Celebrating Care Home Open Week 2021: Katie’s story

28th June 2021

This week we’re celebrating Care Home Open Week 2021  (28 June – 2nd July). In normal circumstances we’d use this as a great opportunity to organise some special events welcoming prospective residents and their families into our care homes so they can see what it’s like living at Whiteley Village. But this is still a great opportunity to showcase our excellent facilities and services and highlight the range of activities we organise to ensure all our residents have as good a quality of life as they are able to.

Crucially – and most especially this year, we also want to celebrate our amazing care and nursing staff and shine a light on their experience of working for us and why they think our charity is a great place to work. One of the special features about our Trust is that so many people come to work for us, or become a volunteer, following a personal recommendation from a family member or a friend who has also worked here. In our view you can’t get better than that and it’s something we’re very proud of.

Katie’s story

Katie Blache has worked for our charity for almost two years as a care assistant in our nursing home, the Eliza Palmer Hub, here at Whiteley Village. It was a career she’d always been interested in and she came to us after the Trust was recommended to her by her mother-in-law.

Katie said: “I always wanted to be in health and social care and did my level 1 and 2 qualifications at college where I completed a three-month placement as a nursery nurse. My mum-in-law suggested I consider working for the Trust as she worked here, so when I saw an advert for a Recruitment Day at Whiteley I sent over my CV and I was given a slot for an interview.

“The day was really good, and there were lots of people there and I really liked the environment. You could tell it was a friendly place. Although I studied health and social care after leaving school, I started working in retail, so I came to the Trust with no experience. I now want to start studying for my NVQs and the Trust have been very supportive, so I’m hoping to start the level 2 in September.

“My main advice for anyone considering a career in care is don’t worry if you don’t have experience. What’s great about working here is that they train and support you on the job, so it doesn’t matter about your background – all you need is commitment and ambition. People say I look like I’ve been a carer for years!

“I love looking after people and enabling them to have more independence and choice  – it’s a very rewarding job. I really like the team here too. I can go to my colleagues or my manager with any queries or concerns, and you’re never alone as there’s always someone to help. We’re like a little family.

“The pandemic has been a huge challenge and it was very daunting at times as I was relatively new to care. But we kept going and got through it, and I’m really proud of how well we all kept the residents and each other safe. Everyone was incredibly dedicated in supporting the residents and I also felt supported by my colleagues and the nurses too. I felt I had to be strong for the residents and it was good to see how my presence helped reassure them during a very anxious time for everyone.”

This Wednesday (30th June) at Whiteley Village, we’re holding another Recruitment Day from 9.30am to 4.00pm, so if you think this might be a career you’d enjoy we’d love to hear from you. All levels of experience welcome, but please contact us in advance to book your place. Please call our friendly Reception Team on 01932 842360 or email us at: job.enquiries@whiteleyvillage.org.uk

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