A training specialist has returned to a Northumberland homecare organisation as its in-house trainer to support its expansion plans.

Helping Hands Community Care, which provides social and specialist care to hundreds of people across Northumberland, has welcomed the return of Natalie Perera, 55, as regional training manager.

Natalie, who left Helping Hands early last year to join another care provider with branches around the UK, has returned at a time the Hexham-based organisation is expanding, having recently opened branches on Tyneside, Teesside and North Yorkshire.

During the last 12 months, Helping Hands has rebranded its specialist Cramlington-based division as Nupath Care, with new offices in Gateshead and Middlesbrough. It has also opened a new homecare operation based in Catterick trading as Nuliving.

Natalie said: “It’s really exciting to be coming back to an organisation that is ambitious and expanding geographically. I have only been away for a short time but the organisation has changed a lot and is keen to maintain and strengthen quality standards and procedures across all its branches.

“There is a real team spirit across the group. There is a genuine open-door policy where everyone is very transparent in everything they do. We’re all on the same page.”

Training support, she said, will be a blended approach with some online but a sizeable proportion done face-to-face in a classroom environment.

Before originally joining the organisation in 2018, Natalie worked in a range of job roles, including senior lead carer, a regional tutor/assessor for a health and social care provider and most recently, a training manager for a Newcastle care provider.

David Harrison, managing director of Helping Hands, said: “Natalie’s re-appointment reflects our ongoing commitment to driving continuous improvement to our organisation while providing the best possible care for the people who use our services. It’s great to welcome her back and to have such an experienced team member.”

Natalie, originally from London, now living in Blyth, also has experience in the education sector, having worked as a bi-lingual, SEN educator.

Helping Hands provides homecare services, supporting people living at home with dementia, while also offering specialist and complex care services.