My Career with
My name is Stacey Meadway and I’m the registered manager at The Nook. I have a partner and 2 kids of my own who keep me on my toes. We are a very outgoing and adventurous family and love having fun days out. We love visiting the zoo, the park and the beach – anywhere so we aren’t stuck inside bored!
What did you do before getting into residential care?
When I was a teenager I worked in a local café which I loved. I am very much a people person and I loved getting to know the regulars and would even memorise their orders! From there I moved into retail and worked my way up quite quickly. I really enjoyed working as part of a team and having a shared sense of achievement at the end of a successful day.
What made you interested in a career in care?
My Auntie was working in a 6-bedded boys’ home, and she used to tell me about her job and how much she enjoyed working there. Working with young people really appealed to me, so I thought I’d give it a go as a casual residential support worker (CRSW) to see whether the job was for me. I did that for a while alongside my retail job, before realising I wanted to commit to children’s residential care as a career.
Talk us through your career progression with Hexagon Care
I loved working for Hexagon Care from the word go. From starting as a CSRW, I got myself a full-time residential support worker (RSW) role after leaving my job in retail. I worked in an Outstanding 6-bedded boys home called Applegate for a few years, which was really fun. I was only 21 at the time, but even though I was young and female, the boys respected me – I think they saw me as a nurturing mother figure as there weren’t many female staff members at the time. I progressed in a senior RSW role whilst I was at Applegate and stayed there for around 4 years, before it closed to make way for future developments.
At that point, I was transferred to Elizabeth House, another 6-bedded boys’ home. This was a more challenging home, but it helped me to build my experience as a team leader. I then applied for a deputy role at The Nook, which at the time was an 8-bedded boy’s home, for younger children aged 8-12. I supported this home when it was without a registered manager for some time, and led the home and staff team through a transition period when changes were implemented to help the home run more effectively. As part of the ongoing development, Hexagon then decided The Nook wasn’t being utilised to its full potential and required a substantial refurb, so myself and the new manager Lois moved our young people and staff team to a new home, The Acorns. Ironically, I’ve now come full circle and I’m back at The Nook as the manager.
What support has Hexagon Care provided to aid your progression?
I was lucky enough to be selected for the first cohort of the Hexagon Care Aspiring Leadership Programme (ALP) in 2019, whilst I was still a deputy at The Acorns. I did fear that there might be a bit of pressure to become a manager straight away, but at the time I had just had a baby and didn’t feel ready. I needn’t have feared, as there was no pressure at all. The company supported me to take the time to raise my family and work on my development, until the time was right for me to apply for the role that I really wanted. I ended up being in a deputy role for 7 years through my own choice, and I was really grateful that the company respected that. They also funded and supported me through two Level 5 qualifications.
supported me to take the time to raise my family and work on my development, until the time was right for me to apply for the role that I really wanted.
Has anyone inspired you on your journey?
I’m really inspired by the fact that members of the senior leadership team and even the CEO of the company have been where I am and have had a similar journey to my own. When you hear their progression stories of how they started out as CRSW’s and you see them in their current roles, honestly that’s amazing to me. It just shows you can progress as far as you want to go – the opportunities are there.
What are the most important attributes for a successful residential care manager?
You need to be approachable, and people need to know that you are going to listen to them, be non-judgemental and take their opinions on board. You can get lots of great ideas from your staff team, so it’s important they feel valued and have the opportunity to contribute their thoughts. All of my staff know that they can come and talk to me whenever they want to and they all appreciate that.
What’s your favourite thing about being a manager?
Well, people do bring me a brew in the morning! Joking aside, there’s so much I love about being a manager. I love watching the young people grow and flourish; I love watching the home develop; I love building the skills and knowledge of my team. I’ve got a small but fantastic team of staff and I love my home- I can’t imagine anything better.
Everyone is working
as part of a huge team and we have some great people working here.
What’s your favourite thing about working for Hexagon Care?
The support you get from Hexagon Care is fantastic. Everyone is working as part of a huge team and we have some great people working here. I know that if I was stuck with something right this minute, there’s a multitude of people I can ring for support or advice. Even if my manager isn’t available, I can approach any manager at any level and I will be treated with mutual respect. I also like that there isn’t a blame culture. If you make a mistake, you hold your hands up and you learn from it - people will support you to put it right rather than berate you for doing something wrong.
The training Hexagon Care offers is next level – other companies definitely don’t do training as well as them. Our staff through from our CSRW’s to our seniors have the same in-depth induction and basic training, which provides the strong foundations for supporting our young people in the best way possible. In addition to this, as managers we are given tools to support our staff with their health and wellbeing, such as the 24/7 Employee Assistance helpline and the Health Cash Plan. I don’t know any other company that supports and invests in their staff at the same level as Hexagon Care.
What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’d probably say what I’m most proud of is the number of children and young people I’ve looked after who have gone on to have positive transitions from residential care, either back into the family home, onto foster care or into independent living. Unfortunately, not every child we look after will go on to have a positive transition, but the amount that do is just fantastic – it reminds me why I do what I do.
What are your goals for the future?
I love my job and where I am now. I enjoy spending time with the young people too much to become a service manager, although I will never say never.
The training Hexagon Care offers is next level – other companies definitely don’t do training as well as them.
What would you say to someone who is thinking of a career with Hexagon Care?
I would highly recommend coming to Hexagon Care, especially if you are just starting out in your career. If you have been thinking about residential childcare as a career I would say just do it! Take the risk, have a go, see if you like it - that’s what casual shifts are for. That’s what I did and I loved it- I’ve never looked back.