Danielle Bullent – Care Home Manager, St Augustine’s Place

Danielle Bullent is the Home Manager for St Augustine’s Place in Gorleston, a housing with care scheme which supports people to continue to live in their own properties as independently as possible.

As a firm believer of empowering her team and supporting their development, as well as being passionate about tailored, person-centred care to enhance people’s lives, Danielle shares her experience as a woman working in the care industry this International Women’s Day.

I started working in a nursing home when I was 18, after I had my first son. At the time, it fitted in with childcare, but I always knew I wanted to do something where I could help people.

In the beginning, there was a stigma that women chose to be carers because the job was easy, but in fact it is the most diverse and, at times, difficult job for anyone. You put your body through its physical paces and it can be difficult to deal with traumatic events such as medical emergencies and people passing away. However, with the appropriate support, guidance and training, these become less frightening, and I learned that this was part and parcel of working in this industry.

The job has come with some exciting opportunities for me; I was asked to support Norfolk Care Careers with a couple of campaigns and was part of an advert showcasing care work, which was aired nationally. I also took part in promoting the Covid19 Vaccination Programme during the pandemic and won a national “Healthcare Hero” award.

This was a particularly difficult period to be working in Adult Social Care and it gave me an incredible sense of achievement to say I led my team to the best of my ability and was recognised for it, having only been in post as Home Manager six months before the pandemic.

My greatest achievement to date though has been completing my Higher Level 5 Apprenticeship in general Adult Social Care. As a working mum, I was keen to develop and progress within the sector.

The best advice I could give to women thinking about working in the care industry would be: “Go for it!” The opportunities for development are endless. I have been fortunate enough to work in Adult Social Care for 21 years now and, to this day, I absolutely love everything about it. There are a diverse range of roles within the industry that can accommodate most women.

I have also had the opportunity to work with some inspiring women. When I was Deputy Manager in 2017, my manager was Sara Pearce. Sara supported, empowered and tailored my training so that I could progress to being a manager. Her skills, personal approach and willingness to listen is what gives me the courage to be a leader who inspires and promotes inclusion. I have been managing now for five years and it’s been the most incredibly rewarding of times.

Danielle’s Words of Affirmation:

"Don’t adjust you for anyone. Be the inspiring woman, the one who follows her dreams and has the most fun along the way. It will be hard at times, you’ll want to give up, but when you sit back and look how far you’ve come… amazing!"

Read more stories from IWD here