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Claire Clarke

Claire combines life as a busy single mum of three with her full-time role as Head of Service for Sanctuary Supported Living’s North region.


Claire began her career with Sanctuary Supported Living as a Local Service Manager before being promoted to Area Service Management and Deputy Head of Service then on to her current role.

Day-to-day she is responsible for the operational and service delivery of Sanctuary’s supported living and retirement living services in the North region. Working with her team, she is responsible for making sure that services achieve excellence in everything they do. Here, Claire tells us about her career path to celebrate International Women’s Day.

I joined the health and social care sector 22 years ago at the age of 17, at the time not really knowing the path that I wanted to take in my career. If I am honest, I was never driven by bigger job titles or 'making a name' for myself, my drive was always to give the people I supported more opportunities, independence and a happy life. This has always fulfilled my working life.

Over the years, I have worked with people who have inspired me and demonstrated great leadership, equally I have also experienced poor leadership and organisational culture. I have used these experiences and lessons to shape my own leadership over the years, always staying true to my own values base.

I don't believe that we can progress our own career in isolation, we need great teams around us and we need to listen to all perspectives to be at our best. Developing wide social networks and being involved in a range of activities and projects, even if they aren't within our usual remit, gives opportunity to continually develop and push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone. ​

As a single mother of three, it isn't always easy to get a perfect work-life balance and sometimes I need to ask for help, but I realise now that this isn't a weakness and no one can be perfect. I always aim to bring my unique self to work and understand that I have valid ideas and perspectives, just as any other colleague. So my advice would be, bring your whole self to work, learn from your own and others successes and mistakes, find your passion by being involved with new projects and wider teams and don't be afraid to ask for help when needed.

For more information about building your career with Sanctuary Supported Living and the variety of roles we offer, see our careers page. 

You can also download Claires's staff story (PDF 75KB).

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