Elmbrook Court Residents Help Teenager With Cancer Take Step Towards A Career In Care
A teenager from Childrey is en route to a career in care thanks to the support of residents and staff at Elmbrook Court Care Home.
Mikayla Daisy Beames, 17, has been living with brain cancer since she was four years old. She has a visual impairment and occasional seizures, but these were no barrier to her being offered work experience at Elmbrook Court Care Home.
The teenager spends every Tuesday at the luxury home as part of the NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care she’s studying for at the City of Oxford College. “I’d come across Elmbrook Court at a careers fair at my school,” said Mikayla. “I was quite nervous whether they would consider me for work experience because of my disability but straight away they said it wouldn’t be a problem, of course they would accept me.
“When I started my course and I needed to look for a placement, I knew straight away I’d choose Elmbrook Court. Luckily, I got through the interview and I’m so pleased, it’s the best place I could have picked.”
Mikayla, who also runs her own charity, ‘Team Mikayla’, granting wishes for children with cancer, works with Elmbrook’s Lifestyles team, helping with everything from seated exercise classes to arts and crafts. “Mikayla is wonderful,” said Lifestyles Manager, Sharon Ottley. “She’s so enthusiastic, she’s got loads of energy and she’s a fantastic addition to the team. “She even organised for Santa to come to our residents’ Christmas party, something we’ve never done before, which was really special.”
The residents love having Mikayla in the home too. “She always helpful,” said Elaine Mizel, 77, “and when she’s doing activities with us, she likes to sing which I love hearing.”
The home’s General Manager, Rebecca Warman, said they have a policy of developing new talent and welcoming apprentices and students on placement. “It’s really important to us to give young people opportunities to gain experience in the care sector and see what a fantastic career it can offer them. “We aim to make our environment here accessible to staff and students with additional needs and I’m delighted to see Mikayla doing so well.”
Because there is a low risk of her having a seizure, Mikayla is always accompanied by a member of the lifestyles team and each unit within the home has key information of who to contact should it happen.
Mikayla is a month into her placement, with two more months to complete. She will take her Level 2 exams in January and is planning to continue her studies and start her NVQ Level 3 next September.
“I want to care for others, and I’ve already learned so much from the residents at Elmbrook Court, especially around dementia,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of hospital and I suppose I want to pay that care forward. I’m really grateful to Elmbrook Court for giving me the experience I need.”
Learn more about Careers at Oakland Care