Meet the team
Gillian Manning is a franchisee and Co-Director of the business. She and John are life partners as well as business partners.
Gillian is a qualified solicitor with many years experience in social welfare law, including employment, discrimination and welfare benefits. It was her background in working with people with disabilities which led her into the care business.
She also sits as a Judge on the Disability Appeal Tribunal, deciding appeals in relation to disability benefits.
She has achieved the NVQ level 4 Registered Managers Award, enabling her to perform the Care Manager's role if the need should arise.
Gareth is a franchisee and Co-Director of the business, and the eldest son of Gillian.
Starting his career as a software engineer for civilian and military applications, he gained a solid grounding in process design which has been invaluable in identifying efficient business practices.
Deciding in 1997 that he was more of a 'people person', Gareth made his hobby a full-time occupation and became a professional martial arts instructor, teaching Karate and Aikido in Bristol, Swindon and Cheltenham. He still teaches classes in Cheltenham.
The diagnosis of a close family member with Vascular Dementia brought the Care Industry to Gareth's attention in 2007, and in 2008 he joined the family business. Since then he has worked within Bluebird Care as a Care Worker, Care Coordinator, Manual Handling Trainer, and most recently Director.
He sees his role as having responsibilty for Customers and Care Workers alike, and devotes a significant portion of his time to improving the welfare of everyone involved with Bluebird Care.
John’s career spanned 32 years in the pharmaceutical industry, culminating in a position as Director of Production for a well-known multinational. Gained while working in the UK, Europe and India, John's pharmaceutical background is extremely useful in understanding the medication being taken by our customers, and in professional discussions with healthcare professionals.
John also has a strong interest in health and safety, and has the Diploma in Safety Management. His expertise feeds into our health and safety and risk assessment processes and training, and contributes to the safety of staff and customers. He also has primary responsibility for the business finances.
John says everything we do from care assessment and planning through to staff recruitment, training and management is underpinned by the simple vision “all of our customers should be looked after with the same care and concern that we would want for our own loved ones”.
Debbie has been with us since July 2014.
Gaining her first experience of care when she began to help out her parents' older friends while on holiday, Debbie moved on quickly to working in a residential home for older people as soon as she left school. Finding great satisfaction in organising outings and even holidays for the residents, she took on a position in a day centre, where she could exercise her creativity in pursuing art and craft activities, organising stimulating trips and memorable fundrasising events.
Debbie used her experience to gain a position as a Day Care Officer, supporting young adults through very difficult times by providing therapies and classes which helped them develop mechanisms and strategies to deal with mental health issues. She continued shine, working as a Manager responsible for a busy Domiciliary Care Service for people with Dementia, and an Outreach Centre for young adults with mental health problems. She was proud to have influenced and shaped a team which was able to provide a service based on respect and trust.
Bluebird Care is her first experience of working in the private sector. She is enjoying the challenge of coming into an established team and being able to develop good working relationships with the directors and other team members.
Debbie says, "I like the core values the business was founded on. I find it very rewarding to be able to recruit and train staff, which enables me to continue my passion for providing an excellent service to those who need it most"
Marie started at Bluebird Care in 2009.
Marie started here as a Care Assistant, and has most recently been promoted to a Supervisor. Marie started her career in care because she loves meeting different people, and she has a passion for end of life care.
She says "I have alot of respect for the elderly, and if I can make a difference to someone living at home and be there to care for them in their own home, then it's the most amazing reward".
Marie says she wanted to become a supervisor because she wants to make change, she wants to be the person that carers come to if they need support at any time.
"Being able to make a differnce to a carer or a customer is so rewarding".
Naomi started work at 17 as a hairdresser, but quickly found herself spending more time looking after her older customers than actually cutting hair!
Since then she has worked extensively in care, from supporting older people right through to those with the most challenging of behaviours.
Naomi joined Bluebird Care in 2008, starting as a part-time Care Worker, where she says her greatest satisfaction was leaving her customer's house knowing that they were so much happier for receiving the care they needed.
She has grown with the company, and is now our longest-serving Supervisor. She enjoys going out to meet new and existing customers, and using her extensive experiences to help her team to improve.
Naomi has found it an improvement to share the roles of Care Supervisor and Coordinator, saying that it gives her a more rounded view of the needs of customers and Care Assistants, helping us to provide truly person-centred care.
Naomi has recently achieved her Level 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
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