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Working in the care sector

PUBLISHED: 11:11 25 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:55 28 April 2014

Pete Gardner Photography

Celebrating a very happy six years of working at Acorn Court in Redhill, here we find out more about award winning manager Monica Prosser

What made you decide to work in the care sector?

When my daughter Ami was born she was very poorly and spent a lot of time in hospital. Much of my time was spent with her in hospital and as I became an additional pair of hands on the Ward the staff encouraged me to get a job working within a hospital environment. This was my introduction to the care profession and since then care is the only job I have ever had where I have felt I can make a real difference to people’s lives.

What has kept you at Acorn Court for so long?

Carebase is an amazing company to work for. I have worked for some larger organisations where you become a number or just an employee but Carebase is different. I am seen as an individual, and was brought into Acorn Court for my knowledge and experience within this local area. The directors and management are always happy to meet up and discuss ideas to help make Acorn Court a better place. Quite often companies will bring in new blood but are then reluctant to go along with any changes that people propose; this hasn’t been an issue for me since joining Carebase back in 2009. I have always been struck by the interest, commitment and involvement of the directors and senior management right through the company on a daily basis. We have regular visits from Alnur Dhanani, our chairman, who comes to visit the teams and say ‘thank you’ in person to them for their great work and achievements, which is reflected in the many letters that he receives from residents, clients and families. Acorn Court is a delightful place to both work and live. We are very much a home from home and I am a great believer that we all spend so much time at work that we need to ensure that it is enjoyable. Anything that can bring a smile to someone’s face, be it resident or team members, is always a positive.

What is your favourite memory from your time at Acorn Court?

Oh there are so many, but there are two that always bring a tear to my eye. The first took place following a day trip made by a resident from our high dependency floor. This gentleman was unable to communicate verbally. He had joined our activity and events coordinator on a day out to Brighton beach accompanied by his wife. On returning to Acorn Court I joined them in the lift, as we got out this gentleman clearly spoke for the first time since being with us and said ‘Best Day Ever!’ Well we all stood there amazed. Secondly when I collected three National Awards in different categories on the same night! A really proud moment for me and Carebase.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to work in the care sector?

Follow your heart. If there is something that you really want enough you can get there and achieve it. It really is a rewarding career path, although more of a vocation than a job, which is evident when I look around at the dedicated team of people that I have working here with me. They are all very committed to which ever role they carry out within Acorn Court.

What do you think you would have done if you hadn’t worked in the care sector?

Probably run a pub or a small guest house. I enjoy meeting and working with the general public, as this gives me the opportunity to ensure people have a great time, what ever they are doing

What is your favourite view in the world?

The completely uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea from Cancun Riveria. I spent the most amazing 11 nights there in January this year and can’t wait to go back there in October. It is definitely a little piece of paradise and probably the only time I have ever returned from a holiday both feeling and looking like I had been away.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

Socialising with my family and friends. Generally this involves a bottle of Champagne or a glass of wine, although since January a Brandy Alexander has become a firm favourite at the end of the night!

What is the one thing could you not live without?

My husband Mark, for being so patient and understanding, as he has to share me with 86 residents and 120 team members and a few really good friends. Also Missi, our Teacup Chilhuahua, who has been with us for just over a year now – it really is like having another child.

What makes you happy?

Knowing that both Colm and Ami are growing up and settling down into their own lives - all any parent can ever wish for. My son Colm has just got engaged and plans for the wedding next August are currently in full flow, which is very exciting.

What’s your life’s ambition?

To continue to enjoy what I do and to know that I can still make a difference to the lives of the people that I am involved with, and perhaps one day to be short-listed for the Outstanding Contribution to Care Award. Plus I am really looking forward to being a grandma one day.

What makes Surrey such a fantastic place to live and work?

Surrey is such a beautiful part of the country, we have so much on our doorstep - it makes working and living here a real pleasure. Charlwood has three local village pubs with The Half Moon being one of our favourites. Godalming is a real must on a sunny day, alongside the River Wey watching the narrow boats and the swans on a lazy Sunday afternoon, or a ramble through Glovers Woods when the bluebells and snow drops are in full bloom. All of these places have also become firm favourites with our residents and relatives over the years and we make regular visits to them all. I really wouldn’t wish to live anywhere else.

• Acorn Court Care Home, Watercolour Development, The Kilns, Redhill RH1 2NX. Web: www.acroncourtcarehome.co.uk, e-mail: acorncourtgm@carebase.org and tel: 01737 648051

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