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.
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!
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)