At Bramble Home Care, we take pride in providing the best care possible to our clients. Our Operations Manager Amanda knows firsthand what it takes to make that happen!
We recently spoke to Amanda, who shared her story and journey into care – we think it's an absolutely inspiring read...
I started my Social Care Journey as a 16-year-old girl in 1986 after leaving school and went to the Royal Forest of Dean college to take a City and Guilds in Family and Community Care.
I left the following year after gaining 2 credits and passing my City and Guilds and other training certificates that went it such as “Practical Caring Skills”, “Care of the Dying” and “First Aid”
By the time I left college I already had a weekend job in a Residential Home in Gloucester where I was a Care Assistant. I stayed there for a year or so until the owners opened a new home nearer to where I lived.
At the age of 18 I was the Senior Care Assistant at the home and stayed there for almost 2 years when I decided I wanted to gain more experience in a Nursing Home.
So, at the age of 20 I became a Nursing Auxiliary in a 48 bed Nursing Home where I learnt a lot regarding health conditions such as Huntingdon Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Motor Neurone Disease. I was also trained to perform basic nursing tasks and soon became a Senior Auxiliary. I stayed there for 2 years until another opportunity came knocking.
I then moved onto a duel registered home for the local authority as a Senior Care Assistant where I stayed for 5 years where I took time off 4 months and 6 months to have my children.
After 12 years working in Care Homes, I felt that I wanted something different and with Community Care on the rise I wanted to give this a go. So, I worked for my first Community Care Provider part time.
I never looked back and loved working in the community so much that I stayed with this job for 14 years moving my way up the career ladder with fantastic opportunities such as:
Company Trainer (after completing several Train the Trainer Courses)
CQC Registered Branch Manager
I also gained the following qualifications whilst here:
A1 NVQ Assessors Awards
Level 4 NVQ Verifiers Award
Level 4 NVQ Health and Social Care
Level 4 Registered Manager Award
The 2 latter qualifications are now amalgamated into Level 5 Leadership and Management
After 14 years another opportunity came up for the position of Operations Manager which was closer to home for me.
This was a good-sized service with Community Care, a Respite Break Service, and a Day Centre. This service grew and flourished where we were nominated and won many awards in the Great British Regional Care Awards (Southwest) and went on to the National Awards as finalists who had won at the regionals.
We also had good successes at the Gloucestershire Care Providers Association (GCPA) awards. This was such a great achievement for all involved showing the dedication and passion for the work they do.
After turning 50 I felt I needed another challenge knowing that I still had something to offer the sector. This is how I ended up at Bramble Home Care where I have now celebrated my 3-year anniversary on 27th July!
We now have 2 offices in Gloucestershire with 1 in Staverton and 1 in Cinderford both regulated and registered with The Care Quality Commission (CQC)
My job responsibilities are to support the Managers with their day-to-day jobs and tasks ensuring the service they run is safe.
Other responsibilities are to help grow the business and ensure we grab our opportunities whilst they are there!
I am responsible for writing our tenders for new business this is something which I very much enjoy especially when I am selling our service. We have some great opportunities currently we have a few tenders to write this year with one due by the end of September and others due end of October.
I like my job/role as no 2 days are the same as the day before plans can easily change when higher priorities come along. Skills required (very tongue in cheek) lots of patience due to ever-changing priorities with urgent deadlines. You need a cool head and calm approach to be able to achieve what is needed.
I have just implemented paperless medication dispensing (EMAR) this is live data for everyone at Bramble Home Care where we are all vigilant with medications being taken when they need to be, we are able to pick up any urgent issues as they happen, this is also an easier system to audit.
A piece of advice that Amanda has for everyone...
Please do not think that you will be where you are forever! Grab all training you are offered, offer to assist with projects that are outside your experience this will give you valuable insight for when career progression opportunities arise.
Anybody can have a dream and a vision, and you are in control of your own destiny so please grab all opportunities that you are presented with as one day you could be writing a similar blog yourself!
Have you had the pleasure of working with, alongside Amanda during her time as Operations Manager? We want to hear your stories friends - let us know in the comments and join our conversation