Meet the Manager of one of our Essex Homes

We met with Jackie, the Home Manager of a Supported Living home at Achieve together in Essex.

Jackie has had a long and varied career with Achieve together and originally started as a cleaner in 2007. Jackie realised how meaningful the Support Worker role was and moved into this position. Jackie’s experience is vast. She worked her way up through positions in different homes and has held the positions of Lead Support Worker, Deputy Manager and is now a Home Manager. Jackie has also embarked on her qualification and education journey and has completed her NVQ Levels 2, 3 and 5 in Health and Social Care. Jackie spoke about how the people she has met on her career journey were an important part of it.

“I have had the pleasure of developing many people into fantastic Deputy and Home Managers throughout my career. Many of these people became my friends and even those that moved on from the company I am still friends with today”.

Jackie is looking forward to progressing the home she manages even further and plans to do so by working closely with her Regional Manager and her team members.

“My team members always put the needs and welfare of people we support first; they always go that extra mile”.

Jackie is a hands-on Home Manager, and she will undertake any task required and operates an open-door policy for her team always.

“I enjoy working with my team on the floor; there is nothing I would ask my team to do if I would not do it myself. I like working with the new team members and showing them how things should be done”.

Jackie has worked relentlessly through the challenges the sector currently faces around staffing. She is very pleased that she has created a stable standing team, which she says family members have provided positive feedback about.

Jackie values her Senior Manager and Regional Manager and is looking forward to the new ways they will support her.

“They have taught me a lot whilst working alongside me, and I look forward to the future and gaining more knowledge”.

Jackie told us she enjoys watching people she supports engage in their favourite activities and try out new ones.

“Seeing photos of outings outside of the home always puts a smile on my face seeing how much fun people we support, and team members have had whilst out”.

Jackie went on to tell us how she is impressed by how some people she supports have joined the local day centre and are enjoying a wide selection of new activities such as horse riding, bowling, and archery. She said they are making new friendships with people from outside of Achieve together.

Jackie highlighted the challenges she feels she is currently facing.

“My main challenge right now is to keep the home at a consistently Good or Outstanding rating. I want to give people we support the best quality of life possible. We are always working to cover all areas of the Wheel of Engagement”.

Jackie told us she is motivated by all the people around her, including those she supports and her team members. She said the real enjoyment comes from seeing people we support happy and enjoying themselves.

Jackie said, “I look forward to coming to work each day, as every day is different and brings new challenges. No two days are the same, and I like the variety I have in my role as a Home Manager. I have great support from my Senior Manager and Regional Manager, making my job even better; I am learning new things daily.”

We asked Jackie what she felt her greatest achievements were at the home. Jackie said that supporting people to reengage with their local day centre after the pandemic has been an extremely positive experience for everyone. She said this was an achievement as it helps people she supports to maintain a healthy social life, enjoy new activities and work towards the Wheel of Engagement. Jackie said that family members are very pleased to see their loved ones return to ‘normal life’ after lockdown and enjoy seeing all of the updates.

Jackie told us that working alongside family members is a vitally important element of the support she and her team provides. She has created and sustained a strong professional relationship with family members.

“I have known most of the parents for many years as I supported their sons when I was a Support Worker at the start of my career; it’s like I have followed them through their journey as they have grown up to now.”

Jackie likes to keep family members updated through various means, including catch up’s over coffee and monthly email updates with photos. Jackie also ensures that BBQs in the summer and people’s birthday parties are open for all to join.

Looking forwards, Jackie has many hopes for the home.

“My hopes for the future are for us to achieve an Outstanding CQC Rating and keep it there. I am happy in my role as a Home Manager, and I want to continue to make improvements and give the people who live at here the best quality of life they can have”.

Team morale is very important to Jackie; she likes maintaining a healthy professional relationship with her team. Jackie starts each day with a cup of tea and a chat with her team members, where they can feel relaxed to discuss any thoughts they may have. Jackie said she is always open to new ways and ideas to provide the best support to people supported.

Jackie’s ability to motivate and inspire her team is part of keeping her morale high. Jackie said she achieves this through working alongside her team members in all aspects of the role. Regular supervision meetings are held with team members, and team meetings are regular to ensure everybody is working towards all elements of the Wheel of Engagement to positively shape the lives of people they support.

Outside of work, Jackie enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, and often she has family day trips. Jackie also spends her free time gardening, cooking, reading, walking her two dogs, and completing jigsaw puzzles.

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