Surrey care home celebrates its female leaders this International Women’s Day

Banstead-based maritime charity, The Royal Alfred Seafarers’ Society, and its award-winning care home Belvedere House is celebrating the female leaders within its team this International Women’s Day (8 March).

As a registered charity first established in 1865, the award-winning Society delivers expert care to former seafarers and their dependants including those living with dementia.

The charity regularly celebrates International Women’s Day by highlighting the often-overlooked role women and the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Wrens) have played in the UK armed forces over the years by sharing the inspiring stories of Wrens living at the Society’s home.

This year the team is championing the hard work of the female leaders at The Royal Alfred that ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the Home, and who ensure all the residents are given the best possible care.

The team at The Royal Alfred come from a range of backgrounds with more than 89 members of staff to offer round-the-clock care, 63 of which, are women. The Home is proud to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace with a strong programme of staff training and wellbeing support. The Society practices an internal recruitment policy that ensures all staff, from every background, have the necessary qualifications, skills, training, and support to help them move ahead in their careers. This policy enables staff members to feel valued in their roles and ultimately ensures a continually high level of care for residents.

Karen Goddard has been Business Manager at The Royal Alfred for ten years and manages the non-clinical functions in the Home. Karen also supports the CEO and Heads of Departments across administration, housekeeping, catering, estates, tenant welfare and accounting.

Karen said:

“The Royal Alfred has always been committed to furthering equality and diversity within the charity, with six women in senior roles across the organisation joining from all over the world. We have a hugely supportive senior team, and I am supported tremendously by my line manager, the CEO, and the Trustees. In the last year, we have really focussed on diversity, equality, and inclusion within the wider team of Belvedere House.

“A lot has changed since I started working in 1982, I initially trained as a Chef and there were very few women within that industry as it was often seen as a man’s job, I stayed within catering for a few years before taking a role as a Senior Hospitality Specialist and finally moving into the third sector 12 years ago. Maternity benefits were much worse than they are today and very often it was seen as wrong to be a full-time working mum. International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the diversity within the team and to see how far we’ve come!”

Maria Jobson is the personal assistant to Chief Executive of the Society, Brain Boxall-Hunt. Maria has been a vital member of the team at The Royal Alfred for seven and a half years as the first point of contact for potential residents and their families. Working closely with the CEO and senior management team to provide the highest standard of confidential PA duties, administrative and project support to the CEO, Maria enables the smooth and effective running of the Society.

Maria said:

“I previously worked in the Civil Service for over ten years after serving as a Chief Clerk in the Army, which meant I was already familiar with military terms and phrases when I joined The Royal Alfred in 2014. I love my role at The Society, the whole team is extremely supportive from the CEO to the Trustees and all of my other colleagues; there are no barriers for any member of the team that wants to progress in their role with extensive training opportunities and support provided. There is rarely a dull moment here; each day always has a surprise or new challenge in store.”

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme for 2022 is “break the bias”, highlighting the deliberate or unconscious bias that can make it difficult for women to move ahead.

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