Employer Focus: Sefton Hall Care Home

Sefton Hall is a friendly, supportive and award-winning care home based in Dawlish. The impressive, Georgian fronted home is rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC and has recently won Care Home of the Year in the 21st National Care Awards 2019 thanks to the team’s commitment to enhancing the lives of its residents, its exceptional facilities and person-centred approach. We caught up with Gabriela Ogreanu, the Registered Care Home Manager at Sefton Hall, to find out more about the home, the award and apprenticeships.

“It is a huge achievement to win Care Home of the Year in the National Care Awards. The application process is rigorous; we had to complete a detailed application form and then the manager or director from the five shortlisted homes had to attend an in-person interview. We have won awards before, however this is the most prestigious you can receive– so we’re all very proud! The award has also helped to establish Sefton’s position as a fantastic home; it gives relatives reassurance to know that their loved ones are in the very best home.

“What sets Sefton Hall apart is its ethos of being a home and not a hospital. We are able to house 50 residents, with many having lovely large bedrooms overlooking the grounds, and a dedicated Dementia unit. We have a number of facilities in a “village” in the grounds such as an ice cream shop, café and shops, plus an extensive programme of activities to enhance the residents’ daily lives. We also run a number of fundraising events throughout the year which residents can take part in, such as sponsored walks.

“When I started as Manager about 4 years ago, I worked hard to change the mind set of staff. It is vital that staff enjoy their job, can take breaks when tired, and spend time socialising with the residents as well as “caring” for them. In fact, only 50% of the job is carrying out essential tasks and the other 50% is interaction with residents. This helps to create a family-like ethos in the home and has helped to change the perception of how people view the home.

“We currently have around 60 employees at Sefton Hall. Due to the size of the home, we have two rotas for different areas to ensure staff members have a dedicated area and particular residents to focus on and build rapports with.

“Apprenticeships are very important to the Care industry as it is vital to attract young people to the Care sector. An apprenticeship in Care brings many benefits from improving communication skills to achieving qualifications with plenty of options for progression. An apprenticeship in Care can also act as a springboard for a career in Nursing. We would like to hire another apprentice in the future.”

I just wanted to say the biggest thank you to Vanessa, my trainer. You have made my journey so much easier, I don’t know what I would have done without you. You have been amazing and helped me to achieve my qualification. You’ve guided me through every step of the way, I really appreciate it, Vanessa, you have been my rock.

Katie Shorland, Level 2 Hairdressing

I always struggled in school as I wasn’t very academic, so knew learning on the job would be a better option for me. I would find it difficult to get up for 9am but now I wake up and look forward to my day. I wanted to try a hair apprenticeship as I’ve always been interested in hairdressing, and by the end of the first week, I already loved it!

Jaimee Benson, Level 2 Hairdressing

I have developed a range of new skills through work including the technical, industry skills required for the job, to personal development such as ensuring I am always on time. The biggest change since leaving school is adjusting to the independence you gain from earning a salary. My advice to anyone thinking of doing an apprenticeship would be find what you like doing, and go for it!

Will Birch, Level 2 Bricklaying

Since starting the apprenticeship, I’ve become far more confident. In a classroom, you only interact with your classmates, but through working you develop your people skills as you interact with customers on a daily basis. At school, you are closely monitored and parented, however I am now more independent and feel grown up

Sam Collard, Level 2 Light Vehicle and Maintenance Repair

The most important thing I’ve learnt since leaving school is that there are other routes to success than just academia. I failed my GCSEs, as I never suited the school environment. Now though, I’m really enjoying my apprenticeship as I’ve discovered I learn more through hands-on practice.

Ben Freeman, Level 2 Carpentry

I would just like to thank you and your team for all the amazing work they do, you have provided me with the most invaluable experience which has helped to pave the way of my future. The work you do for young people is incredible!

Luke Kowalski, Teaching Assistant and former apprentice at Sir Robert Gefferys School