After working at both the care home and the local hospital, Romy, returned full time to Willowcroft.
Romy (left) with Willowcroft Home Manager, Carol.
Young mum Romy explains why she returned to work for OSJCT care home Willowcroft, in the year that COVID-19 emerged.
Romy, who originally joined the care home in 2012, now manages her role as Care Shift Leader around precious time with her sons Dexter and Grayson, both under five. She works evening shifts during the week, and then a long day shift at the weekend. Once her younger son starts nursery, she plans to take on some day shifts instead of the evenings. She said:
“Carol, my home manager, is great. When I re-joined last year, she said that she’d find shifts to suit me. As I have young children, I’m not expected to work Christmas. She also supported me in becoming a Shift Leader. In a few years, I’ll investigate progressing to Care Leader when my boys are older.”
Romy joined Willowcroft aged 19. She had been working in retail, but inspired by time spent with her nan, she moved into social care, undertaking training at Willowcroft to become a carer. She said:
“From day one, I loved it. There is such a lovely, homely atmosphere, it’s like being with a big family. People sometimes think that care involves a lot of cleaning, or unpleasant jobs, but it’s not like that. We have some regular tasks, like helping residents during their evening routines, and there’s lots of time to get to know residents and find out about their passions. We make events special for the residents, like watching the Football World Cup and cheering along.
“I especially enjoy one-to-one activity time with residents. I might be giving a manicure, encouraging them to share their memories, or hearing about family members.”
After five years at Willowcroft, Romy moved to a job at the local hospital. She learned new care techniques and hospital procedures but found the setting clinical. At the hospital, Romy supported multiple patients who came and went. Missing the warm atmosphere and opportunity to build relationships with residents at Willowcroft, she continued to do bank work for the home.
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, Romy was nursing her second son, two-month-old Grayson. When she was ready to return to work, it was no longer possible to work at both the hospital and Willowcroft as ‘cross working’ was suspended across the health and care sectors to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Romy explained:
“It was an easy choice for me, Carol asked me to come and work at Willowcroft permanently, and I knew that it would be best for me and my family. The shifts are ideal for me, and I enjoy the homely feel of the care home. The hospital pays a little more but being at the care home is much more enjoyable. Willowcroft is a great team, and many have been working here for several years.”
“For anyone thinking about trying a career in care, I say, give it go. I go home after every shift feeling proud that I’ve helped someone to have a better day.”