The Saga team leader, who manages more than 20 carers covering the towns of Hoddesdon, Cheshunt, Welwyn Garden City (where she lives), Potters Bar, Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth, says: “My own nan had care, so I understood through that experience how important it was.
“She had dementia towards the end and the help she got took the pain and strain off my granddad but also gave her a little bit of independence. These things are both central to what my team does now.”
A career in customer service roles proved useful training in “understanding where people are coming from” before Jackie took her first job in the care sector soon after she started a family. She worked as a carer for eight years and joined Saga three years ago.
She reveals: “I think I found my niche in life when I joined the care sector. Fundamentally, I think of myself as someone who wants to make a contribution by providing practical help.”
When it comes to clients and relatives, she says just one of the ways Saga can help is “compassionately managing what can be the most difficult situations for a family”. She adds: “It’s so important that we’re thinking not only of the person for whom we’re providing care but their partner and/or family as well.”
As for her team, she says: “My team is the best and I love working with them. They need to remain motivated, no matter what, so I try to remind them what good care they’re providing and that their job is so worthwhile. I do that by being genuinely engaged with them – I always try to be available, listen to them and give honest, straight feedback.”