Meet Karen the Manager of Station Road
Karen Parker – farthing, Service Manager of Station Road in Kettering, shares with us what led her to a career in social care and what she values most.
Leaving school at just 15, Karen spent the next 20 years working for RS Components in their factory. Her outlook on life changed dramatically however when her grandmother, who was living with Dementia moved from her own home into residential care.
Karen and her mother took turns in visiting, which led to Karen spending time each evening with her much-loved grandmother often chatting as she helped bath her. Their conversations are very precious and personal to Karen, but always completed with Karen’s grandmother telling her how much she loved her and how special she made her feel.
It was this extremely personal experience that turned on its head how Karen felt about her ability to make a difference not just to the lives of those closest but for others too. Karen had felt a deep pride and sense of fulfilment like never before, something she had shared with her mother and aunt.
Karen took stock of her career following her grandmothers passing and left her role of 20 years and embarked in a totally new career as a team leader with Mencap, where she remained for five years, happily but without progression.
Whilst on a break abroad, much to her surprise whilst away she received a message from her aunt explaining that she had applied for a new role on her behalf as a deputy manager with Consensus in Desborough and the application form would be waiting for her on her return!
Karen seized the opportunity and following her successful application became the Deputy Manager of Windsor Avenue followed one year later by her appointment as the Service Manager. Karen was in her post for over 12 years, absolutely loving her role. However, life can sometimes have a funny way of stopping us just as we feel we are getting going and Karen experienced a sudden decline in her own health which left her out of action for a few months, much missed by colleagues and the people she so closely supports.
Karen is no push over and just four and a half months later she is now based at Station Road, developing another team utilising her coaching and mentoring skills. Karen’s day begins with her 7am arrival at the Service and although every day is different she maintains a routine around administrative tasks, so other colleagues know when and where they will receive her support. Karen describes herself as very hands on, with a preference to be involved with the people supported at Station Road and her colleagues. She spends lunchtimes seated with people supported and her team and values the personal relationships, knowledge and trust that is built by this seemingly small investment in time. What continues to drive her is the positive difference she feels she makes in the lives of supported individuals and her colleagues and the overall smooth running of the service. ‘Time passes quickly when you’re having fun’ is a saying often used and for Karen is the reality with her having to be reminded thoughtfully by colleagues to go home as she frequently loses track of time!
At Consensus we are exceptionally proud of colleagues who continue to demonstrate our values every day. Karen is rightly proud of her team and the differences they all make with families remarking on the care, compassion and dedication they show their loved ones.