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"Registering" a new face...


Profile: Oaklea, 27th Jul, 2021

We are able to welcome a new face to Oaklea - please say a big 'hello' to Jenny Garside - she's our new Registered Manager for the South Lakes Team in Kendal.


Spreading the love -from Jenny to Oaklea and back!

So who is Jenny?

“I am originally from the Lake District, I left the area when I went to college to train as a Rehabilitation Worker (Visual Impairment)

What’s that Jen?

“Well it’s someone who teaches people who have lost their sight how to do everyday things, how to get out and about, how to use equipment even the cooker and kettle! Plus communication skills such as braille and assistive technology.”

Got laptop - check, got lanyard - check, good to go - YES!

So do continue…

“After college I worked in Wales in a hospital eye clinic and then moved back to Cumbria to be closer to family and had my own family. I worked for Cumbria County Council’s Social Services Department in the Community Team, working in South Lakes and Eden.”

Then family life ‘registered’…

“I have two children - a boy (now aged 20) and girl (now aged 18). When they were small (5 and 3) we went off to New Zealand to work for the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, working and living in Taranaki for a couple of years working with children with sight loss and complex disabilities. During this time my husband became a house husband and drum teacher and looked after the kids – trips to the beach, cycle rides along the walk way by the sea.”

Missing Marmite? - You came back to Britain?

“On returning to the UK I worked for SeeAbility (a charity for people with visual impairment, challenging behavior and complex disabilities) in the South of England in various roles ending as Team Manager and PBS Lead for the South West area – (Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and then they threw in Oxfordshire too!) The charity re-structured in March this year and I took redundancy in May after working for them for 12 years – viewing it as an opportunity to relocate ‘home’ - Cumbria! So I applied to Oaklea before I left as I felt their values were the same as mine.”

So welcome aboard!

“I started with Oaklea in July and am just completing my induction and have had the opportunity to visit some of the projects in Kendal and have found everyone very friendly and helpful. Oaklea has a ‘family feel to it’ which I like. I also had the opportunity to visit The Furniture Warehouse and met some of the Right2Work customers. I think it is a brilliant scheme.”

And away from work…

“Sadly we lost our old dog this summer – she was 16, and a spaniel – perhaps we will get another dog if we can all agree on what breed to get, currently the votes are tied at a sheepdog or German Shepherd. I like animals, crafts, reading, talking to people and lots of other things.”

Class dismissed - out & about

Jenny has already dropped by 34, Garth Brow and Wattsfield…she’ll be heading your way soon!

Clearly focussed - So look out for Jenny in the coming weeks….

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