Celebrate Real Lives

From kitchen to care: cooking up a career in nursing at AbleCare Homes

Lillie Brownlie and Ella Bacon, AbleCare Homes

Lillie and Ella came to AbleCare Homes four years ago, initially as Kitchen Assistants covering the weekend rota from the age of just 14. The girls are now 18, and, having just been certified as competent with medicines, can now be considered fully fledged Care Assistants, fully integrated into the staff team and demonstrating exceptional maturity, ability, and willingness. They are both studying Health and Social Care Level 3 at college, and are standout students amongst their peers, having harnessed their skills for the benefit of the vulnerable residents they look after, and of course themselves – few of their contemporaries leave college being able to boast such a wealth of experience already! Both have used their capability and know-how in the process of interviewing for the University placements, with Lillie intending to study children’s nursing and Ella general nursing.

Lillie and Ella normally cover weekend shifts but have recently stepped up to cover shifts after their college sessions end, they are totally adaptable and willing to selflessly step up and help wherever it is needed. Their teamwork is second to none and as well as providing fantastic support to each other, they provide support to the whole home.

Lillie and Ella have both been incredibly fortunate to work alongside an award winning team of brilliant staff at Frenchay House. Frenchay House benefits from a very diverse team, and our head office is based in an outbuilding at the property. This has meant that Lillie and Ella have been surrounded by a wealth of Social Care experience from day one of their employment, and a real melting pot of backgrounds, viewpoints, and past experiences. They have taken full advantage of this, and have worked with almost every department in the home at one time or another, all to gain themselves the invaluable wisdom from their colleagues. From helping the chef out with cake decorations and plating up, to the kitchen assistants with their food service and clean down skills, to the domestic team who have imbued the importance and joy of taking pride in a well kept, beautiful home. They regularly engage with senior management who work out of head office, and have in this way exposed themselves to a wider overview of social care which can only serve them well in their future intended careers as nurses. AbleCare Homes are sure a lot of social care providers would agree that nurses who intimately know the sector and what we can offer can only strengthen the NHS, their social care partners, and wider society as a natural progression.

Lillie and Ella take their experiences in the home back to their college classes  and use them to get fully involved in discussions. They used one of Frenchay House’s inspection reports as the basis for a class discussion during a college session about CQC and compliance and were able to add their real workplace experiences to share with other students. Both girls have a lovely nature with the residents and during their breaks they will sit and lead activities with them. They get involved in all sorts of extras going on into the homes, baking cakes and setting up stalls to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society. They will sit and assist residents who need to be fed or sit and spend time to provide company for residents on palliative care. Nothing phases these two, they are already ambassadors for social care and real trailblazers!  We have no doubt that they will be a huge success in their nursing careers having just received the news that Lillie has been accepted into Leeds University and Ella into Manchester University.  Everyone is delighted for them both.


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