Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sharnie. I am 30 years old and have been a Cook at New Tyne Resource Centre for nine and a half years.
What inspired you to become a Cook?
My mum was a Cook in school kitchens whilst I was growing up and now carries out audits of school kitchens in West Sussex. I’ve always been a foodie and loved baking and making up recipes as a kid. I always knew I wanted to cook as a profession - there’s so many avenues to go with it, from cooking in kitchens to expanding to auditing/teaching.
Why did you choose to work for West Sussex?
After visiting the home a coupe of times, it just felt like the place for me. When you know, you know! Also, staff benefits, such as rates of pay, annual leave entitlement and sick pay, offer an additional security.
What would you say is good about working as a Cook at West Sussex?
The best thing about being a Cook at West Sussex is the freedom to be creative with menus and party catering.
Is there a piece of work or anything you’ve done in your role that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m most proud of how far I have come in the last nine and a half years. When I started at New Tyne, I didn’t have much experience at cooking on this level, a fantastic management team took a chance on me and, from then, I have improved my skills and gained knowledge in food safety through training courses run by West Sussex.
What are the challenges of being a Cook at West Sussex?
The main challenge I find is, when creating a new menu, ensuring that all people who use our service are catered for. To overcome this, whenever a new menu is planned, I engage in conversation with families, carers and the people who use our service to ensure everyone has an input into the menus.
How has West Sussex supported your learning and development and career progression?
Since joining West Sussex, I have gained a mountain of knowledge from food safety and special diets to first aid, fire safety and infection control. I have also been able to complete NVQs level 2 and 3, which were supported by West Sussex.
If there is one myth you could bust about being a Cook with West Sussex, what would it be?
Working in a care home is so much more than giving out tea and biscuits! You become part of a family.
You get to know the people who use the service and their families and form relationships with them and other staff members that you wouldn’t have in any other workplace.
What would you say to someone who is considering joining West Sussex?
If you love to cook, why not help make lives better whilst doing it? It really is a job worth doing, I wouldn’t want to cook in any other setting.