The importance of mentorship

Helen Jackson, Home Manager, Oakwood House, Norwich

Helen and the team at Oakwood are part of the Norfolk and Waveney Teaching and Learning Care Home Programme

The home introduced mentors in 2021 to offer support to new starters and to ensure that all staff had a consistent induction programme which focused on high-quality, person-centred care. The role was also aimed at improving staff retention within the challenging health and care sector by developing a ‘happy home’.

Shirley and Kelly (see picture: left to right) became our first two mentors due to their knowledge and skills as Care Assistants but also due to their approach which is both supportive and calm.

Kelly told us she would like to be a mentor ‘to share and pass on my experience and knowledge of care. I really enjoy my role and its lovely to see new staff strive’.

Shirley told us the reason she wanted to be a mentor was because ‘when I first started caring, many years ago having never done care before, I was told to get on with it and chucked in at the deep end. It was awful. I felt I wanted to give what I have learnt over the years and pass it on to offer the support I never had’.

The mentors have received very positive feedback from the individuals they have supported, acknowledging the valuable impact of the mentor role. Feedback has included:

‘When I first started my job here at Oakwood House, I was nervous but both mentors made me feel so comfortable and never silly for asking any questions. I thank them both massively for their support.’

‘Both mentors made starting at Oakwood House very comfortable and if I needed any support then they were there and nothing was ever too much.’

Mentorship is so important to support staff in both their development and wellbeing. Care homes provide unique opportunities to grow and develop both staff and skilled, person-centred care. Our approach to mentorship will continue to grow and develop based on Kelly and Shirley’s great work.

Comments are closed.