Five Minutes with Jasmine Stanhope, Director Specialist Services Dementia & Resources

Jasmine has worked in the social care sector for over 20 years. Her career journey began when she did bank shifts for Rushcliffe Care Group whilst studying towards her A Levels. This experience inspired Jasmine to pursue a career in care. 20 years later, Jasmine is now an Assistant Director and dementia lead within Rushcliffe Care Group.

What made you choose to work in social care?

Honestly, I didn’t feel as if I did choose to work in social care. I was studying my AS levels and didn’t know which pathway I wanted to take. My mum suggested social care, so it started with doing some bank work. This work experience inspired me to look at cadet nursing programmes ran by a local university. By this time and I know it sounds like a cliché, but I feel like care had chosen me. I liked that I could make a positive impact on an individual’s life on a daily basis.

What skills did you have to go into social care?

I didn’t, my AS levels were in English language, sociology and German. So social care was a really different pathway to where my qualifications geared me. Social care is a sector that is more centred on having the right values and personality traits opposed to having the ‘right’ qualifications.

What were your first impressions of working in care?

I remember vividly my first bank shift, I was working with a gentleman who had recently had a stroke and was paralysed down one side of his body. I remember helping to support him to put on a top, I was worried that people would think I couldn’t do it or was doing it wrong. From day one until now I am constantly learning and one of the most important things is never giving in and seeing things that arise as challenges, not problems. Every day I feel like I have done something positive to impact on someone’s life, multiple times a day to multiple individuals.

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What progression has been available to you?

I started with doing bank work alongside my AS levels, from there I applied for a nursing cadet programme ran by a local university. In the first stages of that programme I completed my level 2 and level 3 in health and social care, after the first two years I took a year break from the course to focus on work. By the end of this year out I had progressed to a team leader as a bank member of staff. Without even being full time employed, I had progressed. That’s the thing with Rushcliffe Care it is more about what you can offer the company and outcomes for individuals opposed to having the right qualifications. Since then, I have completed my nursing qualification, health and social care management qualification, dementia degree, PTLLs training and assessors award. People with potential are identified and encouraged to progress, I didn’t go into care thinking I would be a nurse, a manager or complete a dementia degree, there are things people within our organisation have seen in me and those opportunities to progress become available to those who are passionate about the work they do.

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What is your fondest memory about working in social care?

You always remember the characters. I remember one gentleman in particular, for other staff he was difficult to manage, would refuse personal care, eat or drink. I took time to learn about how he viewed the world and by understanding his views I was better placed to approach things in a different way. We had a real connection and I was able to build the trust that enabled me to facilitate the things that had previously been challenging. This was a really special relationship and so rewarding to know I could make such an impact on someone’s life and they had that trust in me.

What has social care given to you?

I am in a career which has job satisfaction, progression and has the flexibility to allow me to have built a family and become a homeowner at an early age, this is owed to the progression I was able to achieve at a young age. I am now an assistant director, dementia lead and have a host of other qualifications that have been either subsidised or funded by my Rushcliffe Care or RCN sponsorship awards. I have a job that makes a difference and I truly enjoy, I feel valued here.