A Story of Success

Published: 28/09/2018

8 years ago today we were lucky enough to employ Frances Atherden as a part time Care Assistant and we have never looked back.  During her time with us, she has gone from strength to strength and been promoted through several roles culminating in becoming our Registered Care Manager. Frances is a kind and caring individual who is passionate about the work she does, in whatever role she is in.  She is certainly an assest and we hope that she will be with us for many years to come. To read her story in her own words, select the read more option.

Frances’s story, in her own words:

"Hello, my name is Frances Atherden and I am the Registered Care Manager at Bluebird Care.
My career journey started with Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet in September 2010. I applied for the position of Care Assistant; at the time I was a full-time mum of 3 teenagers and required a job that could work alongside my parental responsibilities.

My youngest child is Autistic, so I had to spend a lot of time supporting him through the problems he was having at both school and home. I would often meet with various health professionals to discuss ways of supporting my son through his difficulties.  This is when I first realised that I would really like a career in the Health & Social Care sector.   I felt this, and my other characteristics would be ideal for becoming a Care Assistant.

On being accepted for the role I was given full training and worked in the community alongside fellow employees. I cannot express easily in words how excited but nervous I was when arriving at my first customer’s house. After a few days of shadowing I was ready to work without any assistance from existing staff. My confidence grew week by week when facing various challenges that most Care Assistants will be aware of from their own personal experiences of care.  I would, once I finished my shift, go home usually tired but with a big smile on my face because I knew that I had made someone else’s day just that little bit easier.

After a few months I settled in to a regular shift pattern and with my teenage children becoming less dependent I had a bit more spare time on my hands. Due to this, I decided to approach the office to ask if I could assist with any admin tasks on a voluntary basis. I was told I needed a qualification, such as a NVQ in Health & Social Care which luckily, I had completed a Level 3 at college prior to looking to return to work.

Suddenly a position to become a Supervisor arose and I was offered the role. It was an ideal opportunity for me and I took no time in deciding that I wanted to give it a go. From then on, I have never looked back.  I learnt each of the roles, supervising, mentoring, training, recruiting and co-ordinating and was then promoted to Assistant Care Manager in 2015. I really enjoyed all aspects of working for the Bluebird Care Team in this new role and was supported throughout by both the Directors.
After a while, another opportunity arose for me to be promoted to Care Manager. Although I was a little nervous I literally jumped at the chance.  I spent the next 2 years studying whilst working and gained a Level 5 qualification in Management and Leadership. I am going to be honest, it was really hard work but so worth it. In January 2017 I became Registered Care Manager at Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet and celebrated my 8 years of service on the 28th September 2018.

I really love and enjoy working for Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet. It is the most rewarding job I have ever known, and all the staff are so friendly, caring, supportive and welcoming. That’s why I would highly recommend it to anyone looking at starting a career, changing their career or stepping back into work after having children. I can honestly say don’t be afraid to give working for Bluebird Care Canterbury & Thanet a go.  Who knows where it could lead?"