15 Jun 2015
In the run up to Care Home Open Day, colleagues from different teams across Anchor are sharing their experiences of a career in care. Anchor’s Customer Engagement Manager, Brenda Metcalfe tells us why she works in the care sector.
I’ve worked for Anchor for 10 years and during this time I’ve met and worked closely with a huge number of remarkable older people living in both our care homes and retirement housing properties.
I’m a people person - I love to be out and about, working with different people, hearing their stories and ideas, and getting involved in real hands-on work.
As Anchor’s Customer Engagement Manager I’m constantly looking for the next thing to help make people’s lives more enjoyable and some of the best ideas simply come from getting to know people well. I’m proud to say that at Anchor our residents really do help shape the way the organisation is run and improve our services.
I strive to be an advocate for older people and a large part of my role is about ensuring two-way dialogue so that our customers and their families feel involved in decision making and influencing the services we provide.
My mother had dementia so I know first-hand the difficulties a family can face when making the decision to find their relative a care home. I understand how important it is to help ensure this transition takes place as smoothly as possible for everyone involved, and that communication is key to peace of mind once you entrust your loved one to the care sector.
I’ve had a lot of stand out moments in my career, from launching customer forums, volunteering schemes and the introduction of iPads across our care homes, to supporting engagement activities for people living with dementia.
Eight years ago I also set up the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) group at Anchor, which has gone on to have such a positive impact on the lives of many many people. At the time, we recognised there was an issue when residents were raising concerns about feeling self-conscious about their sexuality and telling us they weren’t comfortable enough to be themselves. This group was set up as a support network and is open to all customers and staff. It aims to help make Anchor a safe and welcoming environment for all LGBT people, as well as acting as a sounding board on LGBT issues and policies from both perspectives, and is something I’m very proud of.
One of the best things about working in the care sector, and at Anchor in particular, is that you have the autonomy to see an issue and deal with it straight away. You can make another person’s life considerably happier with just a small change.
When people ask me why I work in the care sector I explain that it’s unlike any other area of work. People working in care are incredibly passionate and that passion really motivates you to be the very best you can be. I have worked for other big organisations in the past and have never found the same atmosphere; here we all love what we do and no one has the Monday blues.
I work in care because…I’m a people person, looking to make life more enjoyable.