A key member of staff at an award-winning Norfolk home care company is currently celebrating his ten year work anniversary.
Training manager Justin Mayes might spend his weekends watching motor racing at Norfolk’s Snetterton circuit, but his working week is centred around ensuring all staff at Extra Hands have the very best and most relevant training.
He works with staff at the company’s two Norfolk offices, one in Heacham and the other at Horsham St Faith, near Norwich, but hasn’t been able to celebrate the milestone with colleagues due to the current situation.
Director of Care Jo Tier said: “Justin’s commitment to providing our carers with the knowledge and skills required for providing quality care is outstanding. He consistently looks for ways to improve the delivery of the training by having actual examples of the procedures that carers need to carry out such as medication administration and infection control practices.
“Feedback from the training that he delivers is always positive, many carers comment on the fun and enjoyable delivery of training which helped them understand the role and the practices.”
Keeping staff engaged and informed is all part of the training that Justin leads at Extra Hands.
“If there is an article in the news then I will incorporate it into the training to keep things relevant and up to date. Talking about issues that happened ten years ago is nothing like as engaging as saying ‘did you see this in the news yesterday,” said Justin.
He started his caring career at the age of 18 at Little Plumstead Hospital, near Norwich, where he was working with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Justin has also worked within the field of mental health and drug/alcohol dependency.
In 2010 he joined Extra Hands with a role as a carer and moved onto the training side of the company in 2015 when he was ready for a new challenge.
“Training was something I felt I had the experience to do, but it was very different from anything I had done previously. It is all about continuous development and the care sector needs to be honest about any issues so we can see what needs improvement and the best way of implementing and monitoring change,” he said.
“Any change can be daunting at first, but sometimes it’s necessary. Most recently I have had to change the training completely and deliver it via a virtual platform because of the Covid-19 outbreak. New skills had to be learned and adapted and I think there might be more use of virtual training over the next ten years,” Justin added.
“Anyone can be taught the technicalities of caring for others – but the empathy has to be there. We cannot train attitude and a caring person really does want to make a difference to the lives of those they are looking after. It isn’t the kind of job which finishes when a shift ends.
“Sometimes the only way to find out if you have what it takes to be a carer, is to be a carer. Occasionally people realise it is not the role for them, but often they surprise themselves and go on to be excellent carers,” said Justin.
Aside from work and motor racing, Justin also enjoys archery, but is the first to admit he is not at the stage of asking a volunteer to stand with an apple on their head!