An Edinburgh woman with a passion for baking has secured a catering position with one of the city’s finest care homes.

Rachel Murray, 21, who has Down’s syndrome, has landed her first paid role as a Food Service Assistant at Cramond Residence, after demonstrating her hard work and talent in a variety of volunteer roles in cafés at the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Now fully settled into the job, Rachel plays an integral part in the day to day running of the care home – supporting the home’s four chefs creating bespoke dishes, doing the daily tea and coffee run, taking breakfast orders and baking sweet treats for residents.

Rachel said: “In my role I get to do so many different things like deliver breakfasts, bake cakes, help with food prep and make cheeseboards and platters for the residents.

“My favourite thing is definitely the baking. I love to make lemon drizzle cake, cheese scones and apple crumble.

“Since starting in June 2021, I’ve learned a lot of new skills thanks to the team who have been showing me the ropes. It’s a really friendly environment and my colleagues are great.”

Rachel has now passed her level two food hygiene, is going through her basic level dementia training and has learned a variety of kitchen skills under the watchful eye of head chef, Patsy.

Outside of work, Rachel loves drama, socialising with her family and friends at the weekends and watching football. Rachel is also a first aider for a church football team – managed by her Dad, Brian Murray – and helps with physio and first aid.

The team at Cramond Residence were so impressed by Rachel’s application they created a tailored Food Services Assistant role for her.

Christian Daraio, Client Liaison Manager at Cramond Residence said: “Rachel is a total asset to the Cramond Residence team. Her positive attitude really brightens everyone’s day.

“I know Head Chef Patsy in particular is very appreciative of her and she’s a great help to the rest of our food service assistants too.

“Because of her past experience volunteering at Sick Kids and Broomhouse café, Rachel is versatile and can work in the kitchen or on the floors, taking orders and doing the tea and coffee runs.

“As we look to grow our staff base further for 2022, we’re hoping to give more people in a similar position the chance to progress in their career and learn some new skills.”

Speaking about Rachel’s success in landing the role at Cramond Residence, Eddie McConnell, Chief Executive of Down’s Syndrome Scotland said: “We are not at all surprised that Rachel has secured this opportunity.  She is a great role model for our community and like so many people with Down’s syndrome, she has so much to contribute and has a great set of skills.  We are delighted for her and we commend Cramond Residence for its foresight in seeing the potential of everyone who just happens to have an extra chromosome.”

Following record occupancy rates and growing demand, Cramond Residence is set to hire additional members of staff to take its team to more than 100 in response in the coming months.

The home is currently looking for applications from care assistants & registered nurses.

Located in Cramond, to the north of the city, Cramond Residence was launched in late 2018 and offers uncompromising nurse-led care, as well as respite and dementia specialist services and offers small group living in nine luxuriously appointed homes.

Included in the home’s current offering for residents is a tailored monthly activity programme, curated by its dedicated lifestyle team, bespoke physiotherapy sessions by boutique physiotherapy experts, Balanced as well as specialist dementia care.

To find out more, call 0131 341 4037 or visit https://cramondresidence.co.uk/

Rachel Murray