(Credit: Caring Hands (Wiltshire))
Vicki Fowler has worked in care from 1984. She started at Moor Mead Nursing home, Wroughton social services and Royal Wootton Bassett various homecare agencies. When Vicki moved to Braydon in 2004, she moved to a 200 year old farm house that has been in her husband’s family since 1934. Vicki started to work in a local residential care home which was the Cedars in Purton. When working at the Cedars she voluntarily gave her time once a month to take residents out for meals or shopping trips in her people carrier.
After 3 years working in the home she decided to take a break. In 2008 she had the calling to return back into care and decided to become an independent home care provider to support her local community. She registered with WDPS direct payment.
A local Purton resident employed Vicki to provide support to him and family. He went into respite care far away and so he felt it would be nicer if he was near his own home. He asked Vicki if she could provide respite care at her farm as he knew she has ground floor accommodation. Vicki rang the appropriate services to find out some more information. When she informed him that she could provide respite care for him he was so happy.
The seed had been planted, and Vicki rang the Care Quality Commission to find out more about respite care. Vicki could provide care under the 28 day rule and not have to be registered then.
He booked in for the first 4 weeks but unfortunately he passed away before he got to Battle Lake Farm. From 2008 – 2010 Vicki provided respite care to her locals and surrounding areas and had to have a pre-booking service, because of the demand. The Care Quality Commission, in October 2010, informed Vicki that if she wanted to carry on her service she would have to be registered. Vicki’s clients, friends, colleagues and family supported her, and gave her encouragement for registering.
Firstly, Vicki put in for planning to have a purpose built unit attached to the family home, which took a long time but she got permission. Then Vicki put in her application with CQC to register with them. Vicki provided respite care in her client’s home while she was waiting for registration – she received her registration on the 5th of September 2011.
Vicki has also for the last 3 years supported her community by having once a month tea parties, locals and residents come with their carers for tea at Battle lake farm. The local Age Concern mini bus brings individuals to the farm and on one mini bus it was named after Vicki's first client. So he is here in memory and is still part of Caring Hands (Wiltshire).
Vicki’s respite room can accommodate an individual or couple. The Respite room is on ground floor level with en-suite facilities. Vicki and staff provides care, homemade meals, takes respite clients out or invites friends in for tea to make their time on Battle Lake Farm an enjoyable stay.