I began my working career in 1977, when there wasn’t hardly as much technology as we have today. My first job was in banking, my duties included, shorthand typing and admin and reception work, and I did all this by using a type writer as we didn’t have mobile phones and emails back then, but comradeship from all, meeting a wide variety of people, everybody worked as hard as possible. I have always had an art and loved mixing and meeting all different people!
After I did this for a few years, I had a rest while my family were growing. When I went back to work everything changed, application forms and employment bureaus disappeared everything was done online. I remember my mum saying to me, she lived alone at this point, what does www mean? Then I knew what career path I wanted to take, I didn’t want to be sat doing the same thing day after day, I wanted to do more with my life, I wanted to make a difference and support those who are alone or sick.
I joined Bluebird Care Waltham Forest in August 2018. The weather on my first day was not motivating in the slightest! It was raining and at this point I was unable to drive so I was following my shadower around in the pouring rain, I was exhausted after the first day, this really opened my eyes to how hard carers work!
Working with Bluebird Care the last four years, I have had good times and bad times. My fondest memory was visiting a lady who had previously had church connections and had dementia. It was a cold and frosty night and I sang My Grandfathers Clock to her and various Christmas Carols, she had the biggest smile on her face as she joined in - she remembered them. To know that I have played an important part to an individuals life making them laugh and in other circumstances cry with joy, is extremely rewarding and satisfying.
I have been complimented many times by customers; especially for my cooking skills. Also, recently a gardener visited a customer while I was there and said “I’m very glad it’s you here as you always communicate with the customer and take an interest, rather than being occupied- its really nice for her.” I have had the pleasure to meet so many customers, and their families and some positive feedback really means so much to us carers.
The biggest ladder I have had to climb in this role is learning to use a mobile phone to complete the care notes and other requirements. However it does not matter where we come from as carers, we are all united and part of one team.
The 1st July was a very sad day as we said goodbye to our 1st ever customer which we took on here at Bluebird Care Waltham Forest. Joyce started her package on the 8th February 2018, she is our longest serving customer and waited for the doors of Bluebird to open. Not only that, Joyce is our oldest customer too, at 103 years of age.
Joyce was an easy going, lovely lady who was very content lying in bed watching BBC one, she always had an itchy back and called them “itchy coos” she loved her back being scratched and then creamed. In her younger years, she worked in a butcher's and cared for her mum who also lived to be 100! They lived in a house together on Kings Head Hill which is now a pub.
Bluebird Care Waltham Forest’s Care Manager Karen Doe, described Joyce as "A very happy easy-going lady who used to love gardening. She did not look her age at all, and was always very accommodating with the Care Assistants and polite, she always thanked the carers for their work after every visit".
Joyce will be missed by all of us here at Bluebird Care Waltham Forest as she moves on to a residential care home. Karen our Care Manager and Terri our Field care Supervisor got her already for the transport to arrive in a lovely blouse black skirt and black knee-high tights. They also dropped her an orchid as she loves flowers!