Leading Shropshire Care Specialists reward long-service staff

A leading Shropshire care company has rewarded 16 members of staff who have worked in the company for up to 10 years.

Bluebird Care Shropshire is “banishing the stigma” that care work isn’t a rewarding profession or career and is celebrating the 16 staff who have worked in the company in various roles for a decade or half a decade.

The roles of the long serving members of staff span from care assistants to senior management including 10 care assistants, a HR manager, the Director of Care, a Care Supervisor, a Specialist Care Coordinator, an office administrator and a training officer.

Four Care Assistants at the company, which provides at-home care to people living in Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Oswestry and surrounding areas, have been promoted to Senior Care Assistants during their time with the company.

To mark their milestones, each of the members of staff have received a certificate of recognition and a thank you card in a special Bluebird Care branded bag.

They were awarded their long service awards at a special party which was thrown for them at the company head office in Bayston Hill, Shrewsbury, where they spent time reminiscing and enjoying cakes baked by colleagues.

Director of Care, Claire Flavell, who has worked for the company for 7 years in July herself, said: “It’s being well-reported that there is a serious shortage of care workers able to provide at-home care and look after aging or vulnerable people in their own homes.

“This helps to avoid lengthy hospital stays and therefore save the NHS money, and it also prevents people from having to go into nursing homes where they may deteriorate more quickly when not able to stay in their own surroundings, with their home comforts, friends and pets.

“When a qualifying member of staff reaches one year with us, they are rewarded with their first ‘long service’ award – a £150 gift to spend on a treat of their choice! Staff have chosen various things so far such as hotel stays, theatre trips and concert tickets. We do this every year, and it’s something the staff really appreciate.

“We have a clearly set out career pathway which aims to show people that they can be promoted, and we have several members of staff who started out as care assistants and built their way to up senior support roles within the company.

“With supported ongoing training and qualifications, there are so many reasons why working in the industry with a supportive employer like us, can reap rewards and we want to banish the stigma around care work.

“We are extremely grateful for all our staff. But we wanted to especially recognise those who have been with us for a substantial amount of years and all of the wonderful work they are doing to support our customers.”

Meryl Hughes, a Senior Carer from Oswestry, received a five-year award and has been at the company for seven years in May.

She said: “I wish I’d become a carer earlier. I was an accounts director for an engineering company before, and when my mum was in a home 20 years ago I used to say to the people looking after her ‘I don’t know how you do it.’

“Then I was made redundant and I volunteered with Dial-a-Ride for year and got talking to one of the carers. I found out Bluebird Care was looking for care assistants in the Oswestry area and the rest is history.

“If I’d have known more about this career I would have done it earlier. It’s not what you think, and it really is so rewarding.

“The customers look forward to you coming and they care and worry about us as much as we do for them, so it’s lovely.

“I really didn’t think I’d be good at working with people so closely, but since I have been, it has changed my life.

“I have a totally different outlook and care about people differently. I would never look back and will continue to do this as long as I’m able.”

Last year the company launched live-in care services and within its first year has seen a 150% growth in the service within the first 12 months.

It was also crowned Best Home Care Team Award at the regional finals of the Great British Care Awards and is going through to the national finals in March in Birmingham.