Katy joined our residential service as an Apprentice initially. Before joining our team Katy was studying health and social care at Diploma level at the local college, happily she successfully completed the course and received her diploma.
Katy has graduated from her apprenticeship and with lots of guidance, support and on-the-job supervision is now a full time Support Worker with us. She is also being supported to complete her QCF Level 3 in Health and Social Care which will be a great addition to her CV. Her line manager believes Katy has a great future with us and in the wider field of social care in general.
I joined Bedfordshire Supported Housing as a support worker and came from a rather dull workplace background, spending a few years making furniture, before trying my hand at working with a large building company making various products that were to be used on building sites. I decided that my ambitions were far greater than what I was currently doing, and decided to completely change career path, which is where Bedfordshire Supported Housing caught my attention.
At first I was unsure about going in to the care industry, but immediately after joining I was greeted with friendly staff, which made it easier. I received full training and support from day one, and have not looked back since. Although sometimes the job can be challenging, due to the nature of the clients we work with, it has helped me grow as a person and as an employee.
I was promoted to the Senior Support Worker role, which was a reflection of my own hard work, and the belief and support of Bedfordshire Supported Housing that a career was here for those that want it and are prepared to work for it. The company prefers to help develop current staff to strive for greatness, and I am one of the rare people in this day and age that can say; I enjoy coming to work.
Whilst on holiday I was the only person on the beach on Plantation Island in Fiji, when I experienced what can only be described as an epiphany, an intuitive sense of realization that instantly changed my view on life. For me the answer was to re-educate. After an intense 9 months on access to HE diploma in social studies, I enrolled at the university of Bedfordshire to study BSc Psychology, and criminal behaviour. My employment history had begun at 16 years old and includes a vast array of roles including; cleaner, chef, receptionist, barmaid, and later several managerial positions, none of which allowed me to progress or develop.
My studies gave me in depth theoretical knowledge in many areas, including counselling and interpersonal relationships, biological and cognitive psychology, problem solving, criminal behaviour, social processes, research and data analysis, criminal justice, coaching psychology and the psychology of mental health. It was the latter that gripped me. As a firm believer that the body and mind are inseparable and work together, George Engel’s biopsychosocial model intrigued me and gave me a better understanding of how emotion, thoughts and social factors all have a significant role in human functioning during illness and disease. Whereas social behavioural studies allowed me to investigate why people behave the way they do and how it can impact on their lives.
I graduated with honours as a mature student and a year later, with no previous experience as a support worker in the field of mental health, I began my employment at Francis House. I enjoyed putting my theoretical knowledge into practice and could see positive differences in the individuals I was supporting. I was encouraged to progress within the company and soon took on more responsibility as a senior support worker. I was then promoted to Home Manager and took on the responsibility of managing our neighbouring residential unit; Rutland Road Care Home.
Since then I have predominantly worked with individuals with schizophrenia which has enabled me to develop a deeper understanding of the impact mental illness can have on everyday life. This in turn has enabled me to successfully lead a service that delivers person-centred care, and promotes independence by motivating and supporting individuals to make positive changes that will enhance their daily lives and brighten their futures. The Home is rated as “good” by the CQC which I am very proud of.