I’ve been a nurse for 30 years and worked as a prison nurse for a time, which I really enjoyed. But before joining Care UK in March 2014 I was managing a large (158-bed) nursing and residential home.
Joining Care UK gave me the opportunity to commission a beautiful new Suffolk care home. Starting a home from scratch has had its opportunities and challenges, but it’s been a great experience to bring together people with different skillsets to create a team that will provide the best care to residents.
I love being with the residents at Cedrus House – they’re really enjoying their new home here and there’s a little moment of magic each day with them that makes the hard work worthwhile!
Away from work I enjoy cooking (I have more than 150 cookery books) and spending time with my dog Winston, a retired Prison Service drug detection dog.
I used to work as a sister in an admissions prevention service but much of my career has been in stroke units across the UK (I have a diploma in acute stroke management and rehabilitation). However, opportunities to be part of a new care home don’t come along that often, so when I heard that Cedrus House was opening, I really wanted to get involved.
I met Michelle, the home manager, who’s a northerner like me, and that sealed it for me!
My favourite parts of the day are at the beginning and the end of my shift. In the morning I’m fresh and ready for the challenges ahead, and at the end of the day I feel I’ve achieved what I set out to do. If I didn’t get everything done, then I just start a new list, ready for the following day!
I’m really excited about the future here at Cedrus House. We’ve a strong leadership team and a great journey ahead.
My background is in emergency care and I’ve worked as a staff nurse in a liver transplant unit as well as in a stroke unit. One of the biggest challenges of my career was delivering a premature baby in a moving ambulance without being able to speak the mother’s language!
The best part of the day is always interacting with residents, ensuring their needs are exceeded and making them smile. I’m also passionate about helping to develop my team’s potential so that they’re happy and our residents are too.
In any spare time I have, I enjoy foreign travel (I’ve lived and worked in the Middle East, Malta, South Africa and Arizona). I also collect classic and military vehicles, which has landed me some work as an extra in film and TV in the past.
I started working for Care UK in 2016, after working for some years as a children’s nanny. Initially it was a challenge adapting from working with young children to older people, but I love meeting and chatting to residents and planning fun and exciting things for them to do – it’s even more exciting to see the smiles on residents’ faces.
There’s a great team here who I love working with, and it’s been very satisfying that the residents have responded to me so positively. I’m really looking forward to developing my skills and experience here at Cedrus House.
I’ve worked in restaurants but spent some time working for an agency at another Care UK home. I really enjoyed it, so I applied for a permanent position with the organisation. I have also run my own business, and the same determination, drive and discipline that that demands come in handy at Cedrus House. There’s always a lot to do and we’ve many mouths to feed and different dietary needs to meet.
I must admit, that, after the antisocial hours of the restaurant trade, it makes a nice change to be home in the evenings! Working more sociable hours, I’m able to indulge my passions of red wine, West Ham and walking my dogs!
My background is in hotels, where I spent 16 years, the last five of which as a manager. But when I saw this role on Care UK’s website I thought it was the right time to use my skills in a different sector.
An important part of this role is listening – to residents and to my team – so we can provide the best service. We take the time to get to know residents to understand their likes and dislikes around how they would prefer their room to be cleaned and their laundry to be done. It’s important to residents that they’re in control of these things, particularly as they’re very personal, and it’s central to them feeling secure and cared for.
In my free time I love riding my motorbike, watching any form of motorsport as well as getting to Formula 1 races – and knitting for my grandchildren!
Much of my career has been spent in the financial services industry. I started working at Cedrus House in 2017. I brought my mum in for respite care and to visit the day centre. It was such a lovely place, and the people were so friendly that I thought ‘why not bring my mum to work, and work with people who make a difference in so many older people’s lives?’
This role still uses my analytical skills – in fact, I get to use a range of skills, as every task I do is different. No two days are the same, which is great, and I’m meeting new people and helping to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s amazing to see the difference in residents, even when they’ve been with us just a few days: they blossom.
I have been working in the care sector for 25 years, 13 of which have been with Suffolk County Council and Care UK.
I have gained an NVQ level 4 in Care Management and level 5 in The Institute of Leadership and Management. You also need to be kind, caring, approachable, and passionate, have good listening skills and a lot of empathy.
I love spending time with residents and their families and feel great satisfaction when I can achieve something for them, however big or small. I also love spending time with my care team who are professional, happy and confident in their work, which subsequently reflects on Cedrus House's residents.
When I’m not at the care home, I love to spend time with my family, all of whom live in Framlingham. I have four grandchildren and two dogs, so I am always very busy.