My name is Lee Stephenson and I am the new assistant manager at The Wilf Ward Family Trust for two of the Inner York services. Allow me to give you some background on who I am and my experiences within the health and social care sector.
I have been in care for 15 years and have worked my way up into various roles. I have not always been in the care industry; before working in the heath sector I had worked in various jobs from the theatre to a regional manager for a charity whilst residing in Australia. I had tried many other fields of work until finding my chosen field, health and social care.
I was born in York many years ago and left to see the world. I have experienced living in Sydney, Brisbane, and Adelaide in Australia. In the UK I have lived in London, Loughborough, Melton Mowbray, Preston and finally returned to York. I have enjoyed travelling and taking in the many diverse cultures and places, meeting many people along the way.
At the start of my career in health and social care, I worked in most departments in a care home; from kitchen assistant, to domestic staff, to activities, to finally being a carer. I developed my skills and achieve my level 2 in care. I become a senior which led me to complete my level 3 in health and social care. Finally, I moved back to York where I became a unit co-ordinator, managing a unit which specialised in advance dementia. I gained good experience with insight on how to support people who have dementia. After 3 years in this role, I decided that I was ready to go into management of a care home. I moved up to a role as deputy manager of a 55-bed care home. I worked there for five years and achieved a level 5 diploma in health and social care management. It helped me to understand running a care home and the structures in place. I stayed there for five years before moving on to a new challenge of an 80-bed care home before finally coming to The Wilf Ward Family Trust in March 2021.
At the start of my career in care, I worked in most departments in a care home, from being a kitchen assistant to domestic staff to activities to finally being a carer. I developed my skills and achieved my level 2 in care, I became a senior to which I achieved my level 3 in health and social care, finally I moved back to York where I became a unit coordinator. The unit I managed was specialised in advanced dementia, I gained good experience with good insight into how to assist people suffering with Dementia. After working for 3 years in my role I decided I was ready to go into the management of a care home. This was where I moved up to a role as deputy manager of a 55-bed care home where I worked for 5 years and where I achieved a level 5 Diploma in health & social care management, this helped me to understand the structures and general running of a care home. After being a deputy for 5 years decided it was time to face a new challenge and so I went to an 80 bedded Home for near a year until finally coming to the Wilf Ward Family Trust in March.
My Experiences So Far with The Wilf Ward Family Trust
One of the first things that came to my attention when coming to The Wilf Ward Family Trust was prior to starting when I reflected on how at ease I was during the interview. Fiona, my now manager, and Clare, the Registered Manager, made me feel welcome before I even started.
I remember my first week of working and how very approachable, friendly, and how helpful everyone was. Fiona is an exceptionally good manager who is very approachable and supports me. The entire Trust has an exceptionally good structure on how they support and assist you within the first weeks of working. The training is very well delivered; I have to say it is the first time in at least 20 years that I have experienced quality, support and mentorship that has been delivered in an in-depth and professional way.
The staff supported me and helped me to give outstanding standards of care and support to the individuals. I have been welcomed in and been shown incredibly good levels of support within my cluster. The support the individuals receive is outstanding, you can see through experience they are happy and have a good relationship with the team.
Having worked in care homes and coming to The Wilf Ward Family Trust, I see a difference in the level of care provided. The Wilf Ward Family Trust deliver a high quality of support, it is an enjoyable experience for both Individuals and Staff. When I am getting ready to go to work on a morning, I have a smile on my face. Where it says Family Trust, it means Family.
On reflection my overall experience has been outstanding., The staff I work alongside are exceptional, they are committed, and they give so much to the Trust. It shows I made the right choice to work here.
Thank you, The Wilf Ward Family Trust, what an exceptional company.