Carol started her career with AFG in 1995 as a Support Worker in Wirral. From here she has worked in a range of roles within the organisation, from heading up our learning and development, to leading operational teams, to her current role growing our footprint as Head of Development.

“I started at AFG as a Support Worker when the organisation was in its very early stages – it had only existed for3 years. I loved the role and was keen to progress, so I trained to become a Team Leader and was promoted within two years.

I found I was passionate about helping others to learn and was excited to be given the opportunity to help develop our internal training offer when I was promoted to the role of Lead Internal Verifier. This was a new role with the purpose of bringing NVQ course delivery internal, without relying on external colleges.

I eventually progressed to Head of Learning & Development, where I managed a team of trainers and helped to provide our workforce with the skills they need to make a positive difference. I have a great passion for person-centred support, so it was great to be able to share this passion and knowledge with our operational colleagues.

I then decided I was keen to go back into frontline operations to learn more about our person-centred approach to care. I worked in a number of senior operational roles, including Community Services Director and Regional Director for Cheshire, which was invaluable experience for me.

Working on the frontline as a support worker and in more senior operational roles helped me to see the organisation from both sides and understand the push and pull factors. I’ve been able to work across all our locations and divisions, and truly understand the positive impact we make – which helps me when making key decisions.

I am now AFG’s Head of Development, focusing on our organisational growth. This role was new for the charity, which was an exciting learning opportunity for me to develop a brand-new department.

Myself and the rest of the business development team are currently focused on expanding into new locations through winning tenders, which will allow us to widen our footprint and make an even bigger impact. We’ve recently expanded into Stockport and Trafford, and developed new partnerships with property developers which has enabled us to create some amazing new housing schemes.

We are proud to be one of the first social care providers to become a member of the Supported Living Gateway, which provides an opportunity to network with property investors and create homes for those who need them most. We recently worked with Supported Living Gateway on a new flat scheme in Cheshire, where we support people who are ready to be discharged from our independent mental health hospitals.

We implemented a range of innovative technology in the properties, including a smart heating system, fingerprint-activated door lock, and an intercom system which is connected to support our colleagues.

I have also led on our innovative ‘AFG Tech Lending Library’, which promotes tech-enabled care by offering the people we support the opportunity to borrow a range of technological items to see if they can enhance their lives.

Outside of my role with AFG, I am a qualified Counsellor and hold a position as a Trustee of a Liverpool-based counselling service, which is extremely rewarding.

AFG is such a forward-thinking organisation, and I’m proud to work here. I have been given many opportunities to develop and step outside of my comfort zone during my career, which I’m especially grateful for.

There are so many opportunities to do new, exciting things at AFG. My advice would be to just believe in your ability and apply… come and join us and be part of the great work that we do.”

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