Matilde joined Octavia as Care Assistant after spending many years providing personal care for a close family member.
“Working for Octavia really helped me. I was working in community care before I came here and I often struggled to get enough hours work a week to get by. This caused me quite a lot of mental and physical stress. Gaining a permanent job as a Care Assistant with Octavia has given me financial stability and the other benefits, such as paid holidays, are a real bonus.”
Having completed a Foundation in Health and Social Care, Matilde is currently studying full-time for a degree in Health and Social Care Management with the Anglia Ruskin University, as well as working as a Care Assistant for Octavia.
Matilde said: “I work four days a week and two days a week I go to university. I want to go further with my career in care and to do this you need to be well qualified. My managers have supported me in this and given me the flexibility I need to complete my studies.”
Afiya Agard, Scheme Co-ordinator at James Hill House
Afiya started working for Octavia as a Senior Carer in 2010 and after a period of secondment working as a Scheme Co-ordinator, she was promoted permanently to the senior position four years ago.
“I really like working in care and Octavia is a good care employer,” said Afiya. “There are so many benefits to being on staff here.”
“You have to love this job to do it because we are dealing with people with challenging behaviours at times. I really enjoy it. Sometimes at the end of my shift I go and visit the residents just to talk to them. They have interesting stories to tell about their lives. I love to chat and hear the snippets residents like to tell me about themselves.”
Afiya praises how Octavia has encouraged and supported her career development.
“I applied for the bigger role out of my own initiative. I wanted to see if I was ready to step up the ladder."
"My secondment as a Scheme Co-ordinator went really well and gave me the confidence to go for the permanent role I now have."
"I feel well supported by the organisation, both in developing my skills as a care manager and as a first-time people manager. Octavia has encouraged me and given me the opportunity to progress in my career."
Kesha Donaldson, Deputy Manager for Care and Support
Kesha started working for Octavia as homecare staff in 2003 before progressing to a Senior Worker and then to an Octavia Deputy Extra Care Scheme Manager. She was impressed from the start by the family friendly approach of her managers.
“I have found them very family friendly, which I greatly respect. My youngest was two and a half when I started working for Octavia and I was reassured that my managers cared about this and took this into consideration when arranging my working hours. I worked 9 to 5 initially and didn’t start working the early or late shifts until I wanted to.”
Kesha also appreciates the training and support she has received to help her excel in the role.
“It is the training you get and the skills you learn, together with experience, that makes you a good carer. I always get great support from my manager and I always feel free to discuss any concerns with them. For me it is important to have manager support to help and advise me in any areas where I might be struggling a little bit. Care can be a very challenging profession so to know that I will get that support when I need it means a lot.”
“I have always been encouraged to make the most of opportunities to develop my career and to grow. Octavia is very fair to their staff. The opportunities are there for everyone, it’s just up to you to make the most of them.”
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