Celebrating our Care Professional of the Year - Tracey's Story

I am Home Instead UK's Care Professional of the Year 2023!

Celebrating our Care Professional of the Year- Tracey's Story

I’m a mum and grandmother to four wonderful grandchildren with a new bundle of joy on its way! I turned 50 and passed my driving test! I am Home Instead UK’s Care Professional of the Year 2022!

Family and friends would describe me as a family orientated person with a nature to care for others. I would never have imagined this would lead to one of my biggest strengths in a successful career, but it certainly has.

I have a varied work background, when my own children were little, I worked in a local shop and as they became more independent, I went on to work in a factory and spent a few years as a seamstress. During this time my own mum required support following a fall at home and from this I saw how important it was for her to stay in her own home, surrounded by her memories and home comforts that many of us can often take for granted.

Following my mum’s passing, I decided to change my career; I knew I could help care for others but was unsure if I needed qualifications or experience.

I started my care journey in an assisted living home for several years, supporting older people with independent living. I found so much enjoyment in brightening their day, it was the small things, such as putting on an arts and crafts afternoon during the Easter weekend or joining in with Friday night karaoke to helping someone with their morning wash or preparing their favourite meal!

During this time, I became a grandmother and I wanted to enjoy time with my grandchild, when I was given the details of Home Instead and saw they were advertising for Care Professionals, something that really stood out to me was “Enabling clients to live in their own homes” and “Building a schedule that suits you”. 

I recently celebrated my 6th year anniversary with Home Instead Southend on Sea, and what a fantastic six years it has been. In the first five years I would cycle to my clients, and in all weathers!  I would arrive to my clients having just cycled through a down pour, hang my waterproof coat, as they greeted me at the door with a towel and a hair dryer, we would both smile. I cycled alongside another client in his mobility scooter along the seafront for the Saturday evening firework display and a hot chocolate, we both smiled.

When I turned 50, I set myself a goal to pass my driving test, the expression “you’re never too old” certainly did come to mind. Well, in March of 2022 I passed. And when I was asked, why now? I replied, “So I can travel further to care for more people”.

I never thought I would ever pass my driving test and I never thought I would consider working in the care sector. But here I am, and I can honestly say my biggest achievement so far, has being awarded Home Instead UK’s Care Professional of the Year 2022. I couldn’t believe I was picked from over 70 nominations, from over 250 offices! In February I was told I got through to the final three where myself and my daughter shared afternoon tea with fellow finalists, family members, our owners, and the lovely Lorraine Kelly from the telly!

It truly was a shock and a heart-warming experience to be recognised and awarded when all I am doing is being me!

My advice for anyone considering a role in care or working for Home Instead would be to do it because you want to and because you care.

Also, you only need to bring yourself! Home Instead offer great training and support!