People – every individual matters
Service Excellence – we have the passion to be the best at everything we do
Responsibility – accountability is embedded in our actions and decisions
Communication – We engage with, listen to and respond positively to the needs of the people who use our services and team members
Innovation – People who use our services and team members are encouraged to contribute and influence the development of the services we provide.
I started work at a private nursing home when I was 18, which was very profit driven. After a while I started to feel
like there must be a better way. I knew a bit about David Lewis and I applied online. The standard of care is very
high and the number of staff here means the Service Users can get so much more out of life. Most of the Service
Users’ goals on my house are about community access, so it means their key workers focus on helping them to
achieve that. The opportunities for Service Users here are great – even if we can’t get out there is Top Farm, JDs
Club, the Sensory Room or Sing and Sign every Friday – there is always something going on.
I was a Care Officer for 18 months. My manager has really helped me to develop, and I am now a Team Leader. The opportunities are massive here: I did my NVQ3 in Health and Social Care, and now I’m studying for my degree through the Open University, which David Lewis is funding. If you haven’t worked in care before, David Lewis is definitely the place to start. You get a 17 day induction which covers the basics and gives you the opportunity to work six shadow shifts with experienced members of staff, so you can get to know the Service Users and the team. The training doesn’t stop there though: every year there’s the three day Mandatory Refresher training to keep you up to speed, and all the other bits in between that help you do your job. If you have worked in care before, the pay is really competitive with really good premiums for weekends and nights. You feel like your voice is heard too: I’m a member of the Staff Forum and we get to put forward the staff’s opinions on things the company is doing, what could be done better and what needs to change. The management team are really accessible too, so everything is really transparent and well led. Both the staff and the environment are lovely. I wish I’d come straight here when I was 18 years old, to be honest! ... Read more
Chris Hubbard – Team Leader
Prior to joining David Lewis I had worked in a variety of roles within the care sector. My previous role was working as a qualified day service instructor after completing my Cert Ed. I came to David Lewis as an instructor in 1998. My role at David Lewis was to run sessions in art and craft, basic numeracy, literacy and community access. I decided I wanted to move back into residential care, so I transferred to a care officer position in what was then our Adults Service.
I worked as a care officer for six months, achieving promotion to Team Leader, then Eleven months later to an
Acting Residential Manager before taking the role permanently.
I moved into my current role of Registered Manager for Education and Life skills in April 2014, taking lead responsibility for the Education & Life Skills Residential Service. Acting as the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Registered Manager I am accountable for the operational management of the Education & Life Skills houses within the residential service. I work closely with the Education & Life Skills team, to ensure the holistic and integrated development of the school, college and residential care provision to the highest standards in accordance with relevant standards and legislation.
Throughout my career the most rewarding element has been building positive working relationships with the Service Users, being able to support and encourage them to achieve their goals. Seeing them overcoming so many difficulties and obstacles is inspirational. The great thing about working at David Lewis is that no two days are the same and there is always something to challenge me. If people are thinking about a career in care, David Lewis is a great place to start because of the training package that we offer, not just when you join, but throughout your career. There is an immense amount of diverse experience across the services within David Lewis for new team members to learn from. Nationally recognised qualifications are available, such as the Care Certificate and the QCF Levels 2 and 3. David Lewis also benefits from new team members as they bring their own skills, knowledge, experience and fresh ideas that we always welcome at David Lewis. ... Read more
Donna Ogden - Service Manager, Education & Lifeskills
After gaining my Masters Degree in International Business I spent ten years in banking. I knew I wanted a change of career and had done some voluntary work for charities. One of my customers asked if I had heard of David Lewis, so I came to an open day, had an interview which went very well and decided to take the plunge!
I’ve been a Care Officer now for two years. My role is to enable people to have as much personal control over
their lives through support packages that are tailored to their individual needs. The 17 day induction is great as it
gives you a good foundation, but it is the support from the rest of the team on the houses that really makes the
difference. What I noticed is how helpful and approachable the staff are
You also get additional training, for example in autism and dementia, or anything that will help you work with a particular Service User. The more I learn, the better care I can provide and the more I can contribute. I completed my Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care in about six months. If you are willing to learn the opportunities are here. We work with so many different health professionals that it has given me an insight into what I would like to do and I am thinking about re-training in Physiotherapy or Occupational Therapy in the future.
What I love most about my job is the interaction with the Service Users. Every day I can see that I am making a difference to someone’s life. For example, when I take someone who has really poor mobility to Hydrotherapy and see the look on their face when they can walk in the water – it’s so rewarding. To anyone thinking about a career in care I would say give it a go! You’ll be surprised how much satisfaction you get from seeing the transformation in someone else’s everyday life. You really don’t need experience, it’s more important that you have a good value base and want to make a difference, and they are things that cannot be taught. Every day is different because you are dealing with individuals and you feel wanted. I’ve never regretted my decision. ... Read more
Oxana Fenwick – Care Officer
Before I came to David Lewis I had been a hairdresser for 15 years. I realised I wanted a change and David Lewis stood out. Initially I had wanted to go into nursing, but I couldn’t afford it with a young family at home, so I thought this would be the next best thing and perhaps there would be the opportunity for career development as it was a large organisation.
I joined David Lewis as a Care Officer in 2009 and haven’t looked back! I really enjoyed my role in Education and
Lifeskills, working with our School and College Students. After 18 months a temporary Team Leader position came up, which I applied for and was successful
I was made permanent after six months and stayed as a Team leader for three years.
That’s where I really got to know more about how the service works by taking on more responsibility. Now I’m a Residential Manager with a staff team of 43, looking after 9 Service Users. I’ve been in the role since December 2015 and I’m loving it! I’m very student-focused: they’re only here for approx. two to three year placement so I believe we need to give them our absolute best in that time so that they go on to their next placement or supported living as independent as possible.
This is a great place to work as there are just so many individual opportunities if you want them and within a rural location with easy access to local facilities. If you are brand new to care, the training is superb and extensive as it will really set you up. Then when you start work on the houses the extended team is really supportive – not just the other Care Officers and Team Leaders, but we have Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherpists and the Behaviour Support Service who can all offer help and advice along with the doctors and nurses that work on site. There’s also the opportunity to do your professional care qualifications which will stay with you for life. David Lewis paid for me to do my Level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care when I was a Team Leder, and now I'm studying for my Level 5 qualifcation. ... Read more
Sara Bradbury – Residential Manager
We work a mixture of early and late shifts. On an early you’ll come in and be assigned to a Service User for the day. In the mornings we help them to get out of bed and get washed. They choose what they want to wear and we help them get dressed, encouraging them to do as much for themselves as possible. We’ll then assist with breakfast.
Every Service User has a timetable as part of their Person Centred Plan. This is made up of activities that they
enjoy, plus any appointments that they need to keep, such as clinic or hospital appointments. We check the person’s
timetable and then accompany them to whatever is scheduled. Sometimes I’ll go to hydrotherapy with them
or shopping; I’ve even been to the theatre!
Even if we’re not going off site there’s plenty of things to do here. There’s Top Farm where they have donkeys, pigs, chickens and all kinds of small animals. We also have a film club on the house or we do baking, arts and crafts or play board games. I find the shifts fly be, even when I’m working a double. I really love that every day is different. You get to know the Service Users really well and it’s great to see them developing and enjoying life – it’s such a rewarding job. Don’t get me wrong, it can be challenging at times but it’s so worthwhile.
I’d previously worked in a similar environment for 2.5 years, but I can honestly say I’ve learned more in my nine months at David Lewis than in the whole of my last job. The training has been brilliant and since I’ve passed my probation I’ve signed up for loads of things: I’m learning to drive minibuses, deliver PRN medication, I’m doing the Swim Session Leader course and I’ve already learned about PEG feeds. To anyone thinking about starting a career in care I would say it can be daunting but the induction training will really help you to get started and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you settle in. ... Read more
Sian Battams – Care Officer
I started work at David Lewis as a Care Officer in 2012. I had graduated in 2010 with a degree in psychology but didn’t know what I wanted to do. My dad recommended David Lewis and I thought “Why not?” I had no background in care but it was the best decision I ever made. I was a Care Officer for two and a half years in Pathways and Community, which is our service for people aged 19+.
I really like that there is a great support network here – all the Care Officers work as one big team, along with the
Team Leaders and Managers. I also liked that there is such a diverse group of Service Users at David Lewis with
lots of different needs and personalities
The one-to-one interaction with people is wonderful and they teach you so much about your own strengths. It’s the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. For the last two years I’ve been working in the Psychology and Behaviour Support Service, and if I hadn’t been a Care Officer I don’t think I would be able to do this job. I know how David Lewis works and have a clear understanding of our Service User group, which is invaluable. You really don’t need experience to work as a Care Officer; it’s more important that you have the right attitude – that you’re open minded with a good work ethic.
The training package here is like nothing I’ve seen anywhere else, because it is so comprehensive. The 17 day induction really prepares you for working in care and gives you a great basis to build on. Looking forward, I’m hoping to do the Diploma in Positive Behaviour Support, with financial sponsorship from David Lewis. I came here with no idea what I wanted to do, but I’ve really got some direction in my life now. I just came to get some experience, and I certainly got it! ... Read more
Vicky Bourne – Psychology and Behaviour Support Worker