Steph Alexander pictured on a family day out – the latest addition to the Friends Family.
Steph is the new and exciting face at Friends Helping at Home, and is the new Exeter Branch Director, a branch that covers Exeter City, Topsham, Exmouth into East Devon.
We thought that it would be a good opportunity to ask Steph to share what attracted her to the “Friends” family, and what drives and motivates her….
Steph: “I’m passionate about care and have a background in administration and finance, as well as years of experience as a qualified carer, so managing a branch was a natural career move. You could say a ‘no brainer’.
I grew up in Exmouth and spent my teenage years in Exeter. I loved living by the sea and hopping on the train to go to Exeter. I always had a strong sense of giving back to my community because of the positive experience it gave to me. I began my journey in care at 18 and my journey in finance and administration at 21. Throughout my working life I have played career tennis with both of these areas, sometimes doing both at the same time – office and care work, and enjoy both. I am Mum to 4 year old William and we love spending time exploring the beautiful Devon coast as a family with my partner Martin and my terrier Rudy.”
Why did you decide to join Friends Helping at Home?
“My ‘Friends’ journey started as a happy accident! I applied as a carer but as I found out more about the company this application developed. Donna, Friends recruitment manager recognised my skills in a way that I hadn’t. It stood out to me as a very unique care company and the mission statement really stuck with me. I loved the idea of having a larger role in a company with great values and integrity. ‘Friends’ shares my passion and core beliefs. I hadn’t experienced this before in such a strong sense. It also joined the dots with my love of administration, finance and care, so I could apply each of my passions wholeheartedly. For me, there’s nothing we can’t do and I am so happy to be able to facilitate the ‘Friends’ service in the Exeter area. ‘Friends’ has a personal touch for everyone’s needs and I love that. I always had always thought about going my own way with care but wanted to ensure that I had the necessary skills to run a business. Friends offered me the opportunity to own and run my own business with the help and support and systems to take the fear (of doing so) away. Devon is full of small businesses and I want to make sure that people feel supported in looking after their elderly and vulnerable parents and loved ones. I know that this is a challenge that so many families face, running a business and caring for loved ones – I want to be their friendly neighbour to call on and encourage people to reach out for help.”
What’s your next stepping stone on your ‘Friends’ Journey?
“I want to focus on developing my company by growing the Exeter branch, but I want to do this responsibly and sustainably by working with the Exeter community and listening to the unique needs that this area has. I know that this is a great opportunity to have a platform for change in the wider community. I have been really upset personally by the ongoing hardships brought on by covid-19 so one of my first projects is to involve everyone in the ‘Friends’ network across Devon to participate in a fundraiser that I’m organising in aid of Devon Food Banks. I want to show that by using the word “Friends” in our brand that this is for the whole community not just the elderly community in Exeter.”
We are delighted to welcome Steph and give her all the help and good wishes. As an organisation, we actively support local community events, especially those that our branch directors have an interest.