Life stories

Home Manager

Laura tells her story as a Home Manager and shares how genuine care is at the heart of everything we do.

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Our team of fantastic colleagues makes every Home a Caring Home, and across our business, we work alongside people from all walks of life, who all share the same passion to help every resident live life to the full.

Laura is the Home Manager at Oak Manor in Dereham, Norfolk. Laura’s story is a great example of how genuine care and putting happiness at the heart of everything she does is a benefit to all:

"I’m a qualified nurse by background and joined Caring Homes in January 2021 as the Home Manager. It’s a special role because I get to make a difference to the whole home, the residents and the team. It’s my responsibility to make sure everyone’s happy and I get to put my stamp on the Home, it’s a real privilege and very special. I’d managed a care home in Bletchley previously and needed to relocate for my partner’s work.

When looking into nursing homes in the Norfolk area, Caring Homes stood out for their values and what they stand for as a company. People genuinely care here and that filters down from the very top.

Helena Jeffrey came to visit the Home and she was truly interested and supportive, asking how things were going and about my plans for Oak Manor. She even gave us some of the hanging baskets from her garden for our Gardening Club, because I’d mentioned that a lot of our residents are keen gardeners.

We’ve been on a real journey and people come in and they’re really pleased for the Home, to see it improving. I put my heart and soul into things and am often self-critical, so to be surrounded by that kind of support and encouragement it makes all the difference.

It’s not been an easy start, there are lots of improvements to make and we’ve experienced a lot of loss through Covid, it’s been heart breaking. Life is precious, I’ve always been deeply aware of that as a nurse, but I feel that responsibility to make sure that people are okay even more so now. It’s taught me so much, and it being okay not to be okay, is one of the most valuable lessons. Taking the time to check in with someone who’s quiet on the team, may seem like a small thing but it works.

What I love about Caring Homes is we all work together for the same goal, to make a difference and improve the lives of the residents. Seeing people happy, seeing my team happy and making positive changes. It means the world.

At Christmas I wrote every member of the team a personal letter to thank them, show them they’re loved and appreciated. I never expected it, but they also all wrote one back. When you hear things like, ‘We’ve never had a manager like you before’ or see someone get better from Covid who was so poorly, it makes you realise the importance of your role. And when you get to sing the Beatles with one of the residents who’s a mega Beatles fan, it reminds me of what a privilege, and a joy, it is to work here and make people happy."

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