Mandy Burgoyne has been working for 10 years at Cabrini House, Diagrama's residential home for adults with learning disabilities, where she started as a support worker. Currently, she holds a care co-ordinator role and her testimony draws a nice picture about what working at Cabrini House is like.
What was it that interested you about the role?
After having my family I decided to go into the care profession. I started working at a home for the elderly which I stayed at for 10 years but I fancied a different clientele to broaden my abilities and took a role at a boarding school for children and young adults with complex medical needs for 5 years. I then joined Cabrini House and became a support worker, and now care co-ordinator.
Can you tell us more about the different roles you have held and what’s involved?
Support worker: I started working at Cabrini House in June 2006 - I was given a resident to keywork, the resident was new, like myself and the transition for her and myself went really well. She enjoyed her first holiday to France with two other residents and three staff - we visited many different places and enjoyed French cuisine. Every year the residents’ holidays have been varied from caravanning to staying in a large house with an indoor swimming pool exclusively for them and a Jacuzzi. I helped residents with their life skills - laundry day is always a busy time and changing their beds etc it was my responsibility to support each and every one to participate. We then support them with daily activities which may be bowling, swimming and discos on Friday evenings which is run by Mencap. Our residents have made many friends and have been known to have met their girlfriends there - sometimes their relationship may only last one night until they become bored and another young lady may have caught their eye!
Care co-ordinator: Working as a care-co-ordinator is entirely different as it is more office based, but I am still actively involved in the residents’ care and they like to pop into the office with myself and Michelle on a Friday to have a cup of tea. I am also working towards my Level 5 Diploma.
How would you describe your relationship with the residents? What makes it special?
I have always treated the residents as I would like to be treated and I try to make everyday fun and they enjoy a laugh and a joke.
What do you enjoy about working at Cabrini House?
The reasons I have stayed for so long is because of the warm, friendly family-orientated ethos whereby all staff work together with the residents. They are all wonderful people, I love seeing our residents enjoying their activities and feeling independent in everything they do, and love them telling me about their achievements - when they have won medals or maybe even managed to change their duvet by themselves - it makes working at Cabrini House a wonderful place to be.
What would you say to anyone considering Cabrini House as a home?
I would say the residents always come first and their health and wellbeing is paramount. We strive for each and every resident to become as independent as their disability can allow ie laundry, ironing, cooking, cleaning etc. There are many different activities that residents can choose to join in or choose not to. The houses are very welcoming and friendly. The staff are always on hand to deal with any problems that may arise, each resident is given a keyworker to work more 1-1 with them to get to know their likes and dislikes and liaise with the families.