Why working at Care works for me – by Project Manager, Doreen.
I started working in the care sector in 1975 and first came into contact with Care Housing Association (Care) in around 2008 when I worked as a senior manager for a local charity that supported people with learning disabilities. I worked there for 31 years and loved it. I’d worked closely with a number of housing associations prior to 2008 and had sat on a tenant scrutiny panel of one of the big nationals for a few years. Even back then, Care stood out as something quite different to anything I’d come across before.
From the outset it was obvious to me that Care cared! They knew what they were talking about. I’m not saying that others didn’t care at all but the feeling I got back then was that they had no particular understanding about people who have learning disabilities and consequently they didn’t get that the housing and the service they offered wasn’t suitable. For example, some people who have autism could really need (not want, need) specific things; some people who have learning disabilities thrive better with certain community facilities close by such as shops and transport links. Care understood these things and actively listened to service providers and tenants in a way that others didn’t. Things are better now with some housing providers, but not all of them. Care have always been rooted in these values.
Eventually the time came when I felt I needed to make a move in my career, but I needed something where I felt I could still make a difference for people with learning disabilities. I knew Care quite well at this point – they were a small team who each had excellent values. They provided and maintained quality properties and genuinely strove to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities. A post came up and here I am – a year and a bit into it.
My instincts were proved right. Now I see Care from the inside, I see clearly that what happens on the inside more than matches the image that Care portray. They walk the walk as we say! I have to say I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the strength of genuine values at Care and, as a qualified social worker, I haven’t felt in any way compromised. Even at my advancing age, I feel sufficiently valued and fulfilled that I can see myself working for Care for quite a while!