Dale’s insights into his first six months as Torbay Branch Manager
Dale says that joining Friends has been the most rewarding role that he’s had working in social care.
“Friends just provide what our customers and carers want, it’s how care should be done. I love the way relationships are formed between our carers and customers. There’s time without rushed visits that enables better quality of living at home. I love that we really can make a positive difference.”
Positive difference – the Friends way.
We asked about the challenges. Dale says that the greatest challenge was getting to grips with working with self-employed care providers and supporting, rather than directly managing them.
“The way Friends work came naturally to me, as this the way I believe care should be. As a qualified health and social care teacher, CQC standards and best practice is what I understand best and support my team to work towards. It’s so different to the way of working that I had be used to. The fact that we introduce carers to customers and that both (carer and customer) are in control with choice and flexibility which is so different to the normal ‘Dom Care’ way of working. My role is to develop good relationships with two client groups – carers and customers – providers and service users.”
There are many examples of how customers love the Friends way of working and the team.
“Last week one of our carers had to self-isolate and the customer’s family arranged for a really lovely food hamper to be sent, with a note saying Friends carers make such a positive difference.”
“It’s lovely that the family wanted to give her something that recognised their gratitude.”
“Friends ethos is about enabling the right carers to be matched with customers having choice. My journey with Friends has been a positive experience and one that I value, being part of the Friends family where we make a difference. I love working with our customers and care providers, and the positive working environment. We get great feedback, many notes and little gifts to say thank you. People’s requirements change and being able to respond and help is rewarding.”
“Friends also provide a great deal of operational support to the branch management and the other branch managers are always communicating with one another. It’s a great support network.”
It’s not all work. Dale and his partner have two dogs, the latest addition to the family is “Dantee” an eleven-week German Shepard and Dotty.
They’re all off at the weekend to their caravan for a break.
Dale says, “Since joining Friends, we’re able to take at least a long weekend away every month. We love the beach and countryside.”
We leave the last word to Karen, Dale’s boss and owner of the Friends Franchise in Torbay:
“Dale is a great asset to the Torbay branch, and a great help to me, the carers and our customers. Dale is a care professional who really cares about what we do and also supports the local community. He’s an Alzheimer’s Society Champion and understands that understanding an individual’s preferences and beliefs is key to being able to provide the best care.”