Care home worker appointed as first female caretaker

To mark International Women’s Day, the new caretaker at Newfield Lodge care home in Castleford is encouraging other women to ‘go for it’, whatever their dream job may be.

Stephanie O’Donnell (42), from Castleford, has worked at Newfield Lodge for five years, initially as a care assistant and then as a domestic. But, when the position of caretaker became available, Stephanie was excited to apply.

Now, as the care home’s first female caretaker, Stephanie hopes to inspire other women to do whatever job makes them happy. She said: “You can do any role you set your mind to…never doubt yourself!”

She added, “I have always been a very hands-on person and I love DIY and gardening. I enjoy fixing and building things, it gives me a real buzz, but I never thought I would ever do this for my job. I doubted myself at first, but I love a challenge and had to give it a go so I applied and was delighted when I was invited for interview.

“I am really enjoying my new job and I still get to see all the residents and my colleagues at the care home every day. I am currently decorating throughout the care home but I have big plans in the gardens too. I’m planning on giving the gardens a complete overhaul this year and will involve the residents in making planters and planting flowers and shrubs where they can be enjoyed by residents from inside as well as outdoors. Hopefully, we will be in a strong position to enter this year’s Gardens in Bloom competition run by Ideal Carehomes.”

Care home manager at Newfield Lodge, Karen Hughes, said: “We are very proud to have our first female caretaker. Stephanie is doing really well in the role and is always keen to learn and take on new challenges. She is very enthusiastic and is a pleasure to have around the home. She makes everyone happy and brings her positive ‘can-do’ attitude into the care home every single day.

“It’s wonderful to see Stephanie so happy and fulfilled in her new job and it just shows how important it is to follow your passions in life and take opportunities when they present themselves.”

Newfield Lodge, situated on Brookfield Avenue in Castleford, is a purpose-built, luxury residential and dementia care home operated by Ideal Carehomes. It has 64 ensuite bedrooms and has been rated good by the Care Quality Commission.