Maureen’s untold story
We recently entered one of Leuchie's Care Assistants, Maureen, for the Scottish Social Services Awards 2017 in the category "The Untold Story". The criteria for the award said: "We are looking for an unsung hero; an inspiring individual who thinks that they are ‘just doing their job’ but whose approach makes it so much more than that. We want to celebrate people who have helped make a positive difference for others either through their day-to- day work, or promoting the social services profession more widely."
On 20 April 2017, Maureen was shortlisted for this award and will take part in the awards ceremony on 13 June 2017. Here is an excerpt from the entry which explains why we think her untold story is so special.
MAUREEN BLACKIE, CARE ASSISTANT, LEUCHIE HOUSE
Maureen has worked as a Care Assistant at Leuchie House for 13 years, delivering personal and social care to guests during their respite break at Leuchie.
Maureen is the epitome of what we want a carer at Leuchie House to be.
Caring for some of society’s most vulnerable people, she is determined to ensure that every guest, whatever their health condition or capabilities, has the best possible respite break experience while they are at
Leuchie. This includes regularly working past the end of her shift while accompanying someone on an outing.
She is also quietly inspirational to her colleagues in Leuchie’s care team, supporting and guiding them to deliver the highest standards of personalised care.
All while “just doing her job.”
Through her personalised care and attention to each guest she works with, in her under-stated style, she quietly goes above and beyond to find out what guests hope to get out of their respite break, then to ensure we deliver it.
Maureen is one of the care team qualified to drive Leuchie’s accessible vehicle. This means she regularly takes guests out on day trips. Whatever her contracted finishing time, Maureen never rushes guests back to the House and frequently finishes later than she should. She recently went out with a guest who has some cognitive challenges which led her to refuse to get back into the vehicle for the return journey. Maureen continued with her caring approach, persuading the guest to return to the vehicle. When she did eventually get back in, Maureen drove her back via the scenic route despite there being a much quicker way to make sure the guest’s day ended with a great experience.
Maureen’s approach makes a huge difference to the lived experiences of the guests she works with.
At the end of each break we conduct an evaluation with each of our guests to find out how they felt about their holiday and where we might improve things in the future. Maureen’s name regularly comes up in our evaluation discussions with guests, who single her out as having provided amazing care.
Many of our guests come back regularly to Leuchie and look forward to knowing she will be there, providing the continuity and high quality of care they are looking for. It is heart-warming to see many guests greeting her like an old friend when they arrive. For example, one of our guests always checks to make sure Maureen will be here when he books his holiday because he enjoys going out for a pub lunch with her so much!
She is always patient, caring, positive and outgoing. She makes an extra effort to find out what our guests enjoy doing or would like to try for the first time, then does everything possible to make it happen.
She views all this very much as just doing her job, never seeking recognition or praise for her achievements. Her humility and down-to-earth approach endear her to guests and colleagues alike and make her a pivotal member of the Leuchie House care team.
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