Maureen celebrates 25 years working in care - FitzRoy
Three people smile for the camera as they take a selfie

Maureen celebrates 25 years working in care

Published: December 29, 2023

Maureen never intended to spend more than a couple of years working in care. Little did she realise when she first started that she would still be transforming people’s lives 25 years later!

Two women smile for the camera, with a market stall behind themMaureen is a senior support worker at one of our supported living services in Coventry.  She told us: “I initially thought I’d spend a couple of years working in care when my children were younger – and to be honest, to be begin with, I wasn’t that keen on the job. But then the approach shifted to person-centred care and that made such a difference to how I felt about the job and how much I enjoyed it. All of a sudden, we weren’t just making sure that someone’s physical wellbeing was being looked after, but helping them to achieve real, tangible goals and really enjoy their lives.

“Person-centred planning was considered a bit of a buzzword to begin with, but I could see how it was transforming people’s lives, so I grabbed the approach with both hands and really ran with it. If they can do something on their own, we help and support them to do that, even if they need a little bit of encouragement to begin with, or help breaking it down into more manageable steps.”

We started to really focus on what each person’s goals and dreams were. I’d help them come up with achievable goals, and then work out how to get there. Sure, for some people their first goal was to learn how to make a cup of tea by themselves but many of the people we were supporting rapidly realised they could dream so much bigger. Helping someone realise their ambition of attending a concert or going on holiday is an incredible feeling – especially if it’s somewhere like Disneyland Paris that they’ve dreamed of for their whole life and never thought they’d get to go there.

Achievements aren’t only of the dream holiday kind either. Support workers play an essential role as advocates, ensuring the people we support get the right healthcare that meets their needs. Maureen says: “I supported someone who had diabetes and was on medication for it three times a day. In those days we all thought diabetes was something you had for life, but I asked the doctor what else we could do to support him. He suggested a different diet, so we supported him with this. Within 18 months, he’d improved so much that he was able to come off insulin altogether and reduce his other medication – we were all astonished! But the best part was how much happier he was as a result of the improvement to his physical health.”

Woman wearing red jumper with penguins on stood next to a Christmas treeIn addition to all the fun and activities year-round, Maureen explains that Christmas plans are highly anticipated: “We have an afternoon tea get-together, which everyone loves. Everyone brings a £5 gift and usually Santa hands them out. One of our residents, Lisa, loves having visitors so she often hosts – her flat was like a Christmas grotto last year. On Christmas Day itself, many of the people we support celebrate Christmas together, presents and all. The atmosphere is always really lovely. There’s also a tradition of several of them attending an annual dinner and dance at the local hotel on New Year’s Eve. The people whoattend are all busy shopping for their outfits now and really looking forward to it.”

Service manager Dawn said: “I wish to congratulate Maureen on 25 years’ service and want her to know how valued she is within our team. Maureen’s dedication shines bright – she will go above and beyond to ensure all the people she supports live their lives to the fullest and in the manner they wish it to be. Maureen is an inspiration to many and she’s well respected amongst those who know her due to her unwavering principles and fight for equality for all, which is a rare quality that I hope never changes. Congratulations once again Maureen and would love to say here’s to the next 25 but I don’t think either of us are on the right side of the hill for that one so here’s to the next 10 instead.”

25 years transforming people’s lives is an incredible achievement – huge congratulations Maureen!