From Head Teacher to Head of Welfare
Kerry’s face may look familiar. She used to be a Deputy Head Teacher at Moulsecoomb Primary School, Brighton, and then Head Teacher at Willingdon Primary School, Eastbourne. Now she is bringing her cheery, can-do attitude, and people skills to Kingsway Care.
How did you hear about Kingsway Care?
I’m zooming with Kerry this morning to find out why she left her 30-year career in teaching and became a valued team member at Kingsway Care. She greets me with her infectious smile and we immediately start laughing about how she first heard about us.
The Online Christmas Party
Last year she received the Kingsway Care online Christmas party invitation through her letterbox. This was an initiative by Olly, the Managing Director of Kingsway Care, devised to help people within the local Sussex community not to feel so lonely and isolated during the lockdown.
Kerry had just taken early retirement and didn’t have any Christmas parties to go to and knew her 80-year old neighbour didn’t either. So they both put on their glad rags and sat down to enjoy the show accompanied by Snowball cocktails and a three-course Christmas dinner (cooked by Kerry). We like her style already!
She was blown away by the professionalism, commitment, and passion that shone through the free online Christmas party. Kerry recalls that she won a tin of Quality Streets during the evening but when Olly contacted her, she politely declined and asked him to find someone else more worthy.
True to form, Olly said why not have two tins, one for yourself and your neighbour. Kerry and Olly continued to banter away, exchanging emails. She was struck by his warmth, sense of humour, and genuine passion to make people happy.
Work / Life Balance
So how did you go from enjoying a Christmas party to joining Kingsway Care? Kerry laughs again and says ‘some things are just meant to be’. She had been looking for a part-time job that could use the long list of people skills acquired during her teaching career – empathy, patience, listening, understanding, developing independence, cultivating dignity and respect, inclusivity, equality, diversity, and diplomacy. Also, the importance of policy awareness, procedures, and safeguarding. Phew, that’s quite a list!
Kerry wants to add that she can’t forget her inner teacher and that she is a stickler for grammar. She encourages team members to fill in their notes properly and communicate effectively to avoid any confusion.
Besides using all these life skills she also wanted time to rediscover her love of cooking and see her mum in Bedford more often. She tells me she has just taken advantage of the Kingsway Care Staff Treats programme to book a discounted trip to Bletchley Park with her mum. She’s realised life is for living!
Small Independent Agency
Kerry confides that she applied to a couple of care agencies for work and had to decide which job offer to accept. She knew that she would feel more valued with the small independent Agency, Kingsway Care, and joined the team in April. She has already completed the accredited Care Certificate and enjoyed the learning process. She works three days a week and fortunately for us, she spends a lot of her spare time baking delicious cakes to share.
Kerry has formed a special bond with Kingsway Care Client, Beryl. Beryl is 92 years old and used to be a CareGiver herself. Both of them have framed and treasure the picture (seen below) of themselves. Even though Beryl can be forgetful, she loves to point at the picture and smile every time Kerry pays a visit. This brings a lump to her throat. Kerry tells me ‘it’s not important for people to remember what you say, it is important they remember how you made them feel’.
Kingsway Care Client Treats
Kerry is excited to reveal that Beryl’s birthday is next month. Knowing that Beryl was brought up on a farm and loves animals, she has arranged a Kingsway Care Client Treat. A lovely day out together with lunch at Middle Farm in the South Downs of Sussex. Caring for people should be fun which is something we never forget!
The Kingsway Care Spirit
Kerry embodies the spirit of Kingsway Care. She tells me she is proud to wear the sunshine yellow uniform and feels humbled and privileged to be able to walk into a vulnerable person’s home to help them feel safe, secure, and happy. She puts them at ease by showing empathy, honesty, respect, trustworthiness, and loyalty. What an excellent addition to the Kingsway Care team.
Join the Kingsway Care Team
If you have been inspired by Kerry’s story and would like to join the team, head over to Kingswaycare.com/careers