Dave’s Story: From Residential Child Care Worker to Area Manager

Dave Hitchen, Area Manager, has an amazing story of development within our family. We strive to support our talented people to grow and progress within their roles, and this is just one example of the many inspiring career journeys possible at Pebbles.

Dave Hitchen at Pebbles Care

Before joining our team, Dave was doing something quite different. He worked as a gym instructor and lifeguard in a leisure centre. This job gave him the opportunity to work with many young people and children, which he thoroughly enjoyed, sparking his interest in pursuing a more meaningful career. He explored options and discovered the residential child care sector, deciding to become a Residential Child Care Worker in 2008. 

Beginning a career at Pebbles Care

After about a year and a half of working in residential child care, Dave’s journey with Pebbles began. He started as a Residential Child Care Worker and demonstrated skills and commitment, so he was supported to progress to the role of Deputy Manager. 

Dave shone in this role, and his line manager encouraged him to interview for the position of Registered Manager at Prospect Place, which he was happily accepted for. 

This was an already operational home that had just been purchased from another child care company, and Dave worked hard to ensure that the operations and culture of Prospect Place were aligned with our high standards and expectations. 

While Dave said that he found this a slightly challenging task at first, he believes that he gained valuable skills and experience during this process, and it was worth the effort. Dave went on to successfully manage Prospect Place for five years. 

Dave Hitchin Three Peaks Challenge
Dave during the Three Peaks Challenge he organised at Pebbles to raise money for The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity

Afterwards, he felt that he was ready for a new challenge, and put himself forward for a new Area Manager position that had become available. He was welcomed into this position in 2019, which he has worked and developed in ever since. 

In every role I have had with Pebbles, I have been really supported to develop within the role itself as well as when progressing on to new opportunities.

Dave Hitchen

Dave’s favourite aspect of being an Area Manager at Pebbles is that he gets to witness the deep connections his team members create with their young people and the positive impact they make on their lives. He also enjoys visiting the different homes and building meaningful relationships with the wider team. Recently, Dave has started to deliver the Therapeutic Parenting training too, and he finds it extremely rewarding to empower colleagues to develop in their roles. 

Development of the company

As Dave has been with Pebbles for over a decade, he has experienced many changes in the company, and he believes that Pebbles has progressed massively since he began.  

A period in which the company has shown a great amount of progress is since the restructure in 2019. Dave shared that he has witnessed development in all departments and that the investment in an in-house psychology team and the Therapeutic Parenting model has made a big difference in how we support the young people in our care. 

Dave believes that Pebbles is currently run by people who have the young people’s best interests at heart, and he’s proud to be part of the company.  

Recommended Employer

Dave reccommends Pebbles to anyone willing to begin a meaningful and long-lasting career in residential child care.

I would recommend working with Pebbles as you are provided with all of the necessary training, official qualifications and support needed to progress with a career in residential child care. Everyone in the company is striving towards embedding the same core values and this means that they want the best for our young people and employees. Colleagues and managers support you to develop, whether that’s within your role or onto other opportunities.

Dave Hitchen

Join our family

If Dave’s story has inspired you to begin a career journey with us, we would love to hear from you.