him, everyone was thrilled when John’s approach to care and support was recognised through the awards. He is a valuable and valued member of the Woodland Manor team and outside work, he also enjoys spending time with his family, doing a spot of gardening and even a little ballroom dancing. His gardening expertise also comes in very handy with the annual garden challenge between all the Porthaven homes, which Woodland Manor were fortunate enough to win this year.  Massive congratulations, John!

Key points:

  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Supportive approach to staff
  • Person centred
  • Promoting dignity and respect
  • Compassionate and caring

Edel Harris





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