Tracy Mitchell, home manager
I’ve been involved in caring for older people since 1992 and before coming to Abney Court, I managed another Care UK home where we reached the finals of several care awards and won a few too. I have worked for Care UK since 2003. Everything I do is based on my belief that providing good care means treating people as you would treat your own parents or grandparents.
One of the things I love about my job is that when I go home in the evening, I know I’ve made a positive difference to residents’ lives. Being able to put a smile on someone’s face is a great feeling.
If I was asked to describe myself, I’d say I’m approachable, loyal and always laughing – people tell me I have a wicked sense of humour! I love socialising with friends, especially going out for dinner or to the theatre or a concert. I’m a huge Liverpool FC fan, so in my free time you’ll often find me watching a football match.
Deborah Bolton, deputy home manager
I’m an experienced deputy manager – I used to work for another care provider caring for people living with dementia and complex health issues. Working here at Abney Court I’m enjoying gaining more experience of supporting residents who are receiving residential care.
I enjoy going on to the home’s different suites to speak to residents and relatives and to find out how I can help the team. There’s a terrific team here – everyone is very supportive of residents and each other – and I’m looking forward to helping the home to reach even greater levels of success.
Pam Wilson, customer relations manager
I worked in consumer goods as well as the travel industry before joining Care UK. I was attracted to working here because the company prides itself on its people, services and forward thinking approach, as well as its ethics.
I’m new to the care sector, so I’m still learning all the terminology. I’ve thrown myself into things though: before coming to Abney Court I had no understanding of dementia, but I made it my duty to learn, and I’ve got really involved in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends campaign. I’ve become a Dementia Friend and a Dementia Champion.
In the short time I’ve been here I’ve met some lovely people from all walks of life, and I love the fact that we can offer them an amazing home in wonderful surroundings, where they’ll be cared for and will feel safe and secure.
Rachel Slinger, lifestyle lead
Since leaving training college, where I studied a social care course, I began working with adults with learning disabilities. I have been a team leader and I later worked as an independent living support worker. I decided to join Care UK, as I have been working independently for a while and I wanted a change; a chance to work as part of a larger team and have the support of an established organisation.
As lifestyle lead, you need to have good organisational skills and a good sense of humour. Activities often evolve and go in a direction you didn’t anticipate, but is all the better for it, so it is important to be adaptable.
Steve Dale, head chef
I joined Abney Court in February 2017, and before I came here I was the head chef of a catering company, working in five star venues across the UK. I’ve cooked for HM the Queen and even ran the main hospitality kitchen at the London 2012 Olympic Games, catering for over 6,000 people, including heads of state and VIPs, over six weeks.
I wanted a change of sector as I was keen to establish a work/life balance. Care UK is very family-friendly: I like the ethos of the company and the positive impact the team has on residents’ lives.
I’m enjoying the fact that every day brings a new challenge at Abney Court, and I’m relishing making each resident’s dining experience individual – helping them to feel like a VIP.
Jude Lumb, unit manager - residential dementia
My favourite part of the day is whenever I get to connect with a resident or a family member in a personal way, making a difference to that person in that moment in a genuine way.
I’m really looking forward to meeting new people and forming great relationships with them and getting to know new residents and their families. As well as providing the very best care and support, it’s also important that we do our best to bridge the gap between a new resident’s own home environment and Abney Court. That can really make the difference to them settling in well here.
Patricia Sherwood, unit manager
I knew that Abney Court was the place for me when the first two people I met here were very bubbly and fun. I have the same sort of personality so I knew I’d fit in!
My role involves doing assessments of potential new residents, so I’m meeting new people and being an ambassador for Abney Court all the time. I pride myself on understanding my colleagues’ roles within the home so that I can give them the support they need to do their jobs well.
I love being part of the team that’s helping residents to lead a fulfilling life full of activities and fun – that’s ultimately what we’re all about – making a difference to their lives. And I try to make time to sit and chat to residents whenever I can.
Chris Kelly, head of maintenance
I spent 27 years in the building trade and wanted a new challenge in life, without straying too far from my life-long love of working with my hands – that’s what brought me here. But I’m really pleased that I decided to make the move to Abney Court: the team that our manager, Tracy, has put together is amazing. I’ve never worked alongside such a happy and close-knit group of people. We’ve all become very close in a very short amount of time.
I really like meeting and greeting residents and colleagues first thing in the morning. I’d say that that’s my favourite part of the day really. You need to wear a smile if you’re working with residents – this is their home.
Deborah Gebel, business administrator
I joined Care UK and Abney Court in 2016 – I’d initially seen the home’s website and was surprised at how fantastic it looked. I knew I’d be happy working here and I am – I work with some lovely people.
Before I joined the Abney Court team I spent four years working in another care home company, first as an administrator, then as PA in the operations team. It was there that I got a good understanding of how a care home operates and where I developed a passion for working in care – it’s hugely rewarding.
Much of my spare time is taken up with family genealogy. Over the last twenty years I’ve gone back hundreds of years in my family tree. I can prove that I’m related to King Edward I (but probably a lot of people can!). I’m also related to the Davenports of Bramall Hall, and, through them, to an American ex-president. And that’s all on my mother’s side. I’m tackling my dad’s side next!