We sat down with Josie Calcott, Pacific Coast Village Care Services Manager, to talk about her inspiring journey.
When Josie Calcott joined a running club after moving to Mount Maunganui in 2010, she never imagined she would be caring for some of the club’s members at Pacific Coast Village a decade later. “I made close friends and met many great people through the club, from young mums and bubs to retirees.”
After nursing at Tauranga Hospital for 8 years and through the pandemic, she came across the Care Services Manager role at Pacific Coast Village. Ready for a change, Josie joined the team at the Papamoa resort-style retirement village in November 2020. “Some of the walkers from the club live here at the village, which has been so lovely as I have such close connections with them,” she says.
Profoundly deaf in both ears since childhood, Josie got her first cochlear implant in 2012, then five years later a group of friends from the club spent a year fundraising for her second. “I have grown and gained so much confidence since I received my cochlear implants – before, I couldn’t even talk on the phone.”
The kindness and generosity Josie received inspired her to give back. She started organising fundraisers and became a running captain at the club. Over winter, she created a chilly swim challenge with four other mums, to raise counselling funds for grieving children. This consisted of an early morning run up the mount at least twice a week, followed by a cold plunge at Pilot Bay. At $2000 for 12 counselling sessions for a child, it’s a worthy cause. “I try to be a good role model and I always say if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it, whether it’s your brain or mobility. If an older person stops walking, they stiffen up and walk less, then they go backwards. Consistency is so important – once you’ve built up your fitness, keep going so you won’t have to start again.”
Josie starts each day with exercise, whether it’s running, cycling or a strength session. Her fun approach to health and wellness is reflected in her role caring for Pacific Coast Village residents. “I talk about my exercise with them, and they love hearing stories about our early morning dips in the sea. Josie’s role involves managing service apartments for residents, to provide everything from showering, mobility and bathroom assistance, to bed-making. The apartment residents have become like family, she says. “They are all very special and I have a soft spot for every single one of them in a different way, with their unique personalities. I love people and it’s in my nature to care. I just want them all to feel happy, loved, needed and wanted. I think my disability has made me easily empathise with others and I just want our residents to feel like they’re at home.”
Josie and her colleague Erika have planned a second event together for the staff of the village – a run or walk at the end of the day, followed by an ocean dip and a drink afterwards. “Hopefully this will become a regular thing,” Josie says.
“Taking time out away from work and family is great for friendships and staff relationships. And this all began with me pursuing a passion for running.”
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