Real Lives

A* student becomes a star carer

Katy Docker

Katy Docker has always wanted to work in the care sector. At school Katy excelled in her favourite subject Health and Social Care and went on to achieve an A* in her BTEC Level 3 Health and Social Care course. As part of this course, Katy undertook a placement at Ash Grove in Birmingham in 2019. Fast forward two years and Katy is now working as a full time Relief Worker at the same scheme, an integral part of the team and her youthful enthusiasm makes her a real favourite with the residents.

Ash Grove, which is part of The Riverside Group, is an extra care scheme offering 35 apartments for people over the age of 55. Extra care at Ash Grove means people can still live independently but there is support for those that need it and staff are on site 24 hours a day, which offers safety and security to those that live there.

Life at Ash Grove means that people can live in their own flats but also have the benefit of the communal area if they would like to socialise and join in with onsite activities. Mark and Marie, the managers at Ash Grove, always say it’s a home for life and the staff will go above and beyond so that people don’t have to move on to other care settings unless absolutely necessary.

As you might expect from someone still young and at college, joining any new team can be daunting and at first Katy was very quiet, you could even say shy. However, we have seen Katy grow into the role over the last 12 months – her confidence has flourished and she is held in high regard by the team.

This is not a straightforward role. Katy has successfully managed some really challenging situations including end of life care – always demonstrating great empathy and care with the residents and their loved ones. She is confident, assertive and is already showing quality leadership skills within the team.

Katy has embodied the values of Riverside: care, courage and trust. “Working at Ash Grove has taught me a lot and it’s so rewarding to know that I am making a difference, being on the front-line in supporting all the residents against the virus,” says Katy.

The pandemic has brought fresh challenges, which Katy has met head on. Although it has been something of a ‘baptism of fire’ with Katy starting her career just before the pandemic, it has given her the opportunity to learn quickly and integrate herself into the team.

Katy demonstrated her skills and commitment throughout the last year. She stepped up to the mark and became a real team player by doing extra shifts to cover colleagues who were isolating, whether that was doing spilt shifts or last minute shifts. She did not turn down a single shift that was offered.

We really feel that it’s people like Katy who are the future of the care sector – she is keen to learn and would like to progress to a management role.

We think Katy puts it best when she says: “I feel more confident in myself and am keen to progress within the health and social care sector – this is very much where I feel my heart is at. Although I am still growing myself and understanding who I am, I get so much pleasure from caring for others. This is definitely my vocation in life”.



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