What is your role at Achieve together?
As a Senior Service Manager, I oversee seven services, and support Service Managers to ensure that their services are all at a high quality. My role includes conducting financial business reviews and facilitating effective communications to both internal and external stakeholders. I’m on hand to support with any crises or safeguarding issues, as well as with signing off important actions.
What has your career pathway been like, both before joining Achieve together and during?
Before starting at Achieve together, I worked with adults who were suffering from drug and alcohol addiction. When I saw the opportunity for a role as a Support Worker for people with learning disabilities, I thought it was something I’d really like to try. I quickly moved up from being a Support Worker to a Senior Support Worker, and then climbed the management ranks going from assistant, to deputy, to Service Manager.
Achieve together really supports growing talent within their own organisation and they’ve been keen to help me reach my full potential. I didn’t have the experience yet to become a Regional Manager, so they created an in-between role as Senior Service Manager, which allowed me to grow my confidence and skillset, but with additional support from some great mentors. After a few months on the job, I’ve now stepped into the role of Regional Manager.
Why have you stayed working at Achieve together when there are so many other providers out there?
What drew me the most to Achieve together and the reason I stayed is, first and foremost, the values it holds as an organisation. The people we support are at the forefront of everything we do and feed into all aspects of our work. Alongside that, there’s a big emphasis on having fun; we want the people we support to enjoy their lives, and we want team members to enjoy their day-to-day as well.
The other prime reason for my decision to stay with Achieve together for so long is how they value team members. I’ve always felt very supported, from when I started to now, and I’ve built great relationships and had the chance to develop and grow.
I’ve been thoroughly inducted into all my roles, and I’ve had people around me who have encouraged my independence but have also been available to help whenever I need them. We have just started the Achieve together Ambassadors Scheme, which I feel will really empower team members as they will be acting as our voice within the company. There’s a great deal of recognition for team members with regular awards and initiatives which help people to feel valued for their fantastic work.
What kind of support have you received in terms of mental health and wellbeing?
I’ve always been impressed by how invested Achieve together is in the wellbeing of its team members and that support hasn’t wavered throughout the pandemic. We have a wellbeing programme which allows us to confidentially discuss anything, whether or not it’s related to work. There are also wellbeing passports which we can fill in to say how we’re doing, helping to alert our managers to any additional support we might need. If we have any concerns about our physical wellbeing, we are quickly referred to occupational health, who are always very helpful.
What would you say to people who are considering a career in social care?
For me, social care is a chance to make people’s lives better, and to fulfil their needs in an engaging and dignified way. Every day is different and it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s a real privilege to be able to help the people we support and to work together with great teams who are so invested in doing a good job.
I know that for a lot of people, the personal care side of support can worry them, especially if this is not something they have done before and can be a deterrent from entering the profession. However, it’s something you get the hang of really quickly and it isn’t as scary as it seems. The people we support really put you at ease and help you through the process.
Holly’s mentor, Head of Area Operations, Dean Thomas-Bines, said:
Holly has had an excellent career at Achieve together, from the promise she showed in her early roles to her success in building up services when in management positions. In her role as Senior Service Manager, she’s increased her confidence, as well as various business skills, learning more about the HR, financial and quality management side of things. We always recognised Holly as someone to watch, so it’s been great to see her shine and become the motivating leader we knew she could be.