Leeds Jewish Welfare Board’s support service Moorcare offers an integrated, comprehensive care programme to the community. It has a team that consists of home care assistants, respite care workers, companion sitters, and domestic cleaners who operate seven days a week. It also deals with cases of dementia and those with physical disability and sensory impairment.
Chris Tanner, from London, has recently joined the service as manager. With eight years home care experience his aim is to take Moorcare forward and develop further services.
“What really attracted me to Moorcare was not only its outstanding reputation in offering excellent home care services, but the fact that it is a not-for-profit organisation where we can really put the quality of care first, as well as investing in our staff and improving on the services already in place.”
Since his arrival in Leeds some weeks ago he has been pleased with the welcome he has received. “It’s a nice environment and a lovely place to work, as well as the knowledge of belonging to an all inclusive organisation. There are many projects and schemes that overlap with what we do, such as phone-in helpline services, outreach programmes and the dementia cafe, and if we can tap in to the resources already set in place by LJWB, that in turn supports us.”
Chris sees potential in offering more support to the network, such as transport services and developing an end-of-life care programme, particularly focussing on input from local faith leaders. He hopes to introduce further training reviews, and weekly meetings for Moorcare staff.
Currently Moorcare has 200 clients with a catchment area currently in north Leeds, but Chris is looking to expand that to other cities. He also wants to raise awareness and to promote the kind of work Moorcare is involved in, pointing out the invaluable work it does to support clients’ families.
“Staff is our main asset so I want to ensure that the staff themselves are helped and supported as much as they help Moorcare clients.”
It is a real testament to the organisation that some of the staff has been with the organisation for decades, and he maintains that is impressive. The staff are regularly going on refresher courses and training is always updated.
“The care staff we have at Moorcare are certainly some of the best I’ve ever worked with — dedicated and passionate — and we try to invest in them as much as we can. That investment in staff pays dividends because we offer a very personal service and that’s based on trust and engagement.”
Gabby Fisher, a care worker with Moorcare for eight years, finds the work rewarding and satisfying. “I absolutely love my job. Everyday is different and because one sees the clients on a day-to-day basis one tends to build up an important rapport.”
Gabby is local so she’s familiar with her clients’ families and reminisces a lot about them. “In many ways I feel some of the people I visit are like my extended family and that connection is important.”
Chris said: “My primary concern is ensuring that both clients and staff are well looked after and at the end of the day if that has been achieved then I’m happy.”
He added: “I feel very fortunate to have inherited the workforce that I have. I can tell you all about my future plans, but none of that would happen without our wonderful care staff.”
Words by John Fisher