Our team at
Bickerton House

Trusted to care in Bracknell, Berkshire

Scroll

Meet our friendly care team

There's a fantastic family atmosphere at Bickerton House that everyone comments on. That's because our wonderful colleagues treat residents like they would members of their own family. Our team members are from a wide range of backgrounds, but we share a passion for great care, a belief that life is for living, and we love to laugh.

Erika Smith

Home Manager

Erika Smith

I qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse in 1994 and I have 25 years of nursing experience.

I decided to work at Care UK because I was very drawn to its ethos of ‘Fulfilling lives. I visited different Care UK homes before I started working for the organisation, and you could really see and feel this philosophy. I got a genuine sense of the quality of care that Care UK delivers.

I enjoy any chance I get to spend time one-to-one with a resident, learning about their life and some new detail. It's a great way of developing their trust in you and it ensures that were delivering person-centred care that is tailored to their interests and needs. 

I started as home manager at Bickerton House in February 2019. Theres plenty to look forward to in this role, from recruiting a great team, to creating a homely, stimulating and happy home environment for residents. I can't wait to welcome new residents to the home and the next chapter of their life.

Emma Wilson
Deputy Manager

I’ve been working in health and social care for over 20 years.

I have worked in a hospital on acute medical wards. I’ve also managed care services, including supported living services, but I was keen to work in a care home again. I started my career working in older people’s care and I felt the time was right to return. I was also keen to work for Care UK as it has a great reputation.

I love the ‘whole home approach’ that we have at Bickerton House. Everyone works hard to ensure that residents have everything they need. We always go the extra mile for the wonderful people we care for.

The best time of the day is whenever I get the chance to chat to the residents. That might be having a cup of tea with them in the café, or sitting with them at lunchtime and finding out what they’ve been doing. If everyone’s happy and enjoying themselves, we know we’re doing things right. 

Jo Anderson-Woodley
Customer Relations Manager

I worked in events and hospitality for ten years before becoming a domiciliary care worker.

I loved the Care UK ethos of ‘fulfilling lives’ as I think older people are such a treasured part of the community, so I was keen to join the organisation. As a CRM I can use my care and people skills to make a difference to families looking for quality care. It’s a great feeling working in a market leading company as there are plenty of opportunities to stretch yourself and learn new skills and processes.

I enjoy interacting with residents and seeing them enjoying the activities, making new friends and forming new memories. This is a great role for working with colleagues across different teams in the home, and for meeting new people. I’m looking forward to helping residents to feel at home, to building strong community links, and to supporting relatives. 

Robert Whitehead
Head Chef

I joined the Bickerton House team in 2019 – keen to work in a new sort of catering environment that offered some fresh challenges.

I was a senior sous chef before, and I’ve worked for Heston Blumenthal at the Hinds Head in Bray.

In this role it’s important to be receptive to residents’ needs, and to respond quickly to feedback and make any changes to a person’s diet in liaison with the nursing team. Much like in a leading hotel or restaurant, presentation is everything at Bickerton House, and one of the best parts of the day is setting up the café in the morning. There’s a great selection of delicious food on display, ready for residents and their visitors to enjoy.

I’m enjoying getting to know the residents, their families and my colleagues, and making sure that my team and I are always serving up delicious and nutritious dishes that residents love.

Michelle Hawkins
Lifestyle Coordinator

I joined the Bickerton House team in 2022.

I liked the way that Care UK puts a strong importance of residents’ lifestyles, and supporting them to enjoy a fulfilling life. I’ve worked in care homes before, both as a Carer and as a Lifestyle Coordinator, so I’m experienced in working with residents who are living with dementia or who have nursing needs.

The best part of any day at Bickerton House is seeing residents smiling and laughing and generally feeling good about themselves. Supporting them to feel at home, build new friendships and discover new interests is a huge privilege. 

In this role you have to be prepared to do anything. On Winnie the Pooh Day, I dressed up as the famous bear for games and room visits and had the best time. 

There’s so much to do, and to look forward to in this role, including helping to make residents’ wishes come true, developing our community connections, introducing even more music to the home, and implementing more Namaste care sessions. It’s all go!

Wendy Robey
Lifestyle Coordinator

I joined Care UK in March 2020 having previously worked in retail as a Team Leader.

To do well in this role, I believe you need to have a caring nature, enjoy crafts, and have lots of ideas for planning events. My favourite part of my job is interacting with the residents. I especially enjoyed planning our activities at Christmas which included festive arts and crafts and a sing along at our New Year’s Eve party.

Outside of work I enjoy arts and crafts, cake making, gardening, and spending time with my family.

Katie Spiers
Lifestyle Coordinator

I joined the Bickerton House team as a member of the Housekeeping team, but I asked if I could be more involved in the activities side of things.

I quickly proved myself to be creative and innovative, which are ideal qualities for this role, so I soon moved to the team on a permanent basis.

I love our group activities where lots of the residents take part. It’s wonderful to see their smiles and see them trying new things or rediscovering past hobbies. I always aim to make each person feel special and have a great experience, whether it’s organising something special for a person’s birthday or even organising a Christmas ‘Zoom’ party during the pandemic.

I’ve trained as a Namaste Care Practitioner with Care UK so I can deliver meaningful sensory experiences to residents living with advanced dementia. In this role, like any care role, it’s all about focusing on what’s possible, and thinking ‘outside the box’, rather than focusing on obstacles or barriers.

Outside of work, I enjoy going away for the weekend with my husband, two boys and dog in our caravan. I’m looking forward to doing that again when normality resumes!

Noelia Villafaňe Alvarez
Business Administrator

I joined the Bickerton House team in 2019, having worked for another care provider as the Business Manager of a Wokingham care home.

I was keen to move my career to Care UK because it’s a good company, known for taking care of residents and colleagues.

It’s very exciting to be part of a new team, getting to know the residents and the systems used by Care UK. There’s a lot to do. I’ve run my own business tutoring people in Spanish, so I like a challenge!

It’s important to be customer focused, organised, patient and methodical in this role. I get a buzz out of organising and completing tasks, and supporting residents and my colleagues in any way I can. I look forward to seeing you at Bickerton House!

Michele Whittaker
Head Housekeeper

I spent 25 years working in catering in Kitchen Assistant and then Hospitality Manager roles before moving to Bickerton House as Head Housekeeper in 2019.

It was time for a change and a new challenge. There’s been a lot to get to grips with – tackling computer systems – but I’ve got there in the end!

I enjoy being busy, and there’s always plenty going on at Bickerton House. I enjoy chatting to residents and the families and getting to know their preferences and what’s important to them, and I’m looking forward to getting to know new residents as they join us.

This is residents’ home, so we strive to ensure everything is as they would want it. Being friendly, patient and polite is all-important in helping people to settle and forming a bond with them. Having a good eye for detail is key too, because it’s the details that matter.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy walking my dogs, and I like to read and cook, particularly trying out new recipes.

Tony Rupainis
Maintenance

I first joined the team at Bickerton House in May 2021 having previously worked as a Senior Carer and Team Leader for six years.

I have a Master’s degree in Building Surveying (Level 7) and an NVQ in Adult and Children Social Care.

To do well in this role you need to be organised, have good etiquette and social skills, a good understanding of health and safety, construction, and maintenance. I like working with the admin team and meeting various new people. I also enjoy learning new things everyday, and I hope to continue to develop my skills in building and facility management.

When I’m not working, I enjoy reading self-development and psychological books, metaverse and various forms of gaming.

Our experienced teams

Every day Care UK colleagues live our values of passionate, caring and teamwork to empower residents to enjoy fulfilling lives.

Carers

Our hardworking teams always keep individuals and their families at the heart of the care they provide. We work with you to shape the care your loved one receives, the food they’re served, the activities and experiences they want to do – even the ways they prefer to keep in touch with their friends and family. 

Nurses

The nurses at Care UK are highly skilled and receive sector-leading training, which enables them to keep developing expertise in different clinical fields from dementia to palliative care.

Lifestyle

Our dedicated lifestyle teams work hard to organise a range of activities and events at our home. From gardening and baking to quizzes, music sessions and even live entertainment. Above all, we get to know your loved one to make sure our activities are tailored to suit their interests and hobbies.

Home support roles

From catering to maintenance, housekeeping to administration, our home support teams play a crucial part in ensuring individuals enjoy an exceptional and safe service every day.

All our teams get to know each person they care for to ensure they provide a service that’s designed around their unique needs and tastes. 

Infection control

Each of our homes have a trained Infection Control and Prevention Champion – they are responsible for carrying out daily infection control audit and ensuring cleaning protocols are meticulously applied.