A day in the life of...
Have you ever wondered what a typical day looks like for our staff in our services? This week, we went to Heathcotes Norton in Sheffield to speak with Service Manager, Craig Lister to see what a typical day looks like for him
" When did you start working with the Heathcotes Group?
I started working for Heathcotes in July 2013 as a Support Worker at our service in Wakefield. A few months later I was given the opportunity to act up as Team Leader, which obviously I jumped at!
So how did you get your Service Manager position?
My position as Team Leader was confirmed in February 2014 and I spent just under eighteen months in this role, supporting the Service Manager and ensuring that we provided the best quality support for our service users. In July 2015 a Trainee Manager position became available and I was successful in securing the role. I spent time shadowing other Service Managers within the group and used my knowledge I had already developed as a Team Leader in the new role. An opportunity arose to work at one of the newer Heathcotes services in Sheffield, Heathcotes Norton and after discussing it with my Regional Manager, I was asked to take up the role and in October 2015, I became the Service Manager for the service.
Can you tell us what a typical day in the service looks like for you?
7.45am I usually arrive a work between 7.40am and 8.00am and the first thing I do is chat with service users and staff to identify any issues that may have occurred over night. I also have a quick walk around the service to check everything is in order.
8.00am I look through my emails and reply to everything I can before the day starts – obviously this interview request was on that list!
8.15am I get out my ‘to do’ list that I make each night before leaving work and start to tackle each task on there. Tasks can include staff supervisions, booking training, liaising with community organisations to ensure our service users have access to appropriate resources, planning trips and activities, liaising with our regulators and assessing new service users.
9.15 – 12.00pm I meet with individual service users to see how they are progressing and discuss any concerns they many have. We review their activity plans together to make sure they have a meaningful day and the planned activities are ones that the individual wants to do; this also helps me to make sure service users are developing skills they can use for a more independent future. I also join I with the activities taking place within the service; there are often a lot of games going on and I’m always keen to get involved with them!
12.00pm Lunch time! Staff and service users eat lunch together in the dining room. Sometimes a service user may cook a meal for us all to share.
12.30pm I have another walk around the service to make sure everything is still clean and tidy. We encourage service users to take part in the running of the household so sometimes we might vacuum or wash up together. I also take a look at service user bedroom and encourage them to keep them clean and tidy. Each bedroom has an ensuite wet room so I will make sure this is clean and free from trip hazards.
1.00pm I go back to time with service users. We have just had a Halloween party so we might send time decorating the house or making costumes. As we get closer to Christmas we’ll be putting the tree up of course!
2.30pm Around this time I might be conducting staff supervision or appraisals. We identify any training that that particular person may require and check that all mandatory training is up to date. Often, staff have suggestions on how to make the service run better or little changes that may really help an individual service user so we put a plan in place to action these.
3.30pm I usually complete all relevant paperwork at around this time, ensuring service user files are up to date, completing spot checks on medication, managing quality assurance and making sure staff rotas are accurate.
4.30pm I might check in with my Regional Manager before preparing a ‘to do’ list for the next day. I then make sure all service users and staff are ok before I leave for the day
Sounds like you’re busy! What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the happy, active and atmosphere in the service; you can feel it when you go in. I really enjoy putting in the hard work and seeing the outcome. I am ultimately responsible for making sure service users have a happy, active and fulfilled lifestyle and that really motivates me. I am determined to run the service to the highest possible standard.
What do you find most challenging?
The most challenging part of my role so far has been ensuring that the high expectations from external authorities are met; I have been able to accomplish this with the support from my Regional Manager and I’m enjoying developing a good working relationship with key people. "