Embracing The Uncertainties: A Day in The Life of Cosmos

Our priority is to make sure they enjoy their stay with us.

The Making of a Deputy Manager


In the heart of Progress Children’s Services, a pivotal figure shapes the daily experiences of the children at one of the homes. Cosmos has spent a year in this demanding role, steering through challenges and celebrating victories. In an exclusive interview, Cosmos provides a candid glimpse into his responsibilities, the daily routine, and the profound impact he seeks to make. 

As Cosmos commutes home after a long day, the mood in his car is often upbeat and celebratory. Reflecting on his post-work rituals, he shares, “Once you finish, you just don’t give yourself time to process a lot of things. It’s that one-hour drive where I have some conversation with my family. When I get home, I have my own time to cook, watch TV, and unwind.” 

While he now has a full grasp of the tasks expected of him as a Deputy Manager, Cosmos did not start in care.

Originally from the beautiful and peaceful city of Kumasi in Ghana, Cosmos studied pharmacology at the University of Wolverhampton. His journey, however, took an unexpected turn that set the stage for his current role at Progress. A stint as a waiter in a restaurant marked his post-university phase, a period driven by the need to pay the bills.

“When you finish university, reality hits,” Cosmos recalls. It was during this phase that he found himself working as an autism tutor, a role that would set the stage for his impactful career at Progress.

Embracing the Unpredictability


Every day is different, and that’s what makes it interesting.

Describing an incident at a hospital, Cosmos reflects on the unpredictability of the job. “It was fairly complex, but amidst the challenges, we found ourselves laughing at some of the things that were happening. The excitement in the fact that every day is different is what brings me back every single day.” 

In his role as Deputy Manager, Cosmos is not confined to a fixed routine. “You can’t really have a daily routine in this home,” he explains. “Some Mondays, I’ll come in with a plan, but circumstances like sick calls or staff shortages can change everything. Flexibility is crucial.” 

Cosmos emphasizes the importance of ensuring the well-being of both the staff and the children. “Our priority is to make sure they enjoy their stay with us. If we have staff shortages, as managers, we step in to ensure the young people are supported and engaged in activities.” 

The excitement in the fact that every day is different—that’s what brings me back every single day. Always happy to be here with the people I work with.

Proudest moment and future ambitions


Cosmos and his colleague and old friend, Steve, having chat
Cosmos and Steve

As he reflects on the impact of his work, Cosmos shares a proud moment. “Seeing the progress of the young people is the biggest achievement. One of them is now in full-time education, which seemed impossible initially. It feels like our efforts are making a difference.”

Looking to the future, Cosmos envisions becoming a registered manager but acknowledges the timing must be right. “It’s a career path you can build for yourself. I’ve seen the progression of people who’ve achieved what they set out to do. It’s about putting in the effort.”

Despite the challenges, Cosmos finds joy in his work. “The excitement in the fact that every day is different—that’s what brings me back every single day. Always happy to be here with the people I work with.”

As Cosmos steps into his second year at Progress Children’s Services, his focus remains on achieving a full house of young people, upgrading Ofsted ratings, and ensuring the right people and support are in place. Reflecting on his journey thus far, Cosmos acknowledges the supportive environment at the home and the opportunities for growth.

Danielle, Cosmos and Steve: A Harmonious Partnership


Dani, the Registered Manager for the home, sheds light on the integral role played by Cosmos in creating a supportive and homely atmosphere within the home.

“Cosmos is very calm and very collected in stressful situations,” Dani notes. She highlights Cosmos’s ability to assess situations calmly and thoughtfully before taking action—a crucial skill in dealing with the unpredictable nature of the young people under their care.

Cosmos’s upbeat demeanour radiates positivity throughout the staff and children, contributing to the creation of a homely atmosphere. Dani praises his happy-go-lucky nature, stating, “He’s always happy. You know, he’s a very happy guy, and that transmits to the staff and the children, creating quite a homely atmosphere just from his own nature.”

Having worked together for a significant period, Dani recognizes the complementary nature of their traits. She sees their partnership as a balancing act, with Cosmos’s experience in handling challenging children being a valuable asset. “His experience really role models down to the newer staff,” Dani acknowledges. 

When the opportunity for the Deputy Manager position arose, Dani didn’t hesitate to recommend Cosmos for the role. “I felt that because of our past and the partnership that we’ve got, that he would have just settled into that role very well,” she explains. Dani appreciates Cosmos’s willingness to embrace challenging situations, a quality that aligns with their shared ethos of reaching out to children who face difficulties finding a home. 

Despite the demanding nature of their work, Dani emphasizes the importance of assisting children who may not have other options. “We don’t just want to help the children that have options, but the ones that don’t sometimes,” she says. In this aspect, Dani sees a natural alignment between herself and Cosmos, as well as with Steve, another key team member. 

In their collaboration, Dani and Cosmos bounce ideas and energies off each other seamlessly, creating a harmonious working relationship. “I think we just bounce off each other quite well,” Dani concludes, emphasizing the strength of their partnership in navigating the challenges and pursuing their shared mission of providing a nurturing environment for the children at the home.

There is a similar career opportunity for a Deputy Manager. Find the details here. For other available positions at Progress, click here.

Progress Staff Conference 2023

On Tuesday 7 November 2023, Progress Staff Conference was held in-person at The Coton Centre, Comberford Road, Tamworth. Even though it was a staff conference, it also served as a team building and re-networking opportunity. It also provided a direct medium to provide updates on the requests made during last year’s conference. 

Presentations made highlighted progress made at Progress since the last gathering and provided insights on the next chapter. The event ended on a high note with the presentation of awards.

Claire Rogers, Managing Director, said the goal of the event was to align all of Progress workforce with the organisation’s vision, making the entire team to understand the organisation’s current stage and what it is looking to achieve, while also reflecting back on, and celebrating the successes.

“When you’re in the day-to-day of this work, you don’t think about that stuff and it’s so important to step back and to reflect. So really it was about what did we say we were going to do, what have we actually achieved. And then what the focus is going forward,” Claire said. “And what we wanted to do was just remind people, one, of what our vision is, what their part is within that and how they can bring that to life everyday. And make sure that we’re doing the things that matter to our staff. Because retention is really important to stability for young people because ultimately if we’ve got a stable staff, we’ve got a strong well trained workforce, we’re going to deliver better outcomes and ultimately that’s what we’re here for. So I think we’ve we’ve we’ve achieved that. Everyone’s been really engaged and it’s been a great day.”

Phil Mcdonald, Head of Adult Services, added that it’s nice to come together annually to celebrate people’s achievements, to see where the services have been, to see what things the services have faced, to listen to feedback from staff and from the people using the services and to set out what the organisation wants to achieve in the coming year.

“So looking at that, looking at where we want to go, for us it’s more of the same in terms of helping people to get to, to meet their goals, in terms of reaching adulthood, finding their own homes and working with colleagues and children’s to prepare them for their journey through that.”

Tina Bhardwaj, Head of Children’s Services described the big take out from the day as the workshops and the learning.

“Listening to people contribute, listening to people’s passion, their skills, what they’re learning and their journeys and and taking away something that’s important to them, that they’re going to go back and change, practise and learn and develop and how they’re going to use their learning to change the way that they practise,” Tina said.

Angeline Freer, Head of Corporate and Commercial Services expressed her satisfaction regarding how the day went including the introduction of Nous, a new benefit for staff.

“It’s an amazing time to see achievements of people and to see my team members. It’s really a nice chance to have everybody together. It’s really good to be able to reflect together as a whole organisation and look at what’s important, and what we need to focus on – key achievements, challenges, et cetera. So yeah, it’s fabulous.”


World Kindness Day: What It Means and How To Celebrate

A Day for Kindness


World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998, to promote kindness throughout the world and is observed annually on November 13 as part of the World Kindness Movement. It is a day to remind ourselves of the importance of being kind to others and ourselves, and to spread joy and positivity in our communities.

But why is kindness so important? And how can we celebrate World Kindness Day in a meaningful way? Here are some answers and suggestions for you.

The Benefits of Kindness


Kindness is not only a moral virtue, but also a powerful force that can improve our physical and emotional well-being. According to various scientific studies, kindness can:

  • Boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure, by producing a hormone called oxytocin, which protects your heart and reduces inflammation.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety, by increasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood and helps you feel calm and happy.
  • Slow down ageing, by decreasing oxidative stress, which is an imbalance in your body that damages your cells and tissues.
  • Improve your relationships, by enhancing your empathy, compassion, and trust, and by making you more attractive and likable to others.
  • Inspire others to be kind, by creating a ripple effect of kindness that can reach far and wide, and by activating the reward and pleasure centres in the brain of everyone who witnesses or receives kindness.

As you can see, kindness is good for you and for the world. It can make you healthier, happier, and more connected to others. It can also make the world a better place, by reducing violence, conflict, and suffering.

How to Celebrate World Kindness Day


There are many ways you can celebrate World Kindness Day, depending on your preferences, abilities, and resources. The main idea is to do something nice for someone else, or for yourself, without expecting anything in return. Here are some examples of acts of kindness you can do on World Kindness Day, or any day:

  • Send a card, message, or call to someone who might be feeling lonely, isolated, or sad, and let them know you care about them and appreciate them.
  • Donate to a charity or a cause that supports people or animals in need, or that works for a positive change in the world.
  • Offer to help a neighbor, friend, or family member with a task or an errand, such as grocery shopping, gardening, or babysitting.
  • Compliment someone on their appearance, skills, or achievements, and make them feel good about themselves.
  • Smile and say hello to a stranger you meet on the street, and brighten their day with a friendly gesture.
  • Share a positive or inspiring story on social media or with your friends, and spread some hope and optimism in the world.
  • Do something nice for yourself, such as taking a break, reading a book, or treating yourself to something you enjoy, and show yourself some kindness and self-care.

These are just some of the many ways you can celebrate World Kindness Day, and you can always come up with your own ideas. The important thing is to be sincere, genuine, and thoughtful in your kindness, and to have fun and enjoy the experience.

I hope you have a wonderful World Kindness Day, and that you feel the warmth and love of kindness in your life. Remember, kindness is not only a one-day event, but a lifestyle and a mindset that you can practice every day.

Halloween at Progress

Happy Halloween, Progress.

Halloween is a big deal in the United Kingdom with spending in the UK alone originally estimated to total £777 million in 2023, up 13% from a projected £687 million in 2022 and £607 million in 2021. At Progress, homes and services have been adorned with Halloween decorations and here are some of them: