Celebrating Staff at Derby Heights
We are constantly impressed by our hard-working, dedicated staff here at Avery Healthcare. We are very proud to say that our compassionate teams of staff provide an excellent level of care to our residents in every one of our homes.
Our Customer Service Manager at Derby Heights Care Home, Claire Shore, is one of those bright stars at Avery. She’s been at Derby Heights since January 2016 and always provides a warm welcome to everyone who comes through the door.
Rita Flanaghan, a Regional Manager at Avery, had this to say about Claire: “Claire is a very valuable part of the team at Derby Heights. From the initial enquiry and throughout the person’s stay (including on discharge if they are on respite stay) she has a very personal involvement in their care and Well-being, whilst always maintaining a professional approach. Claire has put together some really amazing events and entertainment at the home which the residents and their relatives continue to talk about long afterwards. She is a real asset!”
After this lovely introduction from Rita, we had to talk to Claire to find out exactly what her interesting job entails and how she’s finding working at Derby Heights.
Hi Claire, could you tell us a little about your role at Avery?
“My name is Claire Shore and I am currently a Customer Service Manager at Derby Heights. I’ve worked for Avery since 4th January 2016.”
What made you interested in care?
“I have always been interested in care since a very young age, as I naturally want to help people. When I left school at 16, I started work as a Canine Beautician, which I loved dearly as I could care for many different types of dogs. After I completed my training I became the supervisor and then became the manager of two salons which I was very proud of. After that chapter, I decided to have a change of career, so I became a care assistant. Since then, I have completed most of the roles within a residential care home setting and loved each and every moment, although I have now found my perfect job here at Derby Heights.”
What attracted you to Derby Heights?
“I had a keen eye on Derby Heights since coming across the care home’s Facebook page. After I had a little nosey through the pictures, I could only think about how beautiful the care home was and how amazing it would be to work there. I kept an eye on Derby Heights, and luckily they happened to be recruiting for a Receptionist. I applied, got the job and have never looked back. I enjoyed the day to day tasks on reception which involved interaction with the residents, families and potential new residents. I also had the privilege of showing Derby Heights off to everyone that came through the door.
“After a while, a position became available to be the Customer Service Manager at Derby Heights. By this time, I had only worked at Derby Heights for three months so I had reservations about applying for the job. However, after some thought, I decided to go for it and I luckily got the position. My role now includes looking after all the new enquiries, as well as getting to organise all the events for the home. I really have the best job in the world!”
What does a typical day at work at Derby Heights entail for you at a Customer Service Manager?
“I start my day by arriving to work at 8:45 am, reading the handover books and catching up with events since I was last at work. This includes updates on new residents, who I go and see and make sure they have settled in. I also have a walk around the building to make sure all our show rooms are beautifully presented and kept to the high standards of the care home and say good morning to all our residents that are up and enjoying their breakfast. Every day, we have a team meeting and discuss all upcoming items as well as any issues to be aware of. After this, I complete all my enquiries and then have a chat with our residents.
“Part of my role means I get to be included in the day-to-day activities here at Derby Heights, so I get to talk to the residents and see what they have in mind to do as an activity next time. I can then get working to help create some lovely trips out and offer some fantastic activities within the home, from arranging a canal boat trip to visiting the Bass Brewery Museum, to getting my friends from the Guide Dogs Association to pay us a visit at the home. I love this part of my job; it’s a privilege to get the chance to make people smile.”
It sounds like a busy job! Can you tell us a top tip you use to keep organised?
“My top tip to staying organised is to constantly use post-it notes. I have a white board that I write all the events on, which is set on the wall right next to my desk and telephone, so as soon as I have organised something I write it down on my post-it note and stick it to the board, where it all develops from there.”
Do you have a favourite story or memory from a resident at Derby Heights that you would like to share?
“At home I have a chicken pen with six chickens, who recently went broody and sat on their eggs, waiting for them to be hatched. All of a sudden there were two eggs on the way! I began updating our residents on the developing saga every day at breakfast time. As the due date began to arrive, one of the residents started waiting for me to arrive so he would be updated first. Once the actual date arrived, I would go home after work to check the chickens and then ring Derby Heights and speak to the resident and tell him the news. He was so excited when I told him that the egg had begun to hatch!
“However, two of the chickens both wanted the little chick that had hatched first all to themselves. I had to take the chick inside for its own safety until the other egg had hatched and both the hens could stop them quarreling. So I stayed up all night and kept the little chick warm until the morning when the other chick had hatched and both the hens could then be mummies! The residents loved hearing all about this little event and one resident in particular enjoyed the fact that I called him every evening to update him.”
Which room is your favourite at Derby Heights and why?
“This is a hard question…There are so many amazing rooms to be in. Personally, I love the Atrium because it is able to house all our larger activities, as it is light and spacious when you are inside. When residents or families see the room for the first time they are all awe struck! I also love the piano lounge because it’s so relaxing – it’s hard to say!”
What has been your favourite event at Derby Heights so far?
“My Favourite event had to be the Ukulele night. We organised for a group of Ukulele players to come and play for us here at Derby Heights. We expected it to be a fairly small group with maybe five ukulele players, so you can image our surprise when nearly 20 people arrived to perform for us! It was just amazing, all the residents and staff had such a brilliant time as we were all singing along and tapping our feet; we just didn’t want it to end.
“The next day I was chatting to our residents, saying how much I would love to learn the ukulele. So one of the residents told their family about myself and brought in a ukulele for me to practice with. The family member even played the ukulele in reception and gave me some tips on playing it. Since then, I have been practicing regularly and while I wouldn’t say I’m that good, I am better than I was before I started.”
Lastly, is there anything else you would like to add?
“I love working at Derby Heights and I consider myself to be very lucky to have the opportunity to work in such a beautiful home. It is an honour to be trusted with peoples loved ones and have the privilege of spending time with each and every one of our residents daily to make sure they have a smile on their face.”
Claire helps to run the Derby Heights Facebook Page, which is regularly updated with everything the home gets up to, from big events to trips out. Derby Heights also recently celebrated Senior Care Assistant Kaleeia winning Care Worker of the Year at the Derbyshire Awards.