Leanne Archer, Senior Health Care Assistant at Demelza Kent has recently been promoted from Health Care Assistant and wanted to take some time to tell us more about her new role and how we will be focusing on children’s communication, play and activities in the hospice. 

“I began working at Demelza in February 2019 as a Health Care Assistant, and moved into my new role as Senior Health Care Assistant with a focus on play and activities in July 2021.  From the first day of being part of the Kent Care Team, I have been on a very steep learning curve.  I had never had anything to do with clinical care on the level that Demelza provides.  My background has been working with children with special needs, mainly Autism, in a SEN school environment.  It’s safe to say that my roles at Demelza are very different to what I have done before, but I would not look back. 

“The Senior Health Care Assistant roles are brand new to the Demelza Kent Care Team, and I am very excited to be part of a team that focuses on play and activities as well as children’s communication.  It’s almost impossible to narrow down what the role of a Health Care Assistant is in just a few lines as it includes so much, and varies greatly from shift to shift. In a nutshell, my day-to-day role involves providing clinical care and support for the children, young people and their families that use our services.  This can include anything from administering medication, ‘lifeguarding’ for the hydro pool, end of life and bereavement care, supporting families in the community and everything in between.  

“As well as this, my new role involves researching and planning suitable activities for those who use our services, whether that be in the form of art, music or sensory activities at Demelza or in the child’s own home, appropriate day trips and (hopefully) events in the near future. 

“My favourite part of my role is that I can be a ‘big kid’ and not be judged for it. I work with such an incredible team and I really do believe that together, we have and will continue to make special memories for children and families, especially during some of the most difficult times that anyone can experience. 

“When I think of my time at Demelza, one memory stands out.  During the first lockdown last year, we took two long-term resident children in the hydro pool, and ended up being joined by the care team leaders.  The children loved the attention that they were getting, and it was great to have the team leaders enjoying the pool with us, as it’s something they very rarely get to do.  I think that is the only time I will ever have a water fight with my Managers and get away with it. 

“There are so many things that I am looking forward to in my new role, including meeting those in other teams across Demelza and other families that we support.  I think what I am looking forward to most is planning events with my play and activities partner, Beth Harris, who I have been on my Demelza journey with since the day we both started.  We both have lots of ideas, and hopefully they will come to fruition soon. 

“Coming up in the very near future, I hope to be able to assist all members of the Demelza care teams with using Alternative Communication Aids. This may provide some of the children we support with the opportunity to make choices while they are being supported by Demelza staff, including the care teams, family support and therapies.” 

We look forward to seeing Leanne’s progress in her Senior Health Care Assistant role over the coming months and wish her and Beth all the best. Find out more about our services or make a referral today.