I have worked in care from the age of 15, starting out as a tea girl in a rest home that was owned by a friend’s parents. I was hooked listening to people’s life stories and learning more about them and their lives. I have worked in both health and social care settings in roles ranging from care assistant to development management and in both adult care and learning disabilities services. I managed a care home for 8 years and was instrumental in setting up and running Sage House, a one-of-a-kind hub for people with dementia. I have also been a family carer so I understand the complexities of balancing caring duties with working and the strain this can bring.
I completed a master’s degree in 2013 in dementia care, with a focus on learning disabilities and dementia and I have developed an interest in life story writing and end of life care, which I have delivered training and given various talks on the subjects.
Through covid-19 I decided that I wanted to return to studying and wanted a job that would complement studies. I joined DETERMIND as a research assistant because I felt that the skills, I would learn would help me with my professional doctorate and understanding more about how research is conducted.