Jenny is the Registered Manager of Crystal House, a supported living service located in Bromley, London.
When asked what she loves most about her role, Jenny told us, “I love watching people grow and achieving their dreams. I also enjoy supporting individuals to try things they’ve often thought about, but never tried, such as supporting people to find paid work and volunteering.
“What inspires me to keep going is wanting to make a difference to people’s lives. Supporting people to make their own decisions and choices, and enabling them to have control of their lives. Also, developing the team to provide excellent person-centred support.”
Jenny and her team support people at Crystal House to take part in a range of activities which can greatly benefit them through increased social and communication skills. These include in-house activities such as gardening, arts and crafts and music sessions, as well as activities in the local community including shopping, eating at restaurants, day centre activities, cinema trips and bowling.
We asked Jenny what she is most proud of: “It’s got to be leading a team who won a Great British Care Award and achieving an Outstanding CQC rating. It was a huge achievement for all the team and made me feel very proud.”
Jenny shared how she believes Crystal House reflects the values of Achieve together: “Being brave: Individuals express themselves when not always feeling confident and are encouraged to speak up. Having fun: People we support are happy – they organise events, and are supported to attend events. Our home is generally filled with laughter!
“Valuing people: We respect people and their home, our team members are caring, responsive, and support them to feel safe at all times. Making things happen: We listen to the people we support. We offer person-centred reviews and opportunities for people to do the things they enjoy e.g. accessing education, work, volunteering and having new experiences. We hold monthly tenants meetings, monthly key worker meetings, and explore what’s available for people’s needs.”
When asked why she originally chose to go into care, Jenny told us, “I grew up with parents who were nurses. My mum worked in a home for young children with severe learning disabilities – my mum’s work inspired me to want to do similar. My aim was to become a nurse, but my path took me in a different direction.”
Jenny went on to describe her career journey so far: “Straight out of college in 1985, I got a job in a home for people with learning disabilities, and then worked for the NHS learning disabilities sector. I initially worked as a Support Worker, making my way to senior, then manager over 5 years. I then worked for what became the Bromley Primary Care Trust for 24 years. In 2011, I transferred to another provider as part of a programme focused on supporting people to move out of long stay NHS care, into the community. I worked and progressed to Senior Manager until November 2020. Then I took a short career break, and started working for Achieve together in April 2021.”
Outside of work, Jenny enjoys walking, reading, eating out, spending time with family and friends, and going to the theatre and cinema.
Jenny is very clear on her mission and aspirations for the future, telling us: “It’s to embed great support, and support individuals to reach their goals and dreams. I plan to match team members well, offer service specific training, and support our team to become excellent Support Workers and to fully understand their roles. I’ll be chairing person-centred reviews, and working with external agencies.
“I’m excited about having a team which provides great support. I’m also looking forward to ensuring people we support are happy, and that we’ll all be celebrating their wonderful successes and achievements!”
Crystal House is a supported living service for adults aged 18-35 with autism spectrum conditions and/or learning disabilities.
The team at Crystal House are passionate about promoting independence and support for young people to access further education, employment, social and recreational activities.