Claire Rogers speaks from the heart about her role as Managing Director of Progress. She talks with passion about her values, her aims for the staff and the children. “I give everything to what I do,” she says, “I love it.”
Claire moved into care from a career in retail, starting work at a school for children with special needs. At first she felt helpless in her new role and was in tears when she went home at night, but she learnt quickly. “I remember the first day I was able to sign to a young person,” she recalls. “He used to get really frustrated because he couldn’t make himself understood. When I understood him, the look on his face was just incredible. That was probably the turning point for me.”
In 2002 she applied for a Senior Support Worker role at Progress and quickly went on to be a Deputy Manager. She progressed through the company and became Managing Director in 2015. Her responsibilities include upholding the values of the company: care, trust, respect and progress.
“I don’t have to compromise my integrity in this organisation,” she says. “The values are right. For me it’s about doing the right thing. I enjoy giving my time and my energy to something that feels worthwhile. I value people. I enjoy seeing them grow and learn; being passionate about what they do.”
She continues, “I get the freedom to make decisions and make a difference. I’m trusted to do that. My drive to do new things and push the boundaries has helped the business to grow and my own career to develop. I always say to staff: if you have an idea, go for it, put the effort in and you will get the benefit.”
Claire’s aim is for the children to be the best version of themselves they can be and that is the same for the staff too. “Care work is not an easy job but it can be the most amazing job in the world” she says. “No two days are the same and it makes it interesting.”
It is important to her to maintain quality and she is involved in the day to day running of the business. “I like to know exactly what is going on,” she says.
She has a broad knowledge and experience and an oversight across the business. She loves nothing more than mapping out a child’s journey through the organisation, pulling the whole organisation together to work in an integrated way. “At the end of the day it’s about kids, it’s about care and it’s about making a difference to as many people as we can,” she says.
Claire describes her personality as loyal and honest. “I care intensely,” she says. “It makes me sad when I see somebody who needs help. If I can do something about it, I will.”
When one young girl died on her 21stbirthday, Claire spoke at her funeral. “She had such profound disabilities, she had every problem you could imagine and yet she always had a smile for you, no matter what was going on,” says Claire. “She could have been in real pain, but she always had a smile. She was tube fed and in a wheelchair but we took her to the Snow Dome and helped her to go down the slope in a giant rubber ring. There were lights and music and when it was time to go back into her wheelchair, she cried because she had loved it so much. She had a short life. She had a life limiting condition. But she had a life and I was able to make a difference to this and give her some experiences which enriched it. These are the things I remember.”
Are you inspired by Claire’s story? A career in care awaits you. Start your journey by clicking here to apply for a job at Progress today.