This week’s blog is about the determination and progression of one of our Regional directors, Donna Thompson. Donna has been working with CMG since 2004, she started as a support lead worker and is now a Regional Director in West London.
Donna’s love for the care sector started at the age of 15. She was offered along with her class mates the choice to study religious studies or enrol in a programme to support people with learning disabilities. She choose the latter. Students who enrolled on the programme were placed into a special school to support the students there with everyday learning in the classroom. This is when Donna realised that this was her vocation, this is what she wanted to do. She felt a real sense of gratitude that she had the opportunity to improve people’s lives, to help them grow and achieve their goals.
After Donna finished school she did an NVQ at college in social care, during this time she supported a 20 year old girl through college and to obtain a job. She went onto achieve her HND (Higher National Diploma) in Health and Social Care. After several work placements and jobs including a nurse assistant in a hospital setting and a health coordinator she left her life in Ireland to start working in London.
The first job she got was as an advisor and educator for young adults with mental health needs who had recently left the care system. She guided and supported them with emotional issues, sex/relationship advice, financial and employment support.
It was after this job where she found the role at CMG. She applied to be a lead support worker at Carlton Avenue, one of PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities) services. She told me at that time gaining a job in care was sort after. People in these type of roles had a sense of pride and gratification.
From there onwards Donna’s career took off! After only two months she applied to be a deputy manager, which she got and then was promoted to service manager after only 6 months. During Donnas’ role as service manager she completed her registered managers award with Stanmore college, won 2nd place for home manager of the year and after 5 years of managing the service and gaining an excellent rating for CQC she felt she had got the service where she wanted it to be and felt she needed to progress and further grow her career. This is when she applied and was promoted to regional director in November 2011.
I asked what she loves most about her role and what the biggest challenges are. She told me that she loves to build trusting relationships with everyone she comes into contact with, mentor, guide and develop her managers to become more confident in their role. Donna said she loves hearing about how people we support are flourishing in CMG. She is always overjoyed to find out that people we support have a better social life than her. It gives her a real sense of achievement and pride to know that she is part of that. She loves the flexibility of her role and how every day is completely different, it is impossible to get bored. Donna said at CMG you are never alone, everyone from head office staff to our clinical team all pull together to improve further. The biggest challenges she says are how other authorities perceive a private care company and the constant battle with this, recruitment difficulties in this climate and the effect this can have on our frontline staff and people we support.
I think that Donna’s career path has been an inspirational one and hope that staff and or people who are considering a career in care can take something away from this.
I will finish this blog with some advice from Donna and some photos of her.
Donna Thompson, Regional director, West London:
“CMG is a company where you can thrive, be valued for your contribution and where you can progress your career. It is true what people say: CMG does grow its own manager’s and they do it right. However, it doesn’t happen by doing nothing. You need to work hard, be resilient, promote yourself, be confident, take all the training that is on offer to you, and most importantly, challenge yourself. It will be worth it!”