“I want to do anything I can to make the centre a nice environment for everyone”

Fran is the Housekeeping Supervisor at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe. In her blog, she talks about the brilliant support her colleagues give every day, how they’ve all adapted to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, and the varied jobs and extra projects she does to ensure the centre is a safe, welcoming place for residents and their families.

Fran, behind her desk at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe

A really good place to work

I’ve worked at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe for over 13 years and had quite a varied career before I came here. One of my previous jobs was in a pathology department of a hospital but, as I used to work nights I wanted somewhere that was more people-facing. My friend spotted the job advert for a Domestic Assistant at the centre and I applied, and here I am all these years later as the Housekeeping Supervisor.  

It is a really good place to work and things just keep getting better and better. All of the management team are so supportive and communicate really well with everyone, which is so important. They always have time for me and are on hand to help talk through any queries I have. I really can’t praise them enough.

Pulling together through the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has provided us with a few challenges to overcome. Some of my staff joined the caring teams, which was fantastic for them and the centre, but meant I was worried about being short-staffed. These worries proved unfounded as everyone really pulled together and made sure everything was covered.

My work normally brings me into contact with a lot of people on a day to day basis, as I interact with several other departments. Now, to minimise face-to-face contact several of us have walkie-talkies, which means that we can all keep in touch quickly and easily and most importantly, safely.

Nearly everything we do has had to change; even the process we use to deliver everyone’s meals has had to be adapted. Now, when someone brings up the trolley of meals from the kitchen we have designated places for it to be left so that people don’t need to cross over between the centre units.

Every day is different 

Every day is different here, and my role is a varied one, everything from stock checks to ordering all of the NHS equipment. That was another challenge last year, with many items proving very difficult to get hold of. Even now, I still have to order industrial sized vats of hand sanitiser which I then decant into smaller bottles - it is amazing the things that have now become normal for us!

I want to do anything I can to make the centre a nice environment for everyone, so I normally have some additional projects on the go in my own time. Recently, I re-upholstered the piano stool in the main lounge room and I’ve also brought in several pictures to make the front hall feel welcoming. I am currently making a few more privacy curtains because some of the ones we have need updating and I want people to feel comfortable when they are being changed. 

I have also volunteered on my days off to lend a hand to the maintenance team with some painting, which I love doing! Away from work, I am a keen knitter and have recently been making all sorts of things for my newest grandchild.

There is so much I enjoy about my job, I still enjoy getting up early and coming to work for 6.30am. The whole team is so supportive and fun to be around – we all work hard to get the job done and we can have a laugh whilst doing it.

Find out more about Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe, the expert neurological care they provide and ways you can help to support them.

Join our Sue Ryder team

If you've been inspired by Fran's story to join us and help support people with a range of neurological conditions such as Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, get in touch with our recruitment team on recruitment@sueryder.org or search our latest opportunities.

Fran, Housekeeping Supervisor at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe

Housekeeping Supervisor

Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe

Fran has worked at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre Stagenhoe for over 13 years. Starting out as a Domestic Assistant, she is now the Housekeeping Supervisor and works as part of the team keeping the centre clean, safe and welcoming for residents, their families and staff.