At age 18, Savanna Henvey joined the team at Balhousie Stormont Lodge as a Carer. Fast forward five years and she’s helping manage the home.

Like so many teenagers, when Savanna Henvey left school she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. When she saw that her local care home in Blairgowrie was recruiting, she decided to apply for a job.

“At the time, I didn’t know if working as a carer was for me,” said Savanna. “But, very quickly I got really into it. I was like a duck to water and really loved the work.”

Within a year of joining Stormont Lodge, Savanna was a finalist for a carer award during Balhousie’s 25th birthday celebrations. “It was great to be recognised so quickly,” Savanna remembers. “It really confirmed to me that working in the care sector was something I was meant to do.”

Following her early successes, Savanna worked towards becoming a Senior Care Assistant which she achieved when she began doing night shifts at the Perthshire home. After working nights for a year, Savanna went back to working days as the nights were “too quiet for me”.

Then, in late 2019, Savanna had a baby boy. Nine months later, she was back and, not long after returning, the home advertised for a Deputy Manager. Savanna was instantly excited by the opportunity but nervous too. “I kept thinking about my age. I’m 23 – am I too young? It felt like such a great opportunity, so I just went for it and thought ‘what happens, happens’.”

After being convinced her nerves had got the better of her, Savanna was “shocked and excited” to get the job. Then, just a few days later, she was asked to step into the manager’s shoes temporarily while the Home Manager is on study leave.”

“It’s been a huge learning experience for me I just got on with it and I’ve loved every minute since. I love how supportive the company is. I’ve had a ton of opportunities since joining Balhousie that I’m extremely grateful for. It is like an extended family. It’s easy to forget we have all these sister homes but, particularly since becoming the Acting Manager, I can just pick up the phone and call another home manager if I need advice. They have all been so supportive of me.”

While building her experience, Savanna has constantly seized opportunities to learn. Since joining Balhousie, she has completed her SVQ2 in Health and Social Care and is currently completing her SVQ3. She is a Dementia Ambassador, First Aid Officer and resident foot care expert. Savanna has also completed nutrition training, pressure relief training and is already aiming to begin her SVQ4 in Leadership and Management.

Savanna hopes that her story and success so early in her career will inspire others who maybe have doubts because of their age. “People think that your age can limit you. I had those thoughts too, but didn’t let my age stop me. I hope what I’ve done can inspire other younger people to just go for opportunities and not let age be a barrier.”