Hello! My name is Michelle (but everyone calls me Shelly) and I am the Branch Manager at Cera Stowmarket. I have been working at the branch for 23 years. I started working in social care in 1988 in a residential setting as a care worker. I then progressed to a team leader role in 1990 and in 1997 I had a change of direction moving into domiciliary care here at the Stowmarket branch as a Care Co-ordinator. I became the Registered Branch Manager in 2004.
Within the Stowmarket team we have had lots of memories but my favorite by far would be when we started the Meet and Mingle group in 2016 to help reduce social isolation in and around Stowmarket. This is an activity group hosted by the branch at a local sheltered housing scheme. We started meeting monthly and now get together three times a month.This group is for the local community and our service users all enjoy guest speakers, games, film afternoons and sing-a-longs. We even arrange trips to Felixstowe beach for fish and chips.
To be a really good care worker you need to be passionate about the job. Being a caring person is really important. It's also really important for the care worker to show a genuine interest in the service user's life as the care worker might be the only person they see all day. Care workers need to have good listening skills as service users have lots of stories to tell and good care workers will always take the time to listen. Every service user is different and care workers need to understand the importance of treating everyone as individuals and empowering the service user to be as independent as possible, whilst respecting their limitations. It is important that a care worker can be trusted. To encourage trust a care worker must be reliable, punctual and respectful. Care workers need to be observant, as service users' health can change in a short space of time. At Cera Stowmarket have a great team of care workers and some of them have been with the branch for over 20 years. On our last CQC inspection this was reflected with an Outstanding rating in Care Services.
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