Story by Sally B (Team Leader )
My name is Sally. Before my daughter was born I worked for Harmer’s trouser factory in Fakenham Town in Norfolk. After she was born I continued to work part-time until the factory closed and the staff were made redundant. After working in Budgens supermarket Fakenham, then Aldiss’s fashion shop in Fakenham Town I was once again made redundant when the shop closed.
I applied to Hilton Care in 2008. I was not sure at first about the career change as the only real experience I had was caring for my family. Hilton Care employed me as a Support Worker assisting 3 Tenants in independent living residing in Fakenham Town. After a couple of years, another Tenant moved in and I was promoted to Senior Support Worker. I covered my Team Leader while she was on maternity leave and after 12 months I was offered the position permanently. I completed the NVQ Level 2 and QCF Level 3 in Health and Social Care.
Over the years our team has been able to support the Tenants with many adventures and I have taken Tenants to Euro Disney, Cadbury’s World, Blackpool Illuminations, Harry Potter World, Lapland to see Santa, Madam Tussauds, flower shows in England, Holland and Belgium, group holidays to the Isle of Wight, Hunstanton, Hemsby, Butlins Skegness Scratby Sands and Potters Lowestoft, plus theatre trips to London and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
I have organised 3 themed Summer events over the years and with the help of my team and Tenants we have invited all the other Hilton Tenants in our area – these have all been a huge success.
I really enjoy assisting the Tenants to do a number of activities throughout the year which include trips to the surrounding city and towns like Norwich, Cromer and King’s Lynn and assisting them to visit bowling alleys, the cinema, craft fairs, enjoy parties and eating out and also to attend their family events.
As a Team Leader, I oversee the day to day running of the service for the Tenants and staff. In 2018 I was awarded Hilton Team Leader of the Year for our area. I was ecstatic as 2018/19 has been mentally and physically challenging. Over the years there has been a large staff turnover, training of new staff and maintaining a happy environment for the Tenants that have increased from 3 to 4 over the last few years.
I fully enjoy my position as Team Leader, it is a very rewarding role. I have a very good working relationship with all the Tenants and their families, my present team and my managers. We provide a happy living and working environment for all within the guidelines of Hilton Care by ensuring all procedures under my supervision are carried out correctly and recorded. Also providing a service to help the tenants achieve their goals for independent living makes me feel very happy.
Over the years the role has been very stressful and demanding at times, moreso when you have to go through the loss of a Tenant as I have. I had to be strong and supportive for the remaining Tenants as it is very emotional for them as they had formed very strong bonds and relationships with each other. Also, when a new Tenant joins the group the transition can be stressful for all concerned, but after a short period very rewarding when everything comes together.
Although the work can be tiring and tense at times this is the most satisfying job I have ever had, even on the stressful and demanding days, putting a smile on the Tenants’ faces every day makes it all worthwhile.