Maxine makes a positive difference realising her dream

Eleven years ago, Maxine Womack started at Alternative Futures Group’s Oak Lodge hospital in Bolton as a domestic assistant. Following much hard work and encouragement from colleagues and service users, she is about to graduate as a nurse.

Maxine, who lives in Little Lever, arrived as a domestic assistant in 2007:

“I really enjoyed getting to know the people I supported and tried to use my lived experience to guide them when they approached me for advice. Although I continued working as a domestic for a couple of years, I realised that what I really wanted to do was to be a support worker.”

There followed a period where Maxine worked as a bank support worker because she couldn’t work nights. “I left Oak Lodge for a short-time and did various roles, mostly as a nursing assistant. All the while still doing the odd bank shift at Oak Lodge.”

Then Maxine became available to work nights and a permanent support worker role came up at Oak Lodge:

“I’ve never looked back. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years but none as good as the person-centred care which I saw being delivered under the new manager and by other staff since I arrived.” This is what I wanted to do – really making a positive difference to peoples’ lives.”

After working as a support worker for a few years, one of the nurses asked Maxine if she’d ever considered nursing:

“I hadn’t but the thought was now firmly rooted in my mind. I went around Oak Lodge asking all the staff and service users what they thought of the idea and everyone I spoke to said go for it.”

Maxine then did some research before being able to sign up for a university course in nursing at Salford University.

“But with the support of everyone at Oak Lodge, both staff and service users, I have now achieved my goal. It’s been a tough few years whilst completing my nursing degree. But I am nearly there now.”

Maxine completes her course in September and will then be looking for a nursing role.

“I can’t say that I will never return to Oak Lodge though – the place that first gave me my wings. I think so much of it that I would be more than happy to recommend a family member to come here.”

Oak Lodge Manager Alvine Andrews said:

“Maxine has been an outstanding passionate worker whose determination to make a difference in the lives of others has given her the drive and motivation to follow this passion. Maxine is a valuable member within our team and we will miss her. We hope that she will return to us. Maxine is a rock and her passion and determination will always be remembered at Oak Lodge.”

Oak Lodge is an independent hospital, with a Good CQC rating (and Outstanding for the level of care given), that treats men and women requiring nursing or personal care.

Maxine is pictured in the vegetable garden at Oak Lodge which has been created for service users to enjoy gardening and learn new skills – the proceeds being used in cookery lessons.