Each month, we meet someone working in the care sector. This month, we caught up with Kevin Mellor, manager of the Halcon Centre, of Somerset Care in Taunton.
Q. What are your main duties/responsibilities in your role?
A. Halcon is a respite centre for younger adults with physical disabilities that offers short term respite breaks as well as longer term residential care.
My main responsibility is to ensure that we offer a place where residents enjoy coming, particularly as many of our customers come for a week’s respite break.
The team here have worked hard to create an informal but professional environment that our residents enjoy, and the staff want to work in. I’m passionate about providing exceptional respite care, allowing individuals who use the service, to live in their own homes for as long as possible and support them to lead the best life they can, regardless of their disability.
Q. What made you want to work in the care sector?
A. Both my grandmothers worked in the care sector and my mum is a practice nurse so you could say caring is in my blood. I had a good friend at school that had a disability and he suggested working in care…and here I am, 17 years on, without any regrets.
Q. What do you enjoy most about it?
A. I know it’s a cliché but for me it’s knowing you have made a difference and helping others to feel better because you have done your best for them.
This might be indirectly as the manager now, but it still something I take great satisfaction in. There is also something special about working in a team that share your enthusiasm and commitment and I feel very lucky to manage such a team.
Q. What would you change or improve about it?
A. I think it would be the way in which care workers are perceived and value themselves.
I have often heard ‘I am just a carer’, when in fact these people are a lifeline for so many vulnerable people. I think a good place to start this change would be to reflect the importance of care workers’ roles financially.
Q. Tell us about a memorable experience from your career?
A. It’s difficult to pick just one, but a practical joke springs to mind. A previous manager used to get fresh eggs delivered to Halcon, once when he was out I got some of the residents together, and we hard boiled the eggs before one of the residents put them back in his office. He arrived back earlier than anticipated, realised the eggs were hot and thought the eggs had been left too close to the computer. We couldn’t hold it together, the fits of laughter continued when he started cracking the shells. Luckily he saw the funny side too!