Meet the Manager of Winterfell

Meet Kirsty Sudlow, the Home Manager of Winterfell in St Helen’s, Merseyside.

Winterfell is a residential service in St Helen’s, Merseyside, which specialises in learning disabilities and autism spectrum conditions. The service applies person-centred planning, involving the person supported, and family members, in order to set and reach positive outcomes. We met with the Service Manager, Kirsty Sudlow.

We asked Kirsty what initially excited her about a career in the care sector. She told us, “My family worked in the care sector. Seeing my mum making a difference in peoples’ lives was an inspiration to me, and I also wanted to make a difference.

“What excites me most is seeing the people we support happy and living in their own homes with person-centred support. Also seeing our team empowering people we support to achieve their dreams – not giving up at the first hurdle but trying again.”

Kirsty went to on describe her career path: “I began my career in health and social care as a Bank Support Worker. I progressed by increasing my hours and then developing my skillset to gain internal promotions to Senior Support Worker, and then Home Manager. In addition to developing my skills and knowledge through training and qualifications, I gained recognised qualifications in the form of Level 3 in Health and Social Care and QCF level 5 in Health and Social Care.”

Kirsty shared the best thing about her job and what inspires her to keep going: “Seeing people we support and team members being successful, achieving their desired goals and making their own choices. Also getting positive feedback from families and professionals, and building trusting relationships with internal and external professionals. I love leading my team and supporting them to develop and reach their goals!”

We asked Kirsty what she is most proud of. She said, “I was nominated as a regional finalist in 2018 for the National Care Awards and won the ‘Care Home Champion’ award. I will always be proud of this achievement! It’s a commendation I will always hold close to my heart.

“When I worked at Rivendell, the people we support were joint finalists for the ‘Wheel of Engagement’ award. This award filled me with pride because it highlighted the great work the team were part of, evidencing that people we support were engaged. It also offered opportunities to improve their quality of life and engagement within the community.”

Outside of work, Kirsty is busy taking care of her five children, has recently trained in Reiki, and enjoys having fun with family and friends.

Kirsty shared her mission and aspirations for the future: “I hope that our newest service is a wonderful home for many years for the people we support. I then hope to develop the area by setting up more services for people.

“I plan to further my development and knowledge – and to be the best I can – where people we support, families and professionals recognise our approach, are given equality, diversion, and inclusion. I look forward to leading my team to be the best they can be and help them develop their approaches.

“I’m excited to start our journey to one day gaining an ‘Outstanding’ CQC rating. This is what the team will work on and strive towards as we’re aiming for Winterfell to be recognised as a flagship service. People we support will be encouraged to have their own choices, build their skills and lead a happy, safe and fulfilled life.“

Find out more about Winterfell in Rainford St Helen’s, Merseyside.