Working in the care industry has ‘massive rewards’

Tracy Turfrey
Tracy Turfrey

Tracy has worked in the care industry for more than 30 years, although her original ambition was to join the military police.

Tracy Turfrey, 57, is the Peripatetic Manager at Foxby Court care home in Gainsborough, one of 15 care homes in Lincolnshire run by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), one of the largest not for profit care providers in the country.

Tracy said: “I started my caring career more than 30 years ago. This was not my original career choice, as I always wanted to go into the military police, maybe because I was brought up in a military family, and my husband was a navigator in the Royal Air Force, first on Vulcans and subsequently on Tornado fighters.

It was during one of the many family moves that I first experienced work in a care home, in Henley-on-Thames, and I totally loved it.

Tracy’s took her first job in care aged 16, while she was at college in Lincoln. She was a kitchen assistant at Hartsholme House.

She said: “The home is still part of OSJCT, although at the time it was still run by Lincolnshire County Council.

“I’ve now worked for OSJCT for 23 years and during that period I’ve seen a massive change in the care sector.

“Once I decided that this was the career for me, I worked as a carer, first in Fosse House in Lincoln, then, for 10 years, at Boultham Park House.

“I was then promoted to be home manager of Ermine House, where I worked for five years, before moving on to manage Gregory House in Grantham.

“While I was at Gregory House, we achieved OSJCT’s prestigious award for excellence in care quality, the Earl of Gainsborough Award, which is named after one of the founding Trustees of our organisation.

“From Gregory House, I came back to Lincoln to manage Boultham Park House. At that point in my career I was honoured to be awarded a Silver Medal of Merit by one of OSJCT’s sponsoring Orders, the Sovereign Order of Malta.

“The presentation was made at the annual St John’s Day service and ceremony at the Brompton Oratory in London and was a very proud day for me and my family, who were able to share the occasion with me.”

Tracy says that the caring profession is extremely hard work and can be stressful, but has massive rewards for those who choose this path.

She said: “The rewards are in providing support to the residents in our care, giving them more independence and ensuring their safety and happiness.

“The people within our care have a wealth of knowledge and experience and have many memories, both happy and sad, to share from which we can all learn.

“At OSJCT we focus on person-centred care, which means we try to really get to know all about the people we support.

“I have learned a lot from them, and been very grateful for the lives they have led, which have made ours so much richer.

“There are many happy, funny times within the home, which are the focus for the dedicated care teams who support the individuals who come to live in our homes.

“It is so different from the negative stories you read so often in the media.

“At Foxby Court, recently, we have identified some ladies who like to bake. So we have arranged some baking sessions for them, which were so successful that they won first prize at our recent Trust Harvest Festival.

“They were so proud to see themselves in the Standard.

“We also have residents who have their own computers and who are very active in supporting the home with newsletters and photographs.

“Although I am currently based at Foxby Court, my role as Peripatetic Manager means that I offer support to all of our 15 homes in Lincolnshire.

“This enables me to provide continuity of care standards if a home is without a manager for any reason, which is really important for our residents.

“I consider it a real privilege to be entrusted with the care of the older people in our community and really do feel that in some small way I can and do make a difference.”