Real Lives

It’s never too late to care

Josephine Mollison: From coffee shop to care village

Throughout the year we profile a care professional who has come into the sector after a career change and who demonstrates that it really is never too late to care! This month we meet Josephine Mollison, who left coffee shop management in search of a more fulfilling career.

Josephine’s journey with Belong, a dementia care specialist based in the North West, started nine years ago, when she joined the organisation’s Crewe care village as a support worker. Previously, she was the manager of a coffee shop and while she enjoyed the interaction with people it afforded her, she felt that she hadn’t found real job satisfaction.

For most people, changing direction to embark on a new career is a daunting prospect and Josephine wanted to use her professional life to help other people. She was keen to hit the ground running and to her surprise, was successful when she applied for a support worker position – despite not having experience or relevant qualifications.

As part of the robust induction programme for her role, Josephine trained for ‘The Care Certificate’. The on-the-job training certifies new starters in the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected for the high standards of the job, whilst also building confidence looking after older people, including those with dementia.

Much to her pleasure, Josephine’s career progression came quickly. In just a few months, she advanced to senior support worker, before heading up care teams in a lead role. Josephine credits her quick learning and development in those early days to excellent mentorship from Belong’s dementia trainer and the village’s support manager.

Now, she is proud to call herself the support manager at Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme. As the registered manager with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Josephine is responsible for ensuring the highest standards of nursing and dementia care for residents of each of the village’s households. Her leadership style views this as being about meeting emotional needs and helping people to lead a fulfilled life, as much as it is about clinical support.

She also makes sure that support workers receive the right training to meet these requirements and are up-to-date with best practice, as well as other administration.

On what she enjoys most about her role, Josephine says: “It’s achieving the best outcomes for residents and helping them to live in the way that they want to live. What I love most about Belong is that care is about individuals rather than providing a general care environment. I also enjoy that people come to me for thoughts and advice on how to approach particular situations and overcome challenges. My approach is to provide support and guidance rather than tell them what to do.”

Care very much runs in Josephine’s family, with her mum also working as a care host, and she can now ‘talk shop’ with her auntie, who also heads up care as the support manager in another Belong village. She is pleased to have taken inspiration from her family and have followed in their footsteps.

Over the past nine years, Josephine has also developed particular expertise in dementia care, which led to her being named Dementia Champion at the organisation’s annual internal awards, in last year’s Belong Champion Awards.

Commenting on Josephine’s contribution to the Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme team, general manager Peter Norman said: “I’ve seen her progress steadily in her career at Belong as a result of her commitment and caring nature. She has come to embody Belong’s values, and this continues to inspire those around her and manifest itself in improved outcomes for customers.”


Edel Harris





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