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John Nicholson (Home Manager)

Tell us about the people you support?
We support five chaps and one female aged between 19 and 40 years of age. They all have very different and complex diagnosis ranging from: moderate to profound learning disabilities, unique diabetes type 1, Autism, Smith Maguiness, ADHD and Tourettes.

They all have associated challenging behaviours and two in particular can be very physically challenging however the flip side is they are all capable in terms of mobility to fulfil active lives.

Did you always work in the care sector before coming to CMG?
My background was retail and hospitality, but I found myself constantly chasing the carrot in terms of developing from middle management. This was having an effect on my personal life as I couldn’t seem to get the right work life balance.

I actually joined CMG as waking nights at Mays lane but had no experience or knowledge of the care sector. After my first three nights it wasn’t really what I expected so I had a chat with the manager with the intention of leaving. However she must have seen some good qualities as she encouraged me to stay.

I guess the rest is history I fell in love with the job, love the challenging behaviour side of things and the simple fact that I was making a difference to a person’s life instead of looking at bottom line profits and targets.

Tell us how you progressed from a waking nights support worker role to Home Manager?
I owe a lot to my manager Amanda, as she really encouraged me to progress. My managerial skills were transparent, I just needed to learn the job from the shop floor up if you like.

I was always keen to progress to have a more active role within the organisation and also to increase my earnings, although I must now add that the job satisfaction and work life balance certainly outweigh my earnings in terms of what is now important to me.

Through hard work, support from my manager and CMG training, I soon became a Lead Support Worker. This then gave me the opportunity to look at becoming a PMCB instructor (prevention and management of challenging behaviour), where CMG also paid for me to complete my PTLLS level three as well as achieving diploma level three in Health and Social care. This enabled me to train independently and really get out and about in terms of networking. That then led to me joining the PBS team (positive behaviour support) opening more avenues for me to explore.

I guess I was fortunate as the position of Deputy Manager came about and I was encouraged to apply for it and was successful. This then opened up more training opportunities for development (Deputy Manager development programme).

It was in 2012 that my manager Amanda was promoted to Regional Director which gave me the opportunity to apply for the Manager role. It was challenging and a definite learning curve but I was fully supported by my Regional Director and the CEO. Both had faith in my ability so I do appreciate the opportunity they gave me to grow due to my limited time in this sector (approx 4 years).

In March of this year I was granted my registration from CQC and am currently working on my level 5 diploma in health and social care, and since got compliant on my CQC visit and an ‘outstanding’ rating in CMG’s own quality assurance programme

Tell us about your day to day workload?
The Job can be stressful and frustrating as you could start the day with an agenda however that normally goes to pop whether it be phone calls from Care Managers, a service user presenting quite physical challenging behaviours, staff sickness or tasks being assigned to me from the Regional Director or central office.

However the good days most definitely outweigh the bad. I could arrive in the morning and have breakfast with the service users and discuss their wants and needs or talk about the positive outcomes. I also do administrative work, completing audits and care plans and updating risk assessments, staff supervision meetings, arrange training, look at budgets, home improvements, staff wages. The list is endless and no day is ever the same!

I also organise social leave and holidays for our service users. In fact I have been on several service user holidays for up to a week which are really hard work but extremely rewarding. Whether it be a good day or bad day I always go home knowing I have made a real difference in the support we offer to the guys we support which to me is priceless.

I also had the great experience to attend CMG’s launch of its ‘Sharing Excellence in Practice’ programme at the House of Commons which was a real honour. I never thought I’d get the opportunity to visit the House of Commons!