"The best part of my job is listening and chatting away with the residents! Seeing them laugh just tugs at my heartstrings."

The start of a rewarding career

Michelle is one of our confident Care Team Leaders at Abbeyfield Cunningham House, dementia-friendly care home in Epping, Essex. When she joined three and a half years ago, she started her journey to become a great leader, studying for a TQUK Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) alongside taking care of residents and leading a team of carers to provide the best possible service. We spoke to Michelle about her journey with Abbeyfield so far and future career prospects.

Tell us a bit about you and your background.

"I'm married and have two children, a son and a daughter, and two grandsons now two and six years old. I'm very family orientated, I adore my family, especially my two Grandsons. I also love to read, go to the theatre, visit different countries on holiday and eat out – especially in London. Cyprus is very close to my heart as I got married out there, but I love New York and Mexico too, they are my favourite places."

How would you describe your role and what’s your favourite part about it?

"Being a Care Team Leader is not an easy job, and requires patience, understanding and lots of care and compassion, but it is a very rewarding job. Each and every one of the residents are very special to me. I work with a great team who all support each other.

"As a Care Team Leader, I supervise the shift by allocating the carers to their areas. I administer medication, speak to various Doctors, District Nurses, Social Workers, and family members. I also update the residents care plans. No two days are the same. The best part of my job is listening and chatting away with our residents. Seeing them laugh just tugs at my heartstrings."

What’s a typical day at Cunningham House like for you?

"A typical shift at Cunningham House entails attending handover, so that the previous Care Team Leader can pass on information to the team, followed by giving the residents their breakfast and medication, then we have family visits (these are pre-booked), and finally activities with the Activities Coordinators. Sometimes entertainers join, or we do some arts and crafts, baking, singing, dancing or games. It's good fun, and before you know it, it’s lunch time."  

What opportunities for progression are there with a career in care?

"I have been studying for my TQUK Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care (RQF) and am extremely happy to say that I have passed the exam! It was a lot of hard work, but it was definitely worth all the studying. Abbeyfield provide regular training and you can always request further or additional training if you feel that you require it. I haven’t decided how I want to progress within Abbeyfield, but I know that if I wanted to, I would have lots of support."

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

"Cunningham House has a warm, friendly and happy atmosphere. I really wouldn’t change my job for the world!"

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Discover Cunningham House

Cunningham House is a dementia-friendly care home located in a village in North Weald Bassett, Essex and has 54 bedrooms which can be decorated to personal preferences.