I first came to work here in 2004, but was made manager in 2010. I’ve been involved in caring for older people for about 15 years now, working my way up from being a domestic to my current role as a care home manager. One of the biggest things I’ve learnt over the years is that a positive, friendly and welcoming atmosphere makes a real difference to the quality of residents’ lives.
I like to think of the residents and staff at Cheviot Court as one big family – it certainly feels that way to me. Seeing residents smiling and happy at the end of the day is such a huge reward for me. And I love to see how much support and encouragement residents get from their families too. We have a knitting club here, with residents making blankets to sell at our fete. The residents knit blanket squares, then a family member takes them home and sews them together. Another relative then adds pretty edging to the blankets – it’s a real family effort!
I enjoy lots of the simple things in life – spending time with my children, socialising with friends, watching a film at the cinema. When I can, I also like to relax and recharge my batteries by reading a good book. I think it’s really important that residents have choices about how they spend their time too, so we always try to base activities around people’s individual interests.
Knowing what a good team we have here at Cheviot Court is another thing which gives me so much satisfaction. Everyone works really hard and we aim to achieve the highest standards in all areas of the home’s life – not just the most visible areas but the ‘behind the scenes’ ones too. I’m very proud that our kitchen team has been awarded the highest possible ‘five star’ food hygiene rating by the Food Standards Agency.
I joined Cheviot Court in 2005; I’d been working in domiciliary care, caring for people in their own homes. I started at the home as a night carer, so I’m proud of the way I’ve worked my way up to be deputy manager.
I enjoy the fact that every day is different: there are always new challenges. The best part of my day is still seeing the smile on a resident’s face when they’ve enjoyed an activity or have shared a happy memory or story with you. Those are the important and memorable moments.
I’m a social person and I enjoy getting together with friends and family in my free time. I also have grandchildren who I love to spend time with and care for.
I’ve been a childminder and a dog groomer but when I fancied a new challenge, I applied to join Cheviot Court. I joined the team in 2013.
I’m outgoing and always prepared to try new activities and approaches. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but you don’t know until you try! I think it’s vital to have that attitude if you’re working in activities.
I feel very lucky to do this role. There aren’t many jobs where you can directly enhance a person’s life, but this is one of them. I love the friendships I have with residents and with my colleagues – we’re like one big family. There’s a strong team here and we support each other to do our best work for the people we care for.
I joined the Cheviot Court team in 2017. I’d been an Early Years Teacher and, while I still wanted to make a difference to people’s lives, I was ready for a fresh challenge.
I think a good Lifestyle Coordinator should take the time to get to know the people they’re caring for, as it’s the only way to ensure that activities are tailored to people’s needs and interests so that they’re meaningful. With over 70 residents at Cheviot Court, the team’s days can be very busy. However, we work together well and support each other, which makes a big difference.
There are so many special moments to choose from, that it’s hard to say which part of the day is my favourite! Just knowing that I’ve brightened a person’s day, and made them smile, is very fulfilling. I do enjoy leading relaxation sessions, but every day is different here, which is great.
I used to volunteer to help on trips and activities at Cheviot Court, and I enjoyed the experience so much that I applied to join the team. I’ve worked at South Shields Museum and Roman Fort working with visiting school groups and welcoming other visitors in the summer period, and I wanted to do something similar on a permanent basis. I also worked in the retail sector for nearly 20 years.
In this role it’s important to be fun and positive, patient and respectful, and be interested in people. I enjoy ‘tea at 3’ when we all sit down and chat with residents. You always end up finding out something new about a person who you thought you knew quite well.
I love the live music we host, the parties we have, and the amazing animals who visit us, but the very best aspect of this role is when a resident tells you that they think you’re lovely and what a difference you’ve made to them.
Before joining Cheviot Court in 2014, I’d been the head chef in a school. I moved from Durham to South Shields to take on this role.
Being Head Chef at Cheviot Court is very different to having that role in a school. Food is central to older people’s health and wellbeing – it can make all the difference – so ensuring that everyone is getting the nutrition they need in the right way is key.
I never get tired of chatting to residents and learning more about the places they’ve been and the things they’ve done. There are always new things to learn about people, no matter how much you think you know them. I like to find out what residents are enjoying on the menu, and what they’d like us to add. Ensuring that they’re enjoying the food we offer is another part of giving them the personalised care they deserve.
Away from work, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren and getting some fresh air and exercise walking my dog.
I’ve worked on the maintenance side of things for some time, and I worked in another home prior to joining the Cheviot Court team. When I saw this role advertised, and I read up about Care UK and the good reports and reviews the home had, I thought it sounded like just the place I wanted to work.
This role involves much more than maintenance. You need to be sociable and positive and prepared to turn your hand to anything. I really enjoy that element of it. I get a huge sense of achievement from decorating a communal space and making it look amazing, and seeing the residents and my colleagues appreciating the finished product.
I also get to take residents out if I’m running errands. People will come with me and we’ll have a good chat. I love listening to their stories.
The challenge of my role is working quickly, but always to 100% quality. This is our residents’ home and they deserve nothing less. In my opinion, Cheviot Court is a lovely home – inside and out.
I’ve been at Cheviot Court since it opened in 2004. I started as a domestic and then became housekeeper. I’d been a laundry assistant and supervisor in a nursing home before I moved here, so I was familiar with a care home environment, which was helpful.
I enjoy everything about my job: working with my great team and doing whatever I can for residents. There’s a strong family atmosphere here and you get very attached to the residents – you learn how they like things to be done. Our team has the chance to make all the difference to residents: having a chat or encouraging them to keep independent by putting laundry away or wiping a windowsill down with a duster. They’re little things but vital for helping a person to continue to lead a normal life.
I’d worked in other care homes before joining the Cheviot Court team in 2019. I’d heard lots of good things about Care UK, and this home has a very good reputation in the local area, so I wanted to be a part of the success story.
There’s a lovely community atmosphere at Cheviot Court and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from interacting with residents and their families, as well as colleagues, and helping in any way I can. I love learning about residents, and meeting new people and helping them to settle in. I think it’s important to be level-headed and organised in this role, and to keep calm under pressure.
Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit and taking part in various running events to raise money for charity. I also like listening to music and spending time with my young grandson.
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Wed-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm,