I was delighted to join Care UK in 2014 because they have a great reputation in the care sector for being both a supportive and forward-thinking care provider. I qualified as a registered nurse in 1980 and went on to work at a general hospital for 21 years, before moving on to manage care homes. I’m also a level 7 Chartered Manager (CMI) and a qualified mediator.
To be an effective care home manager and leader it’s important to have a broad mind and equally broad shoulders. A positive can-do approach to care, excellent communications skills, extensive knowledge and a good understanding of person-centred care are also important qualities to possess. When I’m not working I enjoy spending time with my three children and two grandchildren. I’m also kept busy caring for my three horses and my very loyal dog Snoopy.
I am passionate about people and making a difference to people’s lives. I wanted to work for Care UK (I joined in May 2014) because I was keen to work with families and the elderly, and I wanted to help people through the process of choosing the right care home for their loved one. The environment I work in is lovely and the work itself is extremely rewarding – I’m very proud of Bowes House and what we do here.
In a previous role I worked with the long term unemployed, helping them to get back into employment, but I actually use many of the same skills now, including empathy, listening and relationship-building skills. Away from work, I love socialising, eating out and travelling to warm countries!
I joined Care UK in 2017 because the companies reputation is good and Bowes House is a very attractive environment for the residents and the staff alike. I qualified as a Registered Mental Nurse in 1988 and worked as a psychiatric nurse in both the NHS and the private sector. Eventually I became a senior manager who commissioned care services within hospital settings before moving onto the care/nursing home environments.
I feel privileged to work with the residents within the Home, after all these are the people who have shaped the world the way it is today.
I’m an experienced activities professional: before joining Care UK I worked as an activity coordinator for 15 years in a home for disabled adults. It was a big change moving to working with older people, but I already understood the importance of understanding every person as an individual and tailoring activities to their needs and interests so no one felt left out.
I really enjoy listening to residents’ life stories and experiences. I love taking them out on trips, giving them a bit of historical background and making them laugh. Closer to home, I enjoy the challenge of adding new things into the activity programme. We recently introduced pottery painting, which has been popular. When I know that each resident’s day has been fulfilled, I’m happy.
Before working for Care UK I was the head chef in a four star hotel in Eastbourne, but I was keen to move my career in a different direction and explore new horizons, so I joined the home in September 2015.
I soon discovered the huge amount of job satisfaction that comes with this role. Seeing residents enjoying their meals and smiling when they’ve had a good experience is the best part of what I do.
I’ve got pretty high standards: it’s vital in my job and in this sector in particular. I talk to residents a lot about what they think of the food we prepare for them and what they’d like more of. It’s important to listen and learn from them and make appropriate changes.
I joined Bowes House when it was brand new, back in 2013 – I was in the first phase of new recruits who joined before the home opened. It was an exciting opportunity and it enabled me to progress and use my skills to their full potential.
I’ve worked as a care assistant in other care homes, and as a healthcare assistant in a hospital surgical ward. I thoroughly enjoy working in care: there’s always lots to learn and always room to develop. Every day is different.
I enjoy every aspect of what I do. I do daily welfare checks of all the residents in the Aylesham suite, which I manage. It enables me to interact socially with them, to hear about their day and to listen to their stories. Bowes House is such a friendly place to work.
I really enjoy the variety that my role brings: no two days are ever the same. I used to be a carer myself and I’m still as committed to residents’ care today as head housekeeper.
I have a team of eight and I encourage each of them to take ownership of their area so that residents, relatives and colleagues can get to know them and develop a bond with them. I like to pick up tips from documentaries about five star hotels – there are always things we can do here to improve residents’ day to day lives.