From service to safety: How Lauren found room to grow with Helping Hand
When Lauren joined our Hotel Services team at Mawson Lakes in 2009, she had no idea where a career with Helping Hand would take her. With a love of helping others, she soon realised her passion for leadership, progressing into several leadership roles. Then, in mid-2023, Lauren accepted a role at our Corporate Office in Tranmere. Now, she’s helping people in a very different way!

Building a career, the Helping Hand way

It can be a scary feeling finishing high school. The future holds so much opportunity; so which road should you take? When Lauren finished her senior year exams, like many of us, she wasn’t sure what career direction would suit her. So, on the advice of a friend, she applied at our Mawson Lakes Residential Care Home where she found herself catering, serving food and housekeeping.

“I started working part-time in Hotel Services and found I really enjoyed it, so I stayed on!”

And it wasn’t long before Lauren found she could offer more and start to take advantage of the wide variety of roles available at Helping Hand.

“I trained up from an Assistant and became a Supervisor. I didn’t have any experience in supervising, but Helping Hand was happy to support my development. There are a lot of training opportunities with Helping Hand, and my manager at the time was brilliant. He taught me so much.”

After securing a position as Hotel Services Support Manager at Golden Grove in 2019, Lauren’s interest in leadership flourished and she started her Diploma of Leadership and Management with the support of Helping Hand.

“I was very thankful and incredibly grateful for that opportunity. I met lots of interesting people through the course, too. I guess my managers saw some ability in me, that I was good at helping a team out. So, supervisory and management roles became a natural fit for me.”

Considering that we have well over 2,000 staff working across more than 20 communities in South Australia (not to mention contractors and visitors), you can understand the complexities Lauren and her team face in doing this!

Yet, Lauren has embraced her new position. Having spent many years working in our residential care homes, she knows better than most what works and what doesn’t. For Lauren, safety is not about ticking a box; it’s about bringing people along with you and devising the best possible safety solutions to protect everyone working in our busy environments.

“We don’t want safety to feel like a hassle for people. So, it’s about promoting how it’s going to help and it’s good when we can show our teams how to have quick wins just by doing simple things or by sharing approaches that work well across all our care homes.”

Lauren’s new position offers her the same sense of purpose and meaning that motivated her in her former roles at Helping Hand. But there’s a bonus:

“I’m getting to learn more here. And even though I’m not working directly with residents anymore, I’m still helping people just in a different way.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Lauren is an optimist by nature, but these days, she asks herself this question all the time. That’s because, in mid-2023, Lauren accepted a position as a Safety Business Partner. Lauren has transitioned from managing teams to managing risk and her ultimate goal now is to help keep every one of our people safe.

Lauren is not one to blow her own trumpet. She says much of what she’s achieved at Helping Hand has been with the help of supportive managers and supportive teams.

“It’s having good teams supporting each other, people you can go to who will genuinely give you their time and help you, even when busy. That’s what makes the difference. The teamwork aspect is vital, and it’s really good at Helping Hand. I think that’s why a lot of people stay and why they come back, too.”

Lauren says one of the strengths of her new corporate team is its diversity.

“Our safety team comes from various skills and experience in nursing and safety, and then there’s myself. It helps as everyone brings their own knowledge and abilities. Even when I go back to Mawson Lakes, people are just great. They remember you and they’re grateful you’ve come to help them. It’s a good community.”

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