I help manage our teams of secure hospital caterers, cleaners, porters and drivers. They're always on the front line, but more than ever in these difficult times. They’re a great bunch of people, we’re open, we share things. It makes it easier to talk face to face, one to one.
It wasn’t what I had planned when I came to the UK in 2004 with my wife who is English, to support a family member, who was ill.
I’d studied French and Economics and I wanted to be an English teacher in Turkey, but we were needed here. Once we were staying I learnt that to make a life here I’d have to be adaptable. That’s served me well since.
When I started at Ashworth Hospital as a domestic it was a totally unfamiliar environment, but I was hard working and determined to learn. I’d worked in hotel management in Antalya, where my family lives, so I had some experience.
You need to love your job and the people you work with. That said there are some days when I come in and think ‘where to I start’? Today a member of staff asked if he could leave work to check on his Mum, he was concerned about her. People need different kinds of support and that sometimes means making changes to accommodate that. It’s about trust and fairness. If you work in a team you have to help each other. They help me, we’re a team.
Someone said today my office is like a GP surgery! They can talk about anything and hopefully they leave feeling reassured. We don’t always say the right thing as managers, but my family life taught me respect for everyone and everything and that goes for colleagues and patients too.
I love my job but I love going home to my wife and daughters too. Home life is important – and they say I make the best Turkish rice!