Care for the elderly in Northumberland.
Our hard-working Deputy Manager at Charlotte Straker House is Iwona (pronounced “Eve-vonna”) Proszowska.
Iwona and her family are from Rumia, a city in the Eastern Pomerania region of north-western Poland. In 2005,
Iwona already had 15 years’ experience as a registered nurse in Poland, and she moved to the UK to continue her career in the North East of England.
“When I moved to England I had to leave my husband and three children behind for a few months, whilst I sorted out my work and living arrangements. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, to leave them for so long. It was very difficult, but I wanted to do it, to make a better life for our family.”
In July 2006 her husband Robert joined her in the UK. Then three months later, in September 2006, her three children, Adrian, Rafal and Karol moved and promptly started school in Ovingham and Prudhoe.
“The language was tricky. My children picked up English very quickly but we all found the Geordie accent a bit incomprehensible for a while!”
When she moved to the UK, Iwona found “a lot of support. Most people were very kind and welcomed us with open arms. Occasionally, there was difficulties: we had someone write anti-Polish graffiti on our car, but mostly everyone was lovely, and helped us a lot.”
Her youngest child Sofie was born in 2009 and she is bilingual, speaking both Polish and English.
After joining Charlotte Straker in 2014, Iwona was made Deputy Manager. Her husband also joined, working as a care assistant on night shifts.
Iwona also manages our Community Respite Care Bed and lights up with enthusiasm when she talks about the facility,
“I see some very tired, and very desperate families that need our support, and I am so pleased that I can help them with providing respite care. You can see the relief of their faces when I tell them that they can relax, and we will care for their relatives for a while. I had one lovely lady who brought her elderly husband for respite care for five days. She told me that she was so exhausted, that whilst we were looking after her husband she stayed in bed for four days, just to recover. I can see how much the Respite Care Bed is needed, and this makes me determined to keep the facility open, full to the brim and part of the Charlotte Straker project forever”.
As Deputy Manager, Iwona is responsible for the clinical side at Charlotte Straker House,
“We have some very passionate, very committed staff in our care home. Charlotte Straker employs some excellent staff, and it is such a gift to be able to work with nurses and carers like myself, who are enthusiastic about giving the best possible care to our residents. I love my job, and I like to make a difference to resident’s lives and to make them as comfortable and happy as I possibly can. I have made many good friends in this nursing home, and I love the fact that we have such a good team, that are trustworthy and are as passionate as I am about our residents.
Outside Charlotte Straker, Iwona tries to spend as much time as she can with her family,
“As Robert works nightshifts, we don’t see each other that much, but when we can we like to go out to walk our dogs in the countryside. I also love ice-skating, except I’ve just cracked a rib falling on the ice, so I won’t be able to go for a while!”
Thank you to Iwona – if you would like to discuss any aspect of respite care please give her a call on 01434 633999.