Charlotte Mckenzie recently joined Baycroft Grays Farm Road as general manager and we are pleased to share more about what led her to where she is now and her aspirations for her new role.
''I was born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, grew up and got married there. My husband, Mark, and I were blessed with three sons, Trevor, Brian and Roy. We moved to South Africa when our boys were very little and spent 30 years in Kwazulu Natal. We lived in a village called Colenso and then moved to Pietermaritzburg, finally settling on a small holding just outside Pietermaritzburg. In 2005, we made the tough decision of once more emigrating to a new country and, as two of our boys were in the UK, we made the choice to move here.
We lived in Digby in Lincolnshire for the first thirteen years before moving once again, to be closer to our boys and their families. We are now the proud parents of three wonderful daughters, chosen especially for us, by our sons, and they have in turn blessed us with two beautiful granddaughters, Paige and Ava, and three gorgeous grandsons, Billy, Tommy and Finn.
My working life has been a varied one. I nursed for a while but did not qualify. I did not work whilst our boys were very young. Being a stay-at-home mom was what I was born to be. When the boys were all in primary school, I decided to venture back to work. I worked in sales, then as an Estate Agent and, whilst in those roles, I volunteered, and trained, as an Emergency services Chaplain which was both a heart wrenching and very rewarding job. At the same time, I also taught Sunday school at our local Baptist church for eleven years. Then came the BIG MOVE to the UK.
Looking for work in the fields I was trained, and experienced in, proved difficult until someone suggested I try working in a care home. That did it for me, I was hooked. I love every minute of being with my residents, ensuring they receive the best care, love, and support that they deserve. I studied whilst working as a carer and eventually was given the opportunity to study to become a Registered Manager of a residential home for the elderly. I have been managing residential and nursing homes for just over ten years now.
There is no job more difficult, nor more rewarding, than being in care. Yes, we have some tough days, especially when one of our residents is reaching the end of their natural lives, but that is when we receive rewards that money cannot buy. A frail hand stretched out to hold yours tightly, as they drift in and out of sleep. The weak smile, when they are too poorly to tell you how they feel, and the peaceful look on their face when you sit beside them, stroking their face or hair gently, whilst you chat about their families and the precious times you have spent together.
Sitting with families as they sit vigil at the bedside of their moms, dads, aunts, uncles or good friends, is a privilege few, outside of care, get to experience and, for me, that experience is both an honour and a privilege and one I hold very dear.
My purpose, as General Manager of Baycroft Grays Farm Road, is to ensure that each one of our residents are living the best life they can, knowing that the people who care for them daily are doing so because they both care, and love the job they are doing. My door is always open to our residents, their families and friends. If you are concerned and feel the need to chat, please come on in. A warm welcome awaits you.’’