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Meet our Team - Q&A with Gaynor

Gaynor is one of Juno's social care practitioners, working to provide excellent care to the young people living in Juno Oxton. Gaynor told us a bit about her experience working with children, what attracted her to Juno and her experience so far.

Two comfortable chairs facing each other with a coffee table between them. On top of the table are two mugs and a notebook, the room is set up for  a chat

Tell us about who you are and what you do

I’m Gaynor, I’m one of the Social Care Practitioners in the Juno team. I have over 20 years of experience working with children from a variety of backgrounds, as I always knew I wanted to work with children. My career started in a private day nursery, and I worked in lots of different settings like a children’s rep at Thompson, a nanny etc. So, I got to work with kids from lots of different backgrounds and different ages and really enjoyed it. When I finally started working in children’s residential care, I knew it was the perfect role for me from day one. I loved going to work and really wanted to show the children how much we care about them.

In Juno, my job as a social care practitioner is to make the home a safe, warm, and caring environment and be there for the young people, caring for and supporting them.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family and getting outdoors as much as possible, going for walks or camping holidays.

What has motivated you to join Juno?

I went onto the Juno website and read about the organisation and its values before I saw the job description, and it was a wow moment. Sometimes you see companies talk about how they work or what they care about, but it’s not always real in the day-to-day, is it? But here, everything I’ve seen so far - the training we received, the home itself - it’s all real, and it’s all different than what is often out there for young people in care. For example, one thing that is different in Juno, compared to my previous experience in residential care roles, is the waking night shifts. This means we can get the paperwork and other tasks done at night and really be there 100% for the young people. I think that’s so great; you don’t ever want to say "oh I’ll talk to you after I’ve typed this up", or anything like that. Even if we’re just sitting in a room together watching TV, you don’t want to be on a tablet, writing something about the young person next to you; they know it’s about them and it’s just not right. So having that time over the night shift to get all the paperwork done really allows us to give our attention to the children in our care.

I don’t even feel like I need to say that Juno is a non-profit organisation, because you can see it in everything: how much has gone into the home, the recruitment, the team itself – it’s all for the young people in our care, and that’s what all young people deserve.

What has your experience of being a part of the Juno team been like?

The 4 weeks of training we received were amazing, it’s been such an eye-opener, especially training on trauma-informed care. There are parts of us which want to avoid thinking about what children in care might have gone through, but we need to see it to understand how much extra love and care they need and deserve.

The recruitment process is another highlight – it’s intense, but I really get why. I don’t want to give anything away, but the assessment day was great, I loved that day – we got to work with other people and see how people might do things in the role on a normal day.

Getting to meet the team on day one, seeing the different backgrounds people are from, hearing about their experiences and spending time together at the training sessions has really brought us together as a team. It’s been great to have the support and the team atmosphere, it makes such a difference.

I also really enjoyed going into the local community around the home and seeing what’s out there for young people, and what might they want to get involved with. We have all spent time thinking about what young people might need when they move in and when they’re living here – from slippers and snack baskets to phone chargers and nail clippers, it’s all here. I think that thoughtfulness is so great.

Also, as someone who has experience in other residential care homes, I had a chance to see the difference between what’s common practice and Juno – from how funding is spent to what’s prioritised, it’s night and day.

What excites you the most about working with Juno?

I’m really excited to see the young people feeling safe and happy in their homes and growing, and progressing because that’s what should be available to everyone.

From a personal development perspective, I really appreciate that within a matter of weeks of my being here we discussed my career goals, skills, and where I might progress eventually. That’s, of course, very motivating.

What are your hopes for residential care in the future?

I hope other residential care becomes what it should be – the right option for some young people. A place that they will remember positively later in life, somewhere that’s nice to grow up and full of happy memories, a place where they felt loved and safe. I hope residential care homes will be created in nice areas, with rooms designed for young people where no expense is spared for the young people’s well-being.

Interested in joining the team? Check out the latest vacancies here, or email us at to join the mailing list for all the latest vacancies.

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