Woodbury Court home manager Mel Oliver looks back on her biggest achievements and challenges as she approaches her 20th anniversary with Runwood Homes.
How did you join Runwood Homes?
Shortly after leaving school in 1997, I began my career at Runwood Homes as a kitchen and domestic assistant. Within six years I was promoted to care team leader, and following this, I was further promoted to deputy manager, and I am now the proud home manager of Woodbury Court. I will be celebrating my 20th year anniversary working at Runwood Homes next year, and I could not be prouder!
What is special about Runwood Homes?
I have the utmost respect for Runwood Homes. The company is very special, as it truly is a family-run business, and this resonates with all staff and residents. They put the residents at the heart of everything that they do, and there is a fantastic support system in place. Runwood Homes are excellent at developing their staff, and I am a wonderful example of this, as I have been offered the training and development required to enable me to achieve my career goals.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is being able to work with such a fantastic team of staff, who take such pride in caring for the residents at Woodbury Court. The residents and their wellbeing are so important to us, and it’s very inspiring to see the lengths staff will go to to ensure residents feel special and valued.
What has been your proudest moment?
My proudest moment was in 2017, when Woodbury Court received an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC.
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
COVID-19 has been by far the biggest challenge I have faced in my career, adapting to the changes and new guidelines. Managing an outbreak of COVID-19 was very challenging, however, as a team we successfully navigated our way out of it, which allowed us to become a stronger and closer team.
Tell us some of the key things you need to provide great care?
Developing a great relationship with the individual you are caring for is key. Understanding their preferences and how they like things done is very important. At Runwood Homes, we recognise that every resident is different, and we ensure our staff promote equality and diversity. Establishing a good rapport with relatives is integral to ensuring smooth communication, and a solid foundation of trust. I am honoured family members have the faith and trust to place their loved ones in our care.
How do you relax?
I like to take long walks in the countryside with my partner and three children. We also regularly have movie nights. In normal times, we would head off to London for the weekend. My family are my world and have been very supportive with my career at Runwood Homes.
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