Meet Agincare Enable’s new Managing Director: Sarnjeet Banwait

Published: Tuesday 16th August 2022

Agincare Enable is entering a new era of growth with its new Managing Director, Sarnjeet Banwait.

How are you feeling about your new position?

I’m delighted. My experience has already been positive. The company culture has been so supportive, they trust their people and that gives you autonomy to do what you do best. It’s also exciting for me because Enable is a small part of the larger company, and there is plenty of opportunity to grow.

My colleagues have welcomed me like I’ve been here forever. To be honest, I do pinch myself every day.

Tell me about your path to care

I guess it all started when I was choosing my degree. I wanted to support vulnerable people, so I chose a combined honours degree of Psychology and Social Studies. At the time I remember being asked, “why can’t you be a pharmacist or a doctor?” but I knew what I wanted, and that was to help vulnerable people. I think supporting people is what we’re in this world for, isn’t it?

After university I got two job offers. It was either Debenhams or an acute psychiatric unit in Hillingdon… you can guess where I ended up. Wards were very different back then, but my first day as a Healthcare Assistant was actually on my birthday. I was young and fresh out of studying, and I’ll admit I was so startled by what I saw on that shift that I was allowed to go home early. I went straight to bed at 2pm on my birthday, and I told myself I would never go back!

But I did. I thought of my purpose, and I thought about the people who I wanted to help. So, I went back, and I stayed for 9 months and the experience I gained I would have never had anywhere else. It really shaped me. There were lows, but also highs, and whenever I saw someone recover and leave the unit it was the best feeling in the world.

Where did you go from there?

I then started work with the Richmond Fellowship as a Housing Support Worker and stayed for 15 years. When I started there was a lot of scope to begin creating structures and processes and I’m good at that, so I naturally started building, and it had an impact. During my work there I had two kids and four promotions, so it was a busy time! I once tripled the size of the services in my area within two months while I was pregnant, which seems a wonder to me now, I can’t understand how I pulled it off.

Following that I just kept growing in the sector. I worked very hard and kept a motto of being transparent. It meant I was able to know that everything I achieved was based on merit, which means so much to me. I never expected to end up in the position I’m in now, I wasn’t planning on climbing the ladder, but my journey has brought me here.

What’s different about Agincare?

People talk about their cultures being different, but here it really is. When people talk about leadership teams giving their all, these ones do.

They are really exactly what they say on the tin, not to mention the way that multiple services sit within one organisation, how unique is that? Especially following Covid, I’ve been really happy to find that you don’t work in silos, but instead people collaborate all across the business.

What makes Enable unique?

Enable is unique because it still has so much potential. It is small but full of room to develop, we can afford to pick and choose our areas, our commissioners, our growth. It’s got the backdrop of the bigger organisation from which we can pull resources and plans and support from this larger entity that has more experience, so it’s the best of both worlds. We can really get hands-on with that quality of care for our clients, and I see that whenever I meet with the teams, the people we support, I know it’s true.

What do people always get wrong about your field?

People who haven’t been in the field often don’t understand the responsibility that is looking after another person’s safety. It’s huge, and when something goes wrong, the crucial thing is just to learn, learn, learn. This is why our care workers deserve the world. They give their absolute all to support other people. I still believe that becoming a support worker was the best choice I’ve ever made.

Can you give us a glimpse into Enable’s plans?

There are big things coming! In short, we’re focusing on building our current infrastructure and expanding. It’s confidential – for now! It’s a watch this space kind of thing. For now, I am really proud of the people who are leading the services, for example we have recently taken over Furlong Close which is a residential campus-style service. It’s been amazing to see that the people who live there have become so much more independent already. They’re shopping, taking walks, taking trips out, socialising, going swimming. That’s down to the leadership and care in those areas.

Tell us one thing we don’t know about you

Okay… I appeared on Newsnight! I was dancing! The BBC was filming a university dance show and it was mine, so there’s my claim to fame.

Advice for someone starting care?

Persevere. Never give up. People need to keep their purpose front and center.

There is so much to learn, so so much room to develop, too. I’ve seen myself that the career progression is real, and it happens quickly, more so in this industry than anywhere else. I’d also say this; you can make a difference at absolutely any level. In any capacity in the care sector, you are helping someone’s life change for the better. I don’t know what could be better than that.

Find out what Enable can do for you

If you or your loved one could benefit from the fantastic support provided by Agincare Enable, find out more by visiting our webpage.

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