Every day at Birdie is different. Each day is exciting, inspiring and brings something new. Birdie is being built to make a difference , social change and innovation are at the heart of our structure and everything we do.
And yet the challenges and the constant stress of everyday life can sometimes be overwhelming and we lose sight of the real purpose of what we are working towards. We get so caught up in what we’re doing that we might forget the bigger picture, just for a single brief moment. The sweat and tests of each day may distract and consume us. That is when we need a reminder, something to keep us going.
It is during these crucial moments that Tracey, our care manager, appears and reminds us. Tracey has 20 years of experience in the care sector starting from volunteer to managing care services. She has seen and done it all. Amongst all the work she does each day at Birdie, she somehow manages to make time to remind the team of the reason they come to work each day. She reminds them of the difference they are making in people’s lives.
“Let me tell you a story,” Tracey says one afternoon as we’re sat in the office. She goes on to tell me about a lady called Rica.
“Rica was one of the first people who started using Birdie.” Tracey tells me, “ Rica was diagnosed with dementia a year ago and had had a number of recent falls and infections. Her family grew very worried and they had suggested that mum stayed in a care home for a while but Rica said it was unnecessary and cost too much. But then she fell again and this it was bad. There were no more discussions and she was admitted to a care home for rehabilitation. When I spoke to Rica she described the time she spent there; she barely felt like herself, was depressed, unhappy and always on the brink of tears.”
“And that’s when I met her,” says Tracey, “A few weeks after she had come out of the care home and her daughter was looking for another solution, she was desperate. The funny thing about Rica’s story is that when she first heard about Birdie, she was completely opposed to it. Eventually, her daughter managed to convince her and Rica has been using Birdie ever since. It has completely transformed her and her family’s life. She now lives happily in her own home, carers visit her every other day, she feels in control of her life and no longer feels like a burden on her family.”
It is one thing reading over the company’s goals and ideals and another hearing the reality of its work. This story really brings to life the impact Birdie can have. Listening to the difference Birdie is making for someone, someone like Rica, really inspired me. It enables her to live her life the way she wants, on her own terms — something I believe is invaluable and which very few people can claim to be a part of.
It was then I realised how important Tracey’s reminders are. They are a key part in the way Birdie functions. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the team could be doing a similar job in any other company but they choose Birdie for the greater role they are playing, the change they are making.
In the Birdie office, there is a wall covered in photos and stories. Across it are the inspiring stories of Liz, Eva, Janet, Kathleen and how Birdie is changing their life for the better. They are the stories of love and care but also the stories of hardship, worry, and struggle. This wall lets us look up each day from our screens, take a moment, a deep breath. And then we carry on our day with a fresh mind, reminded that at the end of it all we are making a difference. Stories get added to that wall every day and the impact Birdie has continues to grow and expand. Why does it matter we asked?
It matters because we have a unique chance to positively impact the lives of millions of older adults and their families. The issue we are tackling every single day is real and very much present in the lives of many. This is not only a choice that we are making but an obligation we are fulfilling, a duty that we owe to the people that need Birdie that we cannot lose sight of. That is why it matters.