Juliana Rossi is the Lifestyle Manager at ExtraCare’s Longbridge and Bournville Gardens Retirement Villages in Birmingham. Here’s what she had to say about her role…
I’ve lived in the UK for the past 17 years. During my first few years here, I worked in the hospitality sector via agencies and have had all sorts of jobs, from kitchen porter to organising/managing events. When an opportunity to move into the hotel industry came about - I have a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hotel Management - I took it immediately. I have worked in some of the best hotels in the UK: Claridge’s, The Dorchester collection (I assisted with the opening of two new hotels for the Group, 45 Park Lane and Coworth Park) and One Aldwych.
After 8 years in the hotel industry I was offered an opportunity to manage the Hospitality and Client Dining departments of a very prestigious bank and that is how my career in the corporate sector started.
My last job was Deputy Account Manager for the HSBC London contract through Restaurant Associates running the Hospitality and Employee Dinning for all sites in London. Very challenging and rewarding.
Following more than 15 years living and working in London, I decided it was time to move away. I wanted to change my lifestyle and work for a charity. I applied for the role of Lifestyle Manager at our new village in Stoke Gifford, Bristol and was offered the opportunity to relocate to Birmingham and oversee two villages. I accepted. I didn’t know what to expect at first. It was a big change for me, new job, new city, but I can happily say that I have made the right decision.
Two days are never the same at ExtraCare. In the morning I walk around the villages and speak to the residents to get their feedback on any matters arising. We have our staff line-up meeting in the morning, and I go to the gym, reception and bistro to catch up with my team and understand what the day ahead looks like for them. During the food service, I like to base myself in the bistro to assist the team. I meet regularly with the chefs and the activities coordinators to plan future events in the village and I meet regularly with the volunteer coordinator to discuss the volunteer activities and rotas.
My biggest achievement during the past 17 months, since I started at ExtraCare, has been sharing my knowledge with the team and achieving great results financially - an improvement on previous years at both villages.
What I love about ExtraCare is the diversity. Every Village is different. It is lovely to spend time with the residents and get to know each of their stories. Working for ExtraCare feels like you are part of something bigger. It feels like we are all a big family. For anyone considering applying for a role at ExtraCare, you are making the right choice.