We spoke to Charlotte, who joined Optalis in 2013 and is the Registered Manager for Extra Care Services in Wokingham. Charlotte has recently completed her Degree in Business Management and is about to complete her Chartered Manager Degree through the Optalis apprenticeship scheme.
Charlotte explained “I’ve always liked looking after people. I had family members who were not well when I was young and played a role in caring for them. This got me into helping people. I enjoy a fresh challenge and have taken on new roles and training throughout my career to continue progressing.”
Over the course of her career Charlotte has completed her NVQ level 2, 3 and 5. She has progressed through various roles starting as a support worker in a domiciliary care service, moving to senior support worker, operation lead, deputy manager and registered manager roles, both in learning disability and older people’s services. Charlotte adds,
“I’ve had lots of opportunities open to me, it’s about making it happen yourself, be eager and volunteer, put your hand up for everything.”
Her journey of development continues, “I wasn’t great at school and had other priorities, including caring for family members. But I really enjoy learning and I am driven, and I know what I want career wise. I understand care, with my years of experience and previous training, but I wanted to develop my knowledge around business practice, which is why I choose to do an Apprenticeship Degree in Business Management and Chartered Manager Degree, as I wanted to challenge myself a bit more. Optalis has funded this degree for me through the apprenticeship levy. I also get one day week out of work to allow me to complete some of my studies.”
Charlotte is in her final months of this course and considered what her next step will be: “I want to continue to progress and learn and move into more senior roles. I want to put my business knowledge into practice.” During her degree course Charlotte took another step in her career and moved into the role of Registered Manager of Extra Care Services.
“I love working in social care, the great thing about Optalis is that it’s not for profit. It is not money driven so you can focus on the care. I get a lot of satisfaction from the job. As a care worker you can help customers lives on a smaller scale every day, which I loved, as you progress you can add even more value and make a bigger impact for more people.”