Carers Stories: Shannon— August 8, 2023
Shannon's Journey of Development at Saxon Care
At Saxon Care, we take pride in nurturing the growth of each member of our team. One shining example of this commitment is Shannon Woodwards, whose remarkable journey within Saxon Care serves as a testament to those who embrace their passion for care and are looking for professional development. In our first edition of "Carers Stories," we sit down with Shannon to learn about her inspiring path from a care assistant to the esteemed role of Care Manager at our Royal Wootten Bassett office.
Where did it all begin?
Shannon's journey at Saxon Care began unexpectedly. Originally Shannon's plan was to become a dance teacher, however, she started care work at the age of 17. Her initial plan was not to pursue a career in care, but life had luckily led Shannon down this path.
"At age 17, while enrolled in sixth form, I began working in care in a home for children with autism. My initial intention was to never enter any kind of care, but I needed to pay for my car because I had just passed my driving test. I originally intended to go to university to become a dance instructor, but my path changed so I applied to work as a carer in Swindon. I then spent some time working with children as a private nanny before deciding to try my hand at care again. I missed the sense of accomplishment I felt while providing domestic care so I made the decision that I needed a new challenge. I spoke with Jodie at Saxon Care and I was given the opportunity to attend an interview. In 2021, I began a career with Saxon Care as a care coordinator. At this time, I was pursuing my Level 5 leadership and management in senior care certification. I finished this in March 2023, and in April 2023, I received a promotion to Care Manager."
What kind of support for professional development did you receive? How did these contribute towards your growth?
"Even though I had already begun my Level 5 before I started working at Saxon Care, they were always so supportive whilst I completed the certification. It gave me the time I needed to finish the assignments that I needed to pass. Saxon Care also gave me enough time to complete my observations. Since joining the team, I have been included in many different aspects of the business, from expansion planning to operational improvements. This gave me the opportunity to learn more about the industry and to consider how our office could develop and further support the community. Since taking my current position, the Senior Leadership Team has consistently supported my views and shown a willingness to listen. I have consistently said that I wanted to work as a Care Manager in one-to-one conversations, and senior leadership has always appreciated and helped me achieve this goal. I feel certain that I can talk to Debbie (Registered Manager) about anything, and she will listen and consider what I have to say. Debbie will also relay any recommendations I make to Evan and Stuart so that we have more in-depth conversations during team meetings."
What do you think sets Saxon Care apart when it comes to development and progression?
"In my opinion, Saxon Care honours their commitments and helps you progress. When there are openings for promotions, companies that I've worked for in the past always appear to hire outside candidates and it's almost always based on experience. However, if you are never given the chance to get experience, how are you going to get experience to be promoted within? We at Saxon Care support our carers as they gain knowledge and experience so that, like our office personnel, they can pursue promotions if they want to. Prior to becoming a Care Manager, I had the chance to observe meetings and other situations, including investigations, which helped me learn things I otherwise would not know now."
How is Saxon Care different?
For Shannon, the most significant difference at Saxon Care is the unwavering support and respect she has received, regardless of her age. Some previous workplaces overlooked her potential due to her youth, but we recognised her dedication, ideas, and capabilities from the start. This empowering environment fueled her passion for care and motivated her to reach new heights within her career. Saxon Care's emphasis on promoting from within has fostered a positive company culture and a sense of loyalty that we really value.
Shannon's story shows the spirit of growth and development that lies at the heart of our teams. Her journey from a Care Assistant to a Care Manager showcases the opportunities that await those who are passionate about caring for others and seek personal and professional growth. At Saxon Care, we are committed to empowering our team members and providing the support they need to reach their full potential.
Stay tuned for more inspiring "Carers Stories" as we continue to celebrate the remarkable individuals who make Saxon Care an exceptional place to work and receive care. If you are interested in joining Saxon Care, please visit our Careers page to find out more!