A head housekeeper with a heart of gold has been hailed as a role model after celebrating 20 years working at a care organisation.
During that time mum-of-four Julie Edwards is happy to have forged a close bond with residents, their loved ones, and fellow staff at Pendine Park in Wrexham.
She said: “I love my job, over the years I’ve made such good friends here. Working in the care sector can be an emotional roller coaster, but the rewards are so worth it.”
Gardening-loving Julie was thrilled when she was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers to mark her two decades at Pendine Park.
Pendine’s Housekeeping Manager, Sheila George, has known Julie since she started her career there two decades ago.
She said: “I hold Julie in the highest regard. She is a lovely person and a hard worker. She cares so much about everybody she comes into contact with, our residents and our staff.
“I have so much admiration for her and her determination to go the extra mile. She has always put in 100 per cent since she first started with Pendine and I could not be more proud of the way she has progressed over the years and she is a true role model.”
Julie started as a junior care support worker and made her way through the ranks to become Head Housekeeper at Pendine’s Cae Bryn care home where she now leads a seven strong team of care staff working with residents living with dementia.
She said: “I started by just working 18 hours a week which suited my busy home family life at the time, but I soon found I liked the job so much that I was keen to do more hours.”
Julie first joined Pendine Park in 1999 then left for a short while before returning in 2003.
She said: “I left to become a chamber maid, but I missed the personal touch, the sense of achievement and job satisfaction of working at a care home. So I came back and I’ve never once regretted it.”
She credits her boss of many years, Housekeeping Manager, Sheila George, with teaching her all she needed to progress in her career.
“Sheila has always been my mentor. She was my first boss when I started and that was right here in Cae Bryn. She was so knowledgeable and helpful to new starters, a real source of good advice. Even now I still turn to her if I encounter any little problems or just to share good news.”
Julie has kept her enjoyment of care work in the family in more ways than one. Her daughter Danielle, 31, has followed mum’s footsteps and is a Julies daughter Danielle is a Senior Care Practitioner at Pendine Park.
“She works over in our Penybryn care home. She started when she was 16 on work experience and quickly found that she loved it, just like me,” said Julie.
“I rarely see her at work, though, as we do different shifts, but that’s perfect for us as I get to help look after my grandson Leo when Danielle’s at work.”
Julie’s three other children are Marco, 30, Declan, 22, and Kai, aged 12.
She also has a granddaughter Macie, eight, daughter of Marco. In addition, she says she has another grandchild on the way.
Married to mechanic, Mark, Julie said: “I can’t wait for the new arrival. We’re a very family orientated bunch. That’s probably why Danielle and I are so suited to working in the care sector. We love to be around people and share stories about our day. It’s nice to have that sense of understanding and support around you.”
Senior manager Tracey Smith said: “Julie has been a great support over recent years, supporting new and existing staff with procedures and passing on her knowledge of what works well. Julie is a credit to our organisation and she is our go to person whenever we need support.”