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career path started, working in schools, with the Youth Offending Service and then with voluntary organisations.
No­one in my family was a care worker, however, I looked after a close friend who succumbed to terminal illness and my wife was diagnosed with a life threatening condition about 10 years ago, but has happily recovered and of course I am a parent.
As CEO I have overall responsibility for implementing the aims and objectives of the organisation and the directives of the charity’s Board of Trustees. This includes, planning and implementing the strategic direction of the organisation, identifying funding streams and contract negotiation, the development of services and management of individual projects, developing policy, best practice and procedure, the management and supervision of our employees. I also represent the organisation to the public, corporate partners and in work with Commissioners and representatives of the statutory sector. It’s an all­encompassing role really, that’s what makes it so interesting.
My role is incredibly varied and no day is exactly the same as the previous day, so it’s hard to pin down any one thing. I think the sense of achievement one gets from creating an idea (strategy or project) and seeing that through to the stage where it actually makes a difference to people in the real world. I love to get those ideas to the practical and tangible stage. Along that path, you have to be ready to cope with diverse challenges, foster good working relationships and have considerable tenacity to get the job done... it’s exciting stuff.
I have a very heightened sense of injustice and I find it incredibly easy to maintain high levels of motivation when you are doing so for the rights of others. To make a positive difference to the lives of others is hugely satisfying and rewarding. It is also very humbling to see people face such seemingly insurmountable personal challenges in their lives and keep fighting. I have witnessed many inspiring and highly moving things in my time at Headway Oxfordshire and despite the obvious challenges faced by those affected by brain injury, our Activity and Rehabilitation Centre is a place full of such laughter and positivity. This puts my own silly worries in perspective and makes me appreciate my life more than I otherwise might. I can honestly say that I have never felt more satisfied or happy in my working life than I am now, despite the huge frustrations and challenges of my role.
I would absolutely encourage people to work in the care sector. As you can see, I started finding my way as it were by becoming a
teaching assistant. This and each step of my career progression has given me such an incredible buzz and satisfaction. Making a real difference to other people’s lives is so positive and worthwhile and of course personally satisfying. Now I have progressed to become the CEO of a truly fantastic organisation. I am immensely proud of the work that the team at Headway Oxfordshire do and proud to be a part of it.
Gaining recognition for your work, although a little embarrassing in some ways, is really nice. It validates your efforts, knowing that others appreciate them too. I genuinely mean it when I say this award reflects the work of everyone at Headway Oxfordshire. We have such a fantastic and highly skilled team of staff and volunteers that make everything a massive thank you goes to them all.
It is a truly brilliant organisation. I absolutely love what we do across the range of projects and services we offer. I work with really great people, whose skills, knowledge and work ethic I hugely respect and admire. I also have the support and respect of a great Board of Trustees, who trust me to work fairly autonomously, which allows me the freedom I need to be creative and be myself. Mostly, it is about the people we work for. Through no fault of their own, those affected by brain injury have their lives turned upside down in an instant. Your brain is everything about you as a person and when it’s damaged, the consequences can be so complex and profoundly life changing. These individuals, their families and carers deserve our support and respect in ensuring we do all we can to support them to adjust to a changed life. This is such a great motivation to come to work every day.
To register your interest in attending the next event or to nominate someone for an Award or for information about speaking, running
a workshop, exhibiting
or how to sponsor the event
please email: or telephone: 01491 822605.
Please check our website for event updates visit:
Candidate Success
Congratulations to the following candidates who have successfully completed and passed the ILM Training Courses with OACP.
Course and Achievement:
Achieving Understanding Conflict management in the Workplace (ILM 1 Credit)
Name & Company:
Richard Rainford
Crossroads Care
          Course and Achievement:
Achieving the Full Award in Leadership and Management with the ILM
 Name & Company:
David Lewis
Network Healthcare Birmingham
Kate Evans
My Life My Choice
Alex Ortiz
Response Organisation
Vicky Aspinall
Oxford Options Health & Wellbeing Centre
Jax Weir
Oasis Partnership
Course dates follow below for the next
Management Training Programme
Day 1: April 28 Day 2: May 12 Day 3: May 26
For further information visit this link: oacp­3­day­management­training­pro­ gramme­2­ilm­level­3­day­1/
    Talking Care: Inspiration for All!
the Oxfordshire Care Awards 2017
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our At a Glance Programme Schedule
• Training Courses • In­house Training Courses (where we come to you) • Bespoke courses written and developed for you
To see our detailed list of courses please visit: If YOU would like to book a course please contact Kathy Thomas on 01491 822604 or email:
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