Edwina is Choice Care Group’s Chief Executive.
I joined Choice Care Group in 2002 as Finance Director having qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Pricewaterhouse in 1985. From 1985 to 2001 I was Finance Director of H Young Holdings Plc., a company quoted on the London Stock Exchange. H Young specialised in the import and distribution of branded products.
In 2002 I had the opportunity to join Choice Care Group as Finance Director to support Paul Gold and had to go through a steep learning curve to understand a very different type of business.
I soon learned that I really loved being part of a company delivering a high standard of care working with dedicated colleagues and that I was able to bring my experience of systems acquisitions and organic growth to help the Choice Care Group to grow from looking after 65 service users in 2002 to over 500 currently.
In December 2009 I was given the opportunity to become Chief Executive. I love every minute of it, and we have continued to grow the business ensuring that we deliver an excellent standard of care to the service users we look after via our dedicated staff teams whilst achieving fair value for our purchasers.
I started working in care in 1993 and over the years have worked in a number ofdifferent areas including learning disabilities (both children and adults) mental health and children’s psychiatric services.
I joined Choice Care Group in 1996 as a day service organiser at the then newly opened Peppard House. After 3 years, I moved to a post at Head Office overseeing Day Services. Then, following a role in training, I moved to Referrals in 2001. At the time, there were just 7 homes in Choice. Since then we have opened new homes and merged with 2 other organisations (Truecare and Orchard End) so that we now have over 50 residential serivices with new projects still being planned.
In 2005, I became Director of Referrals and New Projects and now manage the Referrals Team. Together, we are pleased to say that we have achieved the highest occupancy rate ever. We have also expanded into supported living provision, allowing us to help service users move on to this next stage of independence.
My role is a very busy one but I really enjoy it, particularly seeing so many individuals thrive in our residential services – we have some amazing characters living with us! I also work with a really great bunch of people who all have a great value base and are in the job for the right reasons! From Head Office through to all the services, it’s clear that the whole team are totally dedicated to our service users.
I began working with people with Learning Disabilities in 1982. I went on to work in Mental Health and children services and as a trainer for a local authority.
I worked in one of the Choice Care Group homes from 1985-1992 after which I worked in local authority and then a large voluntary organisation where I developed and provided, supported living, family and community support, day services and children’s services. During this time I worked on the development of the REACH standards, a tool used to define and evaluate supported living services.
I returned to Choice in 2002 as Operations Manager and worked with the team to grow the organisation. At the time there were 8 residential services – we now have 50 across the group supporting people with mental health disorders and learning disabilities. In 2006 I became Director of Operations and, with the help of the 5 area directors, I have integrated all our residential services into Choice Care Group and ensure a consistent and high quality service that is person-centred and provides excellent outcomes for people.
What I really like about working here is obviously the people we support and my colleagues, but also how creative and responsive the organisation is. We have a culture of making things happen, we don’t allow good ideas to be lost or overlooked in favour of established systems. We change the way we do things to ensure the best result and are all prepared to do the work needed to keep the organisation moving forward in terms of quality and efficiency.
After starting my finance career in the publishing industry, I moved into the healthcare sector in 2005.
I really wanted to further build my career in this sector with the aim of delivering real change for real people.
In 2009 I joined the Cambian Group and over the next five years gained extensive insight and experience in the specialist behavioural sector. I aim to use these skills to help support and drive the development of Choice Care Group into new geographies. I see Choice Care Group is a beacon of excellence in a sector that has many companies and many challenges. Its core values, ethics and delivery of service are an example to all and this is evidenced by the group’s impressive Care Quality Commission compliance record, which has been achieved across all services year after year.
I look forward to helping the company take the next steps in its journey.
I started working for the Choice Care Group in 1995 as a Support Worker at one of our Residential Services in Berkshire.
This was my first experience of working with Adults with Learning Disabilities and I really enjoyed the work right from the start. I worked my way up to Deputy Manager and in 2004 I opened Stoke Lodge, one of our residential homes in Basingstoke. This is one of my proudest moments in my career so far – it was a fantastic challenge, setting up everything from scratch, building a successful staff team and providing a great home to the 9 individuals at the service.
Following several different roles in the Operations Team, I moved to Excel Support Services to oversee the Supported Living branch of the organisation in 2013. I love a new challenge and really enjoy seeing how Excel benefits those we support in the community. I have had the opportunity to grow the Supported Living side of Choice and we now provide support in Hampshire, as well as Berkshire and Sandwell.
I really enjoy working for Choice and have been fortunate to turn the job I love into a career. But most of all I enjoy working for an organisation with great values who puts the people we support at the centre of everything they do.