Following specialist mental health nurse Claire Mallon’s appointment as Belong’s second Admiral Nurse, we spoke to her about what she’s expecting from her new role, her first impressions of Belong, and what she gets up to outside of work.
Why did you decide to take up a job in the care sector?
When I was at school, I thought, correctly it turns out, that it would be fulfilling and rewarding. I undertook work experience in a care setting, and the matron said I had the right skills to work in the sector. She said I was patient and good at both listening and communicating. Inspired by this I trained to become a mental health nurse, and I’ve worked in a care role ever since.
What are you most looking forward to about this job?
The opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of dementia at Belong villages, and in the surrounding communities, and drive standards of dementia care. I’m looking forward to working with staff across Belong villages to achieve this. I’ll also enjoy developing personal connections with customers and their families.
What do you expect will be the most challenging aspect of this job?
To begin with, I expect that it will be all about finding my feet in a new role. Afterwards, it’ll be about managing my time between all the villages. I’ll want to be everywhere at once!
What do you think makes working for Belong unique?
It’s the fact that the customer really is at the heart of every decision we make, and you can walk into any village and receive the same warm welcome; they embrace the whole community. Belong are also very concerned with the individual wellbeing and development of the staff too.
What’s your favourite way to relax after long day (or night) at work?
I’m married and have three children, so catching-up with them. I love cooking, particularly making curries from scratch, so I might do a bit of that. I also enjoy doing creative projects around the house, including up-cycling old furniture, sewing and dress making.