Q&A – With Jacky Pett

30/05/18

Friendly, warm, energetic and organised, Jacky also shows patience and empathy when required, honed from time spent as a teacher. Jacky joined Consultus in 2015.

How did you first hear of Consultus?

Through the care agency I previously worked, where I enjoyed a career as a live-in carer, a domiciliary carer and then as supervisor in the office.  We came across the hallowed name of the Consultus carers on a regular basis and the reputation of their carers was always held in high esteem.  When the opportunity to apply for the role of Care Consultant arose, I was delighted to have the opportunity to join.

What did you do prior to working for us?

 Before my care industry roles, my illustrious career in the city was as PA to a managing director of a large London financial newspaper, in the advertising team. I was PA, office manager and recruitment all rolled into one! Several years later when my family and I lived in southern Spain, I worked for an international school as school secretary and then in a pastoral role, reuniting pupils with their PE kits and lunchboxes and tenderly applying plasters to numerous scraped knees. I also assisted teaching the English curriculum to Spanish infants and juniors. I have never been overly ambitious but always want to reach my personal best.

Do you have any advice for carers?

My advice for carers is to be yourself, smile, be confident in your capabilities – you can do it!

Do you recall any memorable situations at work?

As a carer, you need to have a sense of humour and to know not to panic. I once had a client who managed to wedge himself in the bath and was struggling to get out, with his extremely long legs dangling over the side. I managed to throw a towel over him to protect his modesty, before we both erupted in full-blown laughter. It was wonderful to have had such a good relationship with him that we were able to laugh about the situation.  With great resourcefulness I managed to help him out and dry and dress him warmly in his pyjamas, but only once I’d composed myself and we’d managed to stop laughing!

How do you like to relax when you leave the office?

I love food (and wine) and cooking is a great hobby of mine. I enjoy trying to replicate meals we have eaten out, using family and friends as my tasting panel.

With my partner, Steve, we also make the most of our National Trust membership, visiting their amazing properties and period buildings and admiring their architecture. I also enjoy rooting around bric-a-brac or flea markets in search of an exquisite piece of object d’art!  I collect antique glasses and crystal.

Who inspires you?

Mum and Dad. My mum is strong and capable, loving and non-judgemental. She raised four very individual children, so fairly, with equal support and passion. Dad is very relaxed and respects my mother’s judgment throughout. He just sits back and lets mum manage home and family, near and far.  She, in turn, lets him play golf and enjoy his fishing, casting off from some rocky outcrop from a local beach. They are both 80 but seem at least 15 years younger, which I put down to their healthy Mediterranean diet and ample sunshine – they live abroad – but thanks to WhatsApp we are in constant contact. With the wonder of technology we share news, photos and videos across continents.

Do you have any hobbies?

Horse riding and the great outdoors! I do miss a temperate climate and having lived abroad spending most of your life outside is just wonderful. We were even teaching lessons to the children in the playground outside during the school day.

I also like to sing and dance, which is a constant source of embarrassment to my daughter, Libby. I have my own form of flamenco as, after picking up lessons in Spain, it was a long time ago and I’ve forgotten everything after the first five movements, so I improvise at any given opportunity. Generally I have a song in my head, and hum a lot, much to the amusement of my colleagues and annoyance of my partner!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a Blue Peter or children’s television presenter/entertainer. I would be too self-conscious now!

The best trip you have ever taken?

Last year in America we covered much of California but the best experience I remember from that trip was early morning kayaking on Lake Tahoe. There was just Steve and I, paddling along blissfully, when two girls sailed past us on paddleboards, singing Gospel songs in voices as crystal clear as the water. It was a very spiritual moment and one I shall treasure.

Do you have a favourite book?

Oh yes, I love to read. My favourite author is Maggie O’Farrell, who wrote After You’d Gone – she examines the relationship of losing a loved one in a most relatable way which can help level and give focus on life. 

My favourite book is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I often re-read books after a couple of years, getting more out of them from each read.

Do you have any pets?

I adore guinea pigs and have always had pets until a couple of years ago. Now I take care of two exquisite but very ‘n o r t y’ cats where I house-sit, taking a video diary of them to keep their mummy in the picture while she is away!

If marooned on a desert island – what three luxuries would you take with you?

A photo of my beautiful daughter Libby on her 18th birthday. I had just given her an album of her first 18 years which included her first scan image from the anti natal clinic, her first scribbles at nursery which was meant to be a picture of me, an Award from her Head Teacher, given to her just two weeks after joining school, and right through to tips for ‘flirting’ her Spanish friend gave her at 12, which caused a lot of mirth. Our favourite old pets are in there too. This particular snap of my daughter catches the moment when her reaction changed from hysterical laughter at some of the memories, to that moment when I tell her how much her Dad and I are proud of her. She is currently living in Australia working as an au pair and this photo is by my bedside.

A good quality lip balm – when it runs out I would have to be creative with some coconut flesh.

A “Wilson” volleyball – well, it worked for Tom Hanks in Cast Away!

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