This month we caught up with Diane Martin, Community Services Manager for the South Hampshire area. Diane was recently awarded the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award at our annual awards presentation and was nominated for the ‘Community Team of the Year Award’ in the Portsmouth News annual ‘Best of Healthcare Awards’.
How long have you worked in the care sector?
I have worked in the care industry since 1984, when I was just 16 years old, I worked in a nursing home and was the matron for 4 years. In 1991 I started my own agency, but sold my business to have my two children. I wanted a break but the Manager of Echoes heard that I wasn’t working and asked for my help! I agreed to help her in 1999 when my daughter was 6 weeks old, first with care work, then with co-ordinating. In 1999 I also qualified as a counsellor, but decided to stay in care.
How long have you worked with Somerset Care?
I started working for Echoes in 1999 and became a Manager in 2004 when Somerset Care took over.
What attracted you to domiciliary care?
I started community care in 1991 which was when it really impacted my life, I wanted to see people have more choice and independence. I also really enjoy meeting new people and the challenge of helping someone to achieve their goal of staying in their own home.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy that every day is a different challenge. The work we get is spot purchase so a good reputation is vital, so we do a lot of publicity events and I enjoy getting involved in them. I work with an amazing team who embrace all the events we have done in the community and love coming up with new ideas to engage and involve the local communities.
I enjoy meeting service users and hearing about their lives, events are a perfect opportunity for this to happen, we have recently held coffee mornings, cream teas mornings and have stalls at the local supermarkets, to raise awareness of the services we provide. In the past we have also gone to the schools to talk in assemblies, letting young children know what we do and how rewarding it can be.
Working with a fantastic team of carers is another high point. I have for years tried to raise awareness of what they do and the difficult circumstances in which they work.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I have a very busy home life with my husband Stuart, 14 year-old son Sam and 13 year-old daughter Becky. I also have a step granddaughter called Honey who is just nine weeks old. I have a great circle of family and friends, so I have a busy social life and my house is always full of my nieces and nephews, who I love to spend time with.
I run twice a week and go to circuit training as I have been dared to do the Santa Run in Portsmouth, and I can’t refuse a dare!
I also like to read and try out new cocktails in my spare time.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us Diane!