12 November 2021
Parklands Care Homes has been caring for older people in the north for almost 30 years and the company is expanding.
That’s good news for local communities because it means more care beds for our ageing population and the prospect of new career opportunities for local people.
To find out more about what it’s like to work in care, we spoke to three Parklands employees, Jackie Macrae, Fiona Stoddart and Niamh Clark.
Pictured: Jackie Macrae
Jackie is an area manager with Parklands and was previously manager of Innis Mhor Care Home in Tain. A trained nurse, she has worked in care for over 20 years.
“I always wanted to be a nurse from a very young age,” says Jackie. “I didn’t achieve good grades at school but decided when I became a parent that I wanted to better myself and that is when I started my career in care as a student nurse. I joined the care home sector because I felt I could make a difference.”
Pictured: Niamh Clark
Niamh, a carer at Urray House in Muir of Ord, joined Parklands with no previous care experience. That hasn’t held her back, however. “I started as a new carer with very little knowledge and learnt lots of great skills on the job working with experienced carers,” she says. “I now feel confident enough to show others how to perform in the role when they are starting out.” Niamh’s passion for care has already been recognised; she has been nominated for a Young Employee of the Year award in this year’s Highland Business Awards.
One of the advantages of working for a company like Parklands is the diversity of employment opportunities it provides. Parklands has vacancies for managers, carers, nurses, shift leaders and ancillary support.
Whatever the role, everyone is encouraged to develop new skills. Jackie says: “I have been fully supported and encouraged to progress throughout my career at Parklands, from manager to area manager. They have helped me to develop and grow in my management role and encouraged me to progress to another level as area manager.
“Parklands is a good company to work for, the directors really care about the residents and staff and that makes my job easy because the residents get the quality of care they deserve.”
Pictured: Fiona Stoddart
Fiona, an activities coordinator at Eilean Dubh in Fortrose, echoes that. “The support and development you get from Parklands is fantastic and they are always there to help you climb the ladder to better your career.”
Niamh is already considering her next step. “Parklands is a great company to work for and they encourage you to progress in your career. I am keen to do my SVQ and possibly go on to do my nursing at a later date.”
Of course, working in the care sector isn’t without its challenges. The pandemic has been a difficult time for care teams but team morale remains strong. “I have never had a job so rewarding, you feel you have extended your family,” says Fiona. Jackie adds: “The care home sector is a very challenging and rewarding role to work in, you build relationships with residents and families, and you become part of their family too, which makes the care person centred and meaningful.”
What advice does Niamh have for anyone considering working in care? “I would encourage anyone to give care a try. There is no better feeling than helping residents feel safe and secure.”
• For a limited time, Parklands is offering cash incentives for new employees - £2,000 for new full time nurses and £250 for other roles. Terms and conditions apply. To find out more, visit our Careers page here>