I started my career in Health and Social Care in 1994 with Lancashire Social Services, supporting adults with learning disabilities, where I stayed for two and a half years. I then relocated to Surrey where I joined Friends of the Elderly.
During my 21 years of employment with Friends of the Elderly, I’ve worked in a range of care and management roles. I have developed a real empathy for all people who access our services and I am passionate about providing person-centred care. In August 2014, I helped coordinate the merge of Friends of the Elderly’s and TLC community based services to form Community Services and became Director of Care. Three years on my role has evolved and I am now Engagement Director. This new role gives me the opportunity to look at individual’s needs holistically and develop services around these requirements, whether internal services or working in partnership with other local organisations. My overall aim is to encourage people to maintain their involvement with, and feel part of, their local communities.
What motivates me is equality. Everyone should have the same choices despite their age, ethnicity, sexuality or financial status. People should not be labelled due to their life choices or background.
If I had to give my younger self one piece of advice it would be not to be too hard on myself. We are all human and ultimately we can only do our best.
If I reach my 80s, I hope to retain my sense of humour and the ability to make people laugh!