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Olaide’s Story

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Case Study: Olaide, Team manager

I’ve been with Certitude since 2009. I first worked for Support for Living which merged with Certitude in 2010.

I had come into the UK in 2006 and I was part of the agency staff at the NHS and looking for permanent work. I love reading the Metro newspaper, and one day I just saw an advert looking for support workers with Support for Living. I said to myself, “this might be my opportunity”, because once I see an opportunity, I don’t let it go. I go for it, until I’m able to accomplish what I really need. After my interviews I knew I would love it.

As part of the merger with Certitude, I was nominated to represent the team I worked with at a meeting to find out what was going to happen. We were all wondering – ‘would they be letting everybody go?’. But the management assured us that none of us would lose our jobs because it was important for continuity of care for the people we support.

“That was the first time that I witnessed first-hand that Certitude keeps their promises and could be trusted. That was a great first impression.”

It was not only a smooth transition, but an organisation we could trust right from the beginning.

I’ve been in this role since January this year, but before that I was acting team leader in Lambeth for six months which, despite many different roles since I joined, was my first time in a management position.

I was only prepared for these other responsibilities because of the knowledge that was passed to me from my manager at the time. She was always feeding me little bits of information whilst we worked. Like little bits of food that you don’t realise amount to a whole programme of learning. After six months you realise you’ve learnt a lot. Which was important to me. I’m always wanting to improve myself, to progress to the next level.

So, I felt more prepared for the increased responsibilities that, as a manager, you have on your shoulders. I learnt about how your duty of care to the people we support increases, to their families and to other colleagues. I embraced learning about it all and that is what is paying off for me in my current role. I feel more confident.

Last year I was entered for one of the Certitude Excellence awards. I didn’t even know. My manager just sent a screenshot to me when the nominations were announced. I was so surprised. I just enjoy playing my part in supporting people to do the things that matter to them in their life.

For instance, somebody we support came to me saying she had been trying to book a holiday, but her support hadn’t been approved, and she didn’t understand why. She had the funds, the visa and no travel restrictions. But I could see the issue might be with her holiday plan. By working together with her, her team and the local authority we were able to write a new plan that everyone was happy with. It only took a week, and her travel was approved within thirty minutes of submitting it. When I saw the email notification, I was so overjoyed, and I wasn’t even the person going on holiday! I called her to let her know and she was so happy and thankful – it’s things like that that give you joy in our work.

Certitude has shown me support in so many other ways too – I was able to finish my Law degree alongside my work and my Masters in Law too, and am proud to have achieved both my LLB & LLM in Law.

Even these glasses I wear are partly paid from Certitude reward vouchers.

”I’m doing my level 5 management training now too. I’m so impressed with our training process.”

When I first joined Certitude, I wanted to become a lawyer, but that’s changed now because of the encouragement I’ve been given. When I finish this management training I would love to become a registered manager. And I also want to learn Makaton from our [internal] Learning Academy courses.

“I just love facing these new challenges, especially if people say ‘you won’t make it’ or ‘you can’t solve this problem’ – then I am just more determined.”

Unfortunately, I was too ill for the [Certitude Excellence] awards ceremony, so I didn’t know that I’d won my award category until my manager congratulated me. I really appreciated it. The certificate is in a frame at home and I pass it every day. It is a reminder of what I’m achieving and how I am valued by Certitude.

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