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All You Need Is Love, Nurture and a Janice!

We recently asked Jan, the Manager at PL, to write some words reflecting on her work at Compass.

And what lovely words they are. The children and young people there are lucky to have somebody so committed and so caring, she really does go the extra mile. Whether it’s  home baking, playing in the streams, or feeding the sheep, the boys there are loved and nurtured, in a way only a Janice can!

This is what she had to say:

Compass Children’s Homes are committed to putting children at the forefront of everything we do and strive to ensure the children in our care have all their needs, wishes and feelings met.

We recently had a new arrival at PL, and he wont mind me sharing that his role in life had very much been that of  the “gangster lad”. He was very thin, very unkempt and in a gang. He was regularly involved in fights, theft, and a habitual smoker of cigarettes and cannabis  – all of this compounded by a long absence from education.

He had only the clothes he stood in, so Compass immediately provided the money to for essential new clothing. He would also steal the food within the home, he needed the reassurance that there would always be food for him to eat. Sadly, he shared that “at home you took what was there, whilst it was there, as there may not be anything there for days”.

Time for a change

Having found stability, love and the right care in his new home, he has managed to turn his life around, completely!

He is now a very smart lad with great pride in his appearance, he is enrolled into a Compass school and attends work experience every weekend, which all adds to his self-worth.

When he first arrived at PL, he said it was like “living in paradise” which made me very happy – but sad too.

He has found a love for boxing and joined a local club that he attends once a week. The added layer of discipline and respect is taught there. and there are strict rules against using any form of violence outside of the ring.

A small time on, and he no longer smokes cigarettes or cannabis, he no longer steals, he does not run away, and he does not drink alcohol.

I am enormously proud of this lad and  I am enormously proud of the team and Compass.

Janice Fish, Service Manager


Respect Given, Results Driven!

Continuing their exploration into their Respect Given, Result Driven ethos, the Senior Managers in Residential Services explain their ideas behind RESULTS!

 

If you’re considering a career in Residential Service, taking the next step on the career ladder, or would like to find opportunities within  Compass, please view our latest vacancies page!


Another Heartwarming Success!

We love being able to share first hand accounts highlighting the impact that the right people, the right opportunities, and the right support can have on a child living in of our homes.

We are so, so proud of KR and the achievements that he makes every single day.

KR made the move to Parks Lodge on March 4, 2022, at the age of 13. He is a likeable character with a knack for bringing laughter with his antics, impressions, and jokes, but KR faced challenges adapting to life away from his home town. The transition to Parks Lodge brought new restrictions, posing a significant challenge for KR, who was accustomed to supporting his family and enjoying freedoms above what would be expected of his age.

Learning to Handle Frustrations

Initially, KR’s new boundaries resulted in frustration, often resulting in regular and high levels of property damage to his own possessions, the home, and the homes cars. However, over the past two years, he has built up fantastic relationships with both home and school staff. Learning to cope with life’s challenges in a healthier way, KR can now remove himself from frustrating situations and regulate his emotions. He has become adept at communicating his wishes and feelings with maturity.

Engaging with the local community through football, KR has built positive relationships with his team, and he’s taken steps towards independence by managing tasks like washing clothes, budgeting for food, and cooking for himself. While he still requires some support, we have every confidence in him to reach his goals.

Academic Success!

Before residing at Parks Lodge, KR’s school attendance was irregular, dropping as low as 25%. Currently boasting an impressive attendance rate of 98.3%, KR not only genuinely enjoys school but actively participates, showing keen interest in BTech sport and serving as the student ambassador for his year group.

Embracing work experience opportunities, including bricklaying and volunteering at a local museum, KR has left a positive impression with his fantastic attitude. Holding the highest English qualification in his year group across all of our Compass Community Schools with a Level 2 in functional skills, KR is poised for success.

The transformation and growth displayed by KR over the past couple of years are truly commendable. His resilience and positive attitude continue to amaze everyone, and we are immensely proud of his journey.

 

If you would like to make a difference to the children in our care, please check out our vacancies.

Please note that the name and house name have been changed for safeguarding reasons


ICF World Championships in Germany

At the end of October JM travelled to Germany to compete for Great Britain in the ICF World Championships. JM was competing in junior bikejor, with his dog, Marshall!

JM faced stiff competition in his class, from the the best athletes from around the World.
42 nations travelled to Germany to compete coming from as far as Mexico, USA and Canada.

🐾Paw-Fectly Fit! 🐾
Before being allowed to compete, six year old Marshall was inspected by vets and passed fit to compete.
JM and Marshall have been working hard, training for months to be in tip-top form for the championships.

The event kicked off on the Friday with an official opening ceremony and parade of competing nations, followed by the serious business of racing on Saturday and Sunday. with the combined fastest time taking the converted World Title.

🚵Not All Smooth Riding! 🚵
A sudden downpour made Saturday’s trail sloppy and slick, but undeterred, JM and Marshall blasted off the starting block!
Everything was looking good their timing splits placing them in second place with a top speed of 25.8mph!
Then on one of the final turns pushing too hard, the back wheel spins out and JM falls.
The impact of crash twists the handlebars and brakes making steering virtually impossible, limping home the pair cross the finish line, but have dropped to 4th place.

After some emergency bike repairs it’s an early night in anticipation of clawing back into the medal zone!

⛈️From Muddy – To Worse! ⛈️
Torrential rain overnight means Sunday’s trail is now a mudfest!
JM and Marshall need to make up 15 seconds to take the bronze position! Another great start and both rider and dog are giving it their best.

They get round safely and without any errors. The time board shows them having the 3rd fastest run of the day, is it enough to give get them on the podium?

🐶Just Pipped at the Post!🐶
Sadly it’s not. They miss out on bronze by 2 seconds!
However they have given a great race and tried their best.

💪Defeated, but Undeterred!💪
JM had an amazing experience and we are very proud of what he has achieved. He handled himself and Marshall with dignity and took defeat in his stride.
Life should hold new adventures and experiences and this is one JM will take with him for the rest of his life.

Fingers crossed he can do it all again next year.

Well done JM – and of course, Marshall!


Benefits of Working at Compass

There are so many things that we are proud of at Compass, not only the way in which we positively change the lives of the children and young people in our care or our incredible Ofsted ratings, but we are also proud of our staff and colleagues.

Working in the care sector can be so rewarding, but we are not naïve to the challenges that can also arise.

We try to make life a little easier for our staff by offering sector-leading benefits. Assistant Director, Rachel Ashton sat down with HR Director, Samantha Hamilton, to have a chat about just a few.

If you are looking to take the next step in your career and would like to be a valued member of the Compass Community, please view our vacancies here.


Craig’s Compass Journey

Just over 14 years ago I was stuck in a rut, in a job that wasn’t taking me anywhere. Suddenly, I was made redundant. I chose to see this as a positive and time for a change.

I may not be the brightest person you’ll ever meet, but with my determination to always work hard and self-discipline taught through my childhood and love of sports, I knew I had something to offer.

New challenges

I applied for a role in a residential children’s home in my town. Not knowing what to expect, I took up the offer but realised within the first week that I had landed on my feet and was quickly offered a permanent position within the home.

I soon learnt that I needed to be resilient and calm under pressure, but even after hard shifts I would go home safe in the knowledge that that every decision I had made that day was in the best interest of the children living in the home and that I was keeping them safe; for me that was the most important thing.

Making changes, not just for myself…

Every day was different and I began key-working a young lad. I was confident that under my wing, he would show his full potential – let’s call him Danny*.

Danny started to get rid of his scruffy tracksuits and moved to skinny jeans, polos and vans, we couldn’t get him away from the mirror as he was constantly brushing his fluffy, swept, clean hair. Danny started to take pride in his appearance and with this his confidence grew.

Having been removed from every school setting in Sussex, Danny was given one last chance of an education and he grabbed it with both hands! Yes there were bumps down the road but I used to explain that tomorrow is new day and it’s how he bounced back that was important.

And Bounce back he did! Winning “East Sussex young Educations Person of the year” in his age group with a 100% attendance. How amazing!?

Danny continued to make good progress and was consistently making better life choices. He had turned from a very angry young man who was fighting the world (unsurprising given his sad upbringing) to a someone I can safely say I’m immensely proud to have spent time with and helped and supported.

Danny soon moved in with his grandparent’s and got himself a job within his family’s construction business. He is now a dad himself and doing great!

Joining Compass

I then knew it was my time to move on too…. I was offered a job at the “Families for Children” home in East Sussex – now Compass Community.

Six years working in the most incredible home that changed lives for the better, consistently being graded as Excellent (often with no recommendations) at every Ofsted inspection, this home goes from strength to strength and is still changing lives everyday (What an incredible place to have worked!)

I made the move from senior support work to the recruitment team 5 years ago to offer support and guidance to potential foster carers for Compass. With fast growth, 18 months later, Compass introduced a staff recruitment team. Given my background in residential homes, I jumped at the chance to be part of the new team.  My job gives me immense satisfaction knowing that every time someone new starts working in one of our homes, they are helping change a child’s life for the better.

Wherever the rest of my working journey takes me, I will always look back with happy memories from working with such dedicated adults, all striving for the same positive outcomes for the children in our care.

If you are interested in starting your own journey with Compass, please click here 

 

(* name has been changed)


Embracing Change – an insight from David Whitty

For the past 20 years I have worked within the care sector, the past 11 years supporting children.

As we all know, no two days are the same!

As residential workers, we wake up every day knowing that there will be a different set of challenges to test us and we embrace that  every day. That is one of the many things that has kept me hooked working in residential care, some might think of us as a little bit of a crazy breed, but I think of us as outstanding individuals who drive through the difficult times to reach our ultimate aim  – achieving amazing outcomes for the children we support.

I was part of an acquisition into Compass. For me and the wider team, the fear of the unknown brought mixed feelings of excitement and worry –  we didn’t know what to expect, or what was going to change…. But, we are residential workers,  right?!  So true to form, we woke up every day and embraced the new!

As always with change, there were good parts and challenging parts. We were supported by the wider company and departments throughout… Although,  I did forget a lot of people’s names.. And yes, I needed to be shown how to use the new systems more than once! However, the lovely people at Compass gave us the time and commitment to make sure  the transition into a larger company was a smooth as possible.

It is now two years on and I can say that we definitely feel like part of the Compass family and we embrace the Compass ethos.

It’s my opinion that the make or break of a residential worker is the ability to embrace change, dig deep and show resilience.
We do this as a collective, supporting and being supported by the teams around us.


Angela’s journey with Compass

Having spent most of my career dealing directly with adults’ mental health and caring for looked after children, Compass is the perfect fit for me!

I joined Compass in March 2019 as a Service Manager with the clear goal of making a “house a home” for the children and I can honestly say that it has been a fantastic adventure.

During my time here, I have worked on a variety of initiatives, such as creating new homes, acquisition of homes, establishing and growing new teams, becoming a school governor and many other projects to help Compass Children’s Services grow.

Working with wonderful people and helping fantastic children has led me to the position of Regional Operations Manager (ROM), with an emphasis on quality operations, corporate parenting, placements and education.

I am the “Responsible Individual” for eight Compass Community children’s homes. I manage many teams with a focus on prioritising staff development.

At Compass we strongly believe in recognising each child’s needs with a relationship-based approach to improve individual outcomes. We continue to be solution-focused to ensure our practices are grounded by methodologies and ideas that support maintaining children are at the heart of our shared life journey.

 


Jessica Middleton, Regional Operations Manager, shares her Compass experience

At Compass Community the key to success is support.

When we are young, we all have dreams of what we want to do and who we want to become when we are older.  

Choosing a job that requires looking after vulnerable people is special, but not without its challenges and at times, sacrifices. Residential is one of the most challenging jobs I have ever had and as such, this is why we can never underestimate the power of supportive colleagues.  

Recently I have had staff in the Northern Region that received opportunities to leave Compass. However, they chose to stay for this very reason.  

Being successful and doing what we do is only possible when we surround ourselves with people who fully understand and support what we do.  

In the North we have some amazing leaders at all levels. People that are called “inspirational” by peers and colleagues.  

Our words and actions can change the course of someone’s life, be it a child in our care, a peer or another professional.  

My Journey with Compass began a Registered Manager. To do that successfully I needed support from the staff team within the home as well as managers above me. 

I am now a Regional Operations Manager and owe my success to the people I have around me. I believe the North region is special as we have a team of compassionate exerts that will rally round and support each other in the hardest of times and the most difficult challenges. Let’s be honest, we really find out how resilient we are when things are in chaos. It is also in these times that we really see who has stood by our side.  

One manager in the region resigned at the end of last year, a manager that we did not want to lose. I’m not speaking out of turn when I say she was offered a good financial package to leave. However, when it came down to it, the manager remained here with us. She will tell you that it was because of the support network she has at Compass.  

Personally, I can honestly say, I have never worked in an organisation that has made me feel more supported by staff (at all levels) and from each department within the Compass Community.  

Having a feeling of “No matter what happens, I know we will work together to fix it” is something special and not something that you will find at every workplace.  

 

We work for each other here and at the risk of sounding cheesy – we are successful because we genuinely care and support each other. 

So, my message to you is this: 

Never Underestimate being supported or giving support to others as it is the key to success in all aspects in life.  

If you are interested in starting your own journey with Compass Childrens homes, please click here 


TESTING