Finding a family at work

Service worker Chrissy Whelan says Brightwater Home has provided that family environment that she was missing so much.

Brightwater Home service worker Chrissy Whelan remembers when she was asked to interview for a full-time role at the home after working there for one day a week.

“I was so happy!” she says. “The staff are very helpful and encouraging here, it’s also been so lovely getting to know the residents.”

Chrissy initially worked at Brightwater Home cleaning one day a week. When she increased her hours three months later, her job grew to include helping out in the laundry and the kitchen.

“In the laundry I was very grateful to work with the senior staff so I had a lot of help with learning what to do,” she says.

“I’ve gained more knowledge since I started working here. Now if someone needs help, I already know how to use the equipment.”

Chrissy moved to New Zealand from the Philippines six years ago and, apart from her husband, does not have any family in New Zealand.

She says Brightwater Home has provided that family environment that she was missing so much.

“Sometimes when I’m feeling homesick I might stay on after my shift has finished and take part in some of the recreation activities with the residents,” she says.

“One time my friend offered me a job at another place and I said ‘no’ because I’d miss all the residents too much!”

To initially get her service worker role, Chrissy says she needed some cleaning experience. She adds that there is a lot of on-the-job training, including learning how to clean to meet the very high hygiene standards in the home.

She says there is also a strong focus and a lot of training around health and safety practices in her role.

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