Another in our series of Meet the Team blogs. Our people are our most valuable asset at Ashdale Care – this month meet Laura Ward, our newest Home Manager.

Tell us a bit about you.

I work in Ivy Hill House.  I’m married and have a three-year-old son. 

I really enjoy baking, and my favourite place is the North coast.

I’m also really into my cars! In fact, my car has been referred to as a ‘little boy racer car’ by Cara in HR! I attended car shows all over the country and even won a few trophies for my cars at the time, but sadly I’m too old for that now.

Laura's car

Tell us a little about your career background?

I worked in retail from the age of 16 and at weekends when I was at University. When I completed my course, there were no social work jobs available in the north so I worked in Gordons chemist, where I qualified as a dispensary assistant. I worked there for a few years before finally coming to Ashdale Care.

How long have you worked at Ashdale Care?

I started at Ashdale Care in June 2016 so I’ve been here for five and a half years now. I started in Drumbenagh House, where I completed my Senior Practitioner Programme before moving to Ivy Hill as deputy manager over a year ago.


Explain your job title and what it entails?

 I have recently become Home Manager of Ivy Hill. [Ashdale Care really believes in supporting staff on their career journey, and has an ethos of  ‘growing from within’  by training colleagues to grow and flourish in their career – find out more ].  

I oversee the running of the home, making sure our two young people and staff team are well looked after. I could be dealing with anything from paperwork and petty cash, to attending meetings, carrying out staff supervision and audits.


What might an average day look like for you?

I start at 9am, have a coffee and a catch-up with the staff. I then read and sign log books, and any other written documents such as keywork, contact records and so on.

The staff coming on shift arrive at 10am, so we complete a handover with the staff coming off shift.

My day usually entails completing a lot of paperwork and attending meetings.


What’s the best thing about working at Ashdale?

I have been blessed with very good managers who have supported and encouraged me in my career progression in Ashdale Care. And I have worked with really amazing people and have made lifelong friends here.

I have also made so many good memories with both the young people and the staff.


What’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?

Coffee, coffee, coffee!. The only way to set up my day is with a good strong cup of coffee.


What might you have been if you hadn’t chosen this career path?

I always said if I didn’t get into university to do social work, I was going to do car body repair at the local college. I could have had a very different career path!