A care home in Yelverton, Devon has taken its ‘home-from-home’ ethos one step further by employing three members of the same family.
The Red House residential care home employs sisters Gemma Trawally and Michelle Lockley, plus their mum, Carole Capeling.
Gemma, aged 39, has worked there for 19 years, starting in 2003 as a care assistant. Gemma has since progressed through the ranks to become the manager, leading a team of 26 staff.
The care home has supported Gemma to achieve Health & Social Care NVQ 2 and 3, and most recently a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health & Social Care.
Four years later, sister Michelle joined the team as a kitchen assistant, and is now a senior carer, having achieved an NVQ 3 in Health & Social Care. Mum Carole joined her two daughters at the care home in 2015 as a domestic.
Gemma said: “I know that some people wouldn’t want to work with their family, but we all love it, and it really works for us. We instinctively understand each other and can talk honestly and openly.
“We have fantastic staff retention and quite a few members of our team have been here for many years, so the home is like a second family for lots of us.
“There is something special about The Red House, there is such a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, and we form close relationships with our residents. It’s our job to make sure our residents are happy, and I get a lot of pleasure from making them smile and knowing they are comfortable and well cared for.”
Before joining her sister at the care home, Michelle had been working in the Navy as a steward and was looking for work that would keep her closer to her family and enable her to make use of her first aid training.
“I wasn’t sure if caring was right for me at first,” explained Michelle, “so I started off helping with the breakfasts.
“But I loved chatting to the residents and helping them and would often stay after my shift to spend time with them. The penny dropped and I realised that caring was the right role for me!”
The mum-of-four wanted a career that meant she could balance work and family life.
“It’s not always easy to find family-friendly work in this sector, but The Red House has been so accommodating and are always willing to be as flexible as they can. It’s an added bonus that I get to see my sister and mum at work too!”
Gemma added: “We have a lot of fun with the residents, they are such great characters and I never tire of learning from them.
“One of the most rewarding parts of the job is providing end-of-life care. It’s a privilege to have a place by the side of our resident and their family. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.”
The Red House is currently recruiting a carer, for more information please firstname.lastname@example.org.