Caring is your career with Cornerstone
Name: Malcolm Gray
Job title: Service manager
I start between 8.30-9am most mornings, and always with a coffee – everything looks better after the first coffee.
I say good morning to staff and residents, which is really important to me to let everybody know I am in work, and have a chat with folk to see how last night went.
A typical day in my role involves making sure all the systems we have in place are in order and relevant to the service needs. I check my e-mail and calendar for appointments and meetings; this really determines my day as some correspondence obviously need to be dealt with there and then, while others require you to collate information that can take some time to respond to.
The meetings I have vary from week to week, so you have to plan your day accordingly around them.
The phone is the same – if someone wants to talk to you about an issue or for advice on something then you have to deal with it there and then. Staff will come and speak to me about service issues throughout the morning as well.
Some mornings can be really busy, while others can be more relaxed depending on what is going on that particular day.
I like to go and sit with the people we support in our service if they are in for lunch. We have a wee chat and catch up on what has been going on that day.
I have worked for Cornerstone – which provides care and support services for adults, young people and children throughout Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and other support needs – for almost 11 years after getting to know two people who were supported by the charity.
I used to work in the local shop where they were regular customers, as were the staff, and I got to know them all very well.
When I saw an advert for a part-time job as a support worker, I decided to go for it and eventually was given a full-time position.
I stayed in that role for about three years before moving to a further two services as team leader, and later becoming service manager.
I left school aged 15 and had always wanted to be a social worker, so this was a great chance for me and my ideal job.
I try and finish off what I have started in the morning. If I have any meetings the following day, I will spend time preparing for this, sorting out the relevant paperwork and checking up on information.
I check my e-mails periodically through out the afternoon and deal with them. The best bits of the job are helping to sort things out for the people we support and the staff.
Knowing that you are there for everyone and that you are able to help resolve niggles of the day is very satisfying.
This job for me has a lot of memorable moments, but one that particularly stands out involves supporting a lady with a lot of trust issues and challenging behaviour.
It was fantastic for me when the lady trusted me enough to give me a key for her craft room; this was such a breakthrough.
Another involves the same lady, when her dream of getting married came true. I walked her down the aisle and gave her away. The blessing was done by a minister and we had a three-course meal in a hotel and a party at night. I even gave a speech and it was a fantastic day for everyone. It’s all about working as team and its times like these that make the job extremely satisfying and worthwhile.
I generally leave the service to go home about 5pm-5.30pm. I like to write a to-do list for the next day so I start this during the day and finish it off a home. I like to relax a bit by walking the dog with my wife during the evening. I can do a bit of gardening, watch some TV and of course I am the unpaid taxi driver for my teenage daughter! My son has not long passed his driving test so one down, one to go.