Timothy Agbenike has recently joined our team as Registered Manager at Luff House, Walton-on-the-Naze. He told us about the path that has led him to Pilgrims’ Friend Society and how the role has been going so far
Tell us a bit about your background…
I was born and brought up in Nigeria, in Lagos. I first came to the UK in 2006 to study accountancy, gaining my qualification with the Association of Charted Certified Accountants (ACCA). For some years I worked as an accountant in the banking industry, but I started to wonder if I might be better suited to something else. I went to a careers advisor and did some tests. They told me I should work in the care sector. That was it – I realised that care was my calling and it’s what I will do for the rest of my life.
What kinds of roles have you worked in within care?
I started as a support worker for people with severe learning difficulties. I found it amazing to help people achieve things they would not be able to do on their own. From there, I started working with people with mental health issues. This was also incredibly rewarding but could be quite tough. After that, I decided to work with older people. Before coming to Luff House, I was managing a care home in Colchester.
Why do you like working with older people?
Caring for older people comes naturally to me. In Nigeria, it’s part of the culture to listen to and respect older people. After all, they have been alive for longer and so they know more than you! When I look after older people, it’s as if I’m looking after my own parent so it doesn’t seem to be a job for me but a passion.
What excites you about working in a Christian care home?
At the previous care home there were so many restrictions and formalities. Before you did anything Christian, you had to make sure that everyone had signed a piece of paper to consent. One year we held a little Christmas service, and my wife came in to sing. Some of the residents who had not signed the paper heard the music and wanted to join in too, and it was tricky. I’m so thrilled to now be working for an organisation that is openly Christian and where the Christian faith is a normal part of daily life.
How have you been settling in so far?
It is such a lovely team here at Luff House. I’ve been enjoying getting to know all our family members. I have to say that the wider Pilgrims’ Friend Society team have been incredibly helpful. I have never worked anywhere where the management have offered this level of support. There’s a whole host of people I can call on – from Margaret (Operations Manager) and Barbara (Assistant Director of Operations) to Phil (HR Manager) and also my direct line manager Jane (Operations Manager).
What’s life like outside of work?
My family and I live in Colchester – my wife and I have three young children aged seven, three and 18 months. We moved to Colchester from London a couple of years ago. At first I found it very quiet, but I’ve got used to it and now I really like it. It’s a lovely place to bring up children, very calm with lots of green space. We’re still part of a church in Ilford and usually drive in every week. We’ve only just gone back after lockdown, and it’s been so good to gather together again. Zoom is not the same! My wife sings and I play the keyboard – now we’re just waiting for everyone else to be able to join in with the singing too! Music is a big part of my life – I love to listen to Christian musicians like Nathaniel Bassey, who is Nigerian, Zach Williams from the US and whose prison ministry I find very inspiring, and Jarrod Cooper, based here in the UK.
Timothy would love you to pray:
- That the two new boxes of Bibles that recently arrived at the home would be put to good use
- That everyone living in the home would be assured of a glorious future with Christ
- That he would quickly get to grips with the computerised systems for recording care plans and storing medications
- That he would be able to fulfil God’s purpose for the home and work to a high standard, at the same time trusting that everything is in God’s hands
Read more about life in our homes...
How the introduction of close contact visits has been giving a boost to everyone at Luff House, our home in Walton-on-the-Naze
Our Renewal Programme is an ambitious £46 million project which will include the building of six new state-of-the-art care homes.
How a clever piece of technology designed for those with dementia is delighting our family members at Luff House, Walton-on-the-Naze