Why I Care: Vicky’s Story

Our recently-promoted Senior Carer Vicky shares with us why she became a Bluebird and some of her favourite stories from her time with us so far.

20/04/2021

Our recently-promoted Senior Carer Vicky shares with us why she became a Bluebird and some of her favourite stories from her time with us so far.

Our carers come from all walks of life, but one thing unites them – a genuine passion for people, and a real sense of duty to help make things better. Here, our recently-promoted Senior Carer Vicky shares with us why she became a Bluebird, and some of her favourite stories from her time with us so far.

The long road to becoming a carer

Portrait of Vicki Plant

To watch Vicky doing her job as a Bluebird Senior Carer, you’d think she’d been doing it for decades. In fact, it’s only been around three years. Her route to becoming a bluebird was anything but straightforward!

"I did ten years in retail, then went on to work in a post office while I was carrying out a barn conversion with family,” she recalls. “Then I went into office work, and I lasted about three or four years but it just wasn’t for me. I just didn’t like having my head down, not seeing people.”

The transition to caring

“I went into caring firstly because my mom had been a carer for 20 years. One big factor in the decision was losing the last of my grandparents. I found I really missed being around older people and helping them out. I’ve always found I’ve got a caring nature; if someone needs help, I’ll go and help them. So, I looked up caring, and I saw a Bluebird Care ad. I liked the ad, so I gave them a call. I’ve absolutely loved it since!”

Vicky’s first week as a carer

“In my first week I shadowed one of the experienced carers for three days, then went out on my own. Obviously, it was a bit scary to start with, but the people in the office are so supportive; they gave me updates on how the customer was and what they liked. It was really good, and I just went from there really!

Day to day as a Bluebird carer

“It’s nice just being out in the local community. I used to have to travel quite far to work, especially when my employer unexpectedly moved offices to Petersfield. That could take an hour each way depending on the traffic. But now it can only take me five or ten minutes to get to my first customer.

“I’ve been here almost three years now and just got promoted to Senior Care Assistant – so now I get to be the one giving that support to new carers. I’ve gotten to meet all of our customers and carers, carried out observations. I’m just starting to carry out customer reviews, too. Which is all good because everyone’s very happy with the care that we’re providing them.”

Overcoming challenges

“I work with one lady now pretty much full time. She’s disabled and struggling with lockdown. She loves to go out pretty much all the time, especially shopping! We used to take her all over the place to different places three times a week. And she can be pretty insistent with it. She’s ex-navy, so she has that spirit of adventure about her. But now we have to tell her “sorry, we can’t take you out to do that right now because of lockdown.” She’s found that so hard to deal with.

“We can still take her out for walks, take her dogs, get her out in the fresh air. And we do lots of things around her home; get her magazines; just try and keep her as happy as she can be. 

“She’s getting there – she’s still annoyed with lockdown. But we try and have as much fun with her as possible. For instance, last Christmas Day I went round for four hours and cooked her Christmas roast dinner, which she really loved. And she’s very happy she’s got a haircut booked in for next month when she’s allowed to go to the hairdressers again!”

 

A story to smile about 

“I have this one other current customer at the moment and in January he decided to grow tomato plants. I told him “That’s a bit early, best keep them inside.” Then I decided to do the same. So, we’ve got a bit of a mini competition going on! We’re both growing tomato plants in our own homes at the moment and his are doing a lot better than mine – but I’m convinced it’s only because I started planting mine a bit behind him!”

Looking to the future

“Before the promotion I was doing caring calls full time, but I’ve cut back a bit on those to carry out observations on the care staff while they’re with the customer. I make sure the customer is still happy and our staff are doing everything as perfect as they can be, in line with our terms and conditions.

“So far everyone’s very happy with the care we’re supplying them and our carers are doing really well too.

In the future I’ll be doing more training with new carers. It’s all a bit new to be honest! It’s a brand-new role within the company so we’re all still getting used to it. But it’s all going well so far. It suits me down to the ground. I really love it.”

To those considering caring

“Bluebird were brilliant with me. They offered me great training, set me up on a round in my local area, offered me hours I was suitable for and even paid my mileage and travel time. I still got holidays, and I loved that there was always someone at the end of the phone if I needed help. And I shadowed for three days, but anyone coming in could shadow another carer for as long as they feel they need until they feel they’re confident.”

“I’m so glad I decided to go into caring and that I did it with Bluebird. They’ve just been incredibly supportive.”

Considering a career in care?

If you’re considering making the change into caring as a career like Vicky did – well, we might be looking for people just like you!

Visit our Bluebird Gosport careers page or call us on 02393 233 922.