Each month 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 John McLoughlin from Ideal Carehomes who previously worked as printer.
John McLoughlin is a domestic assistant at De Brook Lodge in Urmston, part of the Ideal Carehomes group.
After 34 years working for the Manchester Evening News, along with many printers, John McLoughlin was made redundant. Seizing the opportunity to follow his heart and do something meaningful with his time, John followed in the footsteps of his daughter and joined the team at De Brook Lodge care home.
He says: “When I left school I joined the Manchester Evening News as a messenger boy and after a year I progressed up to the machinery room. You couldn’t work on the printing press until you were 21 so from the age of 16, I was responsible for keeping the floor tidy and maintaining the machines. When I was 21, I started to work on the printing presses, which I loved.
“After 17 years on the job, I was made redundant and made the move to the new site at Telegraph at Trafford Park (TTP). I was there another 17 years but history repeated itself and again I was made redundant. At the same time my dad was very ill and I became his carer. When he sadly passed, it was time for me to get back out into the working world and find a new job.
“My daughter was already working as a carer at a lovely care home just 10 minutes from my home in Stretford. De Brook Lodge, she told me, was a great place to work, and she persuaded me to give it a go.
“And I’m so glad I did. I took up the position as domestic assistant and it’s my job to ensure the home’s communal areas, and the residents’ bedrooms, are as clean and tidy as possible to create a real home-from-home environment.
“I take great pride in making De Brook Lodge a clean and welcoming place to live and visit. I also love getting to know our residents and their friends and family. Whether it’s helping them organise their rooms or simply making them a cuppa, it’s really rewarding to know that you’ve helped put a smile on their face that day.
“One of the things that makes my job so special is the staff at De Brook Lodge. They’re a fantastic bunch and we all get on like a family. My head housekeeper, Tracy Pickwick, is excellent and really supportive of me in my role. I’ve been with the team for almost six years now and I can’t see myself working anywhere else. You get to know the staff, and spark up relationships with the residents too, which makes coming into work a pleasure.
“Don’t get me wrong, as with any job it can be difficult and challenging some days, but knowing that you can make a difference to someone’s life, and seeing the residents happy in their environment, is an amazing feeling!
“It takes dedication and commitment to carve out a career in care but it’s what I get out of bed for each day. I’ve recently been nominated by my peers for two awards, which means the world to me. Not only was I a finalist at the Great British Care Awards in the ancillary category, I was also a finalist for an Ideal Carehomes Award, in the ‘housekeeping hero’ category.
“Having spent the majority of my life in a completely different sector, I just feel incredibly lucky that I’ve been able to move to such a caring and rewarding role that I love.”
Stacey Linn, Director at Ideal Carehomes adds: “We are so pleased that John decided to take up a career in care. He’s been an invaluable member of the team since he joined us and he really makes a difference to the residents’ lives and the overall running of the home. He takes great pride in his work, which has been recognised recently with two award nominations. We’re so proud that John made the finals and wish him every success.”