Our team at
Cheviot Court

Trusted to care in South Shields, Tyne & Wear

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Meet our friendly care team

Our team is very professional, but we’re fun too. We’re also single-minded in our determination to make each day the best for your loved one. We love making a difference to people’s lives and we know that it’s easier to do that when we work together. We love the time we spend with the people we care for.

Louise Damms

Home Manager

Louise Damms

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.

Barbara Scott
Deputy Manager

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. 

Erica Hutchinson
Lifestyle Lead

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. 

Sarah Devine
Lifestyle Coordinator

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.

Paula V.A. Evans
Lifestyle Coordinator

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.  

Linda Harkus
Senior Carer

I’ve worked at Cheviot Court for many years, I actually started here when I was 17, and I was initially a domestic.

I then moved into care and have worked my way up. There’s a very warm and welcoming atmosphere at the home. It’s like a home from home, not just for the residents but for colleagues too!

I enjoy caring for older people and I’ve enjoyed developing my knowledge, skills and confidence with the support of the great team here at the home. There’s always something new to learn, and I’m proud to have got to the level of Senior Carer.

The best part of my role is spending time with the residents. I’ve got to know them all very well having worked here for so long. They’re fantastic people and they appreciate what we do for them, which makes everything worth it.

Michelle Rutter
Senior Carer and Infection Prevention and Control Lead

I moved from retail to the care sector in 2017.

It was quite a career change, but I’m so pleased I did. Here at Cheviot Court I’ve been able to make a difference to so many residents’ lives, keeping them safe and supporting them to enjoy a fulfilling life in a warm and caring home. There are lots of rewarding aspects to my role, but I think the part I enjoy the most is seeing the residents happy and enjoying each day.

Care UK has enabled me to develop my skills and do care qualifications and it was a huge highlight for me to progress to become a permanent Senior Carer. My role also includes being the Infection Prevention and Control Lead (IPC). There’s an IPC in every Care UK care home, which focuses on stringent hygiene and cleanliness.

During my time off, I like to unwind by doing some shopping, spending time with my family and walking my dogs.

Lisa Sanderson
Business Administrator

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.

Dawn Peterkin
Housekeeper

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. 

Kris Davies
Maintenance

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.

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.