I qualified as a registered general nurse in 1988 and was a home manager at Care UK’s Beech Hurst care home for three years until January 2015. I rejoined Care UK in January 2018 as home manager at Darlington Court: Care UK is always aiming to improve the lives of residents in its homes, and it supports its teams to be better and do better.
Being a home manager is a bit like being an orchestra conductor. You need to lead and support your team, trusting them to work together. There’s a lot happening at the same time, and when it works well, it’s amazing. I’m passionate about quality in care, so seeing success fuels me and drives me on further.
I used to work in corporate sales and marketing, however, when I took a year off to care for an older relative, the experience put me onto a new path. I decided to bring my skills and experience to Care UK so that I could help families at a time when they really need help and support.
One of the biggest challenges for me in making a career change was educating myself about dementia. There’s so much to understand about it and the different forms it takes, and how to help people to live well with dementia. I’ve loved it though – I’d say making the move to care has been the highlight of my career – and I really enjoy any chance I have to chat to the residents and learn more about them.
A large part of my role is showing families around the home, and it’s got to be my favourite part of what I do. Darlington Court is a very cosy and comfortable home, with a very friendly family atmosphere and we’re all very proud of it.
I joined the Darlington Court team in 2008 at the age of 18. The team supported me to complete my NVQ level 3, which led to me being promoted to Team Leader. Later I became Unit Manager on the residential unit. In the years that I’ve been here I have been encouraged to achieve things I never thought I’d do, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.
I think it’s important to be open to new ideas in this role and to think outside of the box. I enjoy getting to know each resident. I aim to see the person first and not their condition. I also enjoy getting the best out of my team.
Meal times are my favourite time of the day when I can chat to the residents and learn more about them. I also enjoy the musical activities. One of the highlights of my time here has been becoming the home’s Dementia Champion and influencing how the team works for the better. We’re a supportive home and team and we look out for each other.
I love the fact that every day is different in this role. Although I’m an experienced activity co-ordinator and events planner – I used to work for a charity – I still enjoy the challenges my role brings, including needing to have a ‘plan b’ and to think on your feet if residents fancy doing something different to what’s planned.
I really enjoy spending one-to-one time with residents. They love reminiscing and that’s when you can really get to know them and the things they’ve done in their lives. We have some big projects to arrange and it’s rewarding to see these through and to look back and think “I did that”.
I began work as activities coordinator at Darlington Court in 2012 having always wanted to work for a large company. I believe that to be a successful activities coordinator you need to be a positive, honest and happy person and be able to put yourself in the shoes of the residents.
Working with a great team and all the wonderful residents at Darlington Court is my favourite part of the job.
In my spare time I enjoy socialising and spending time with my family.
I joined Darlington Court in 2019 – after visiting the home I knew that the friendly atmosphere was perfect for me. There’s a very strong family feel here which visitors always comment on.
Before joining the home I was a Rehab Assistant for Community Responsive Services but I wanted to work with older people. Here at Darlington Court, I love meeting and greeting all the family members and getting to know the residents – I think it’s important to have a friendly and listening approach in this role.
When I’m not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, including beach days with my son.
I’ve had a varied career, including working in a leading insurance company and as a weight loss consultant. I joined the team to cover a colleague’s maternity leave but became a permanent member of the team within ten months.
I think it’s important to be approachable and personable in this role. You also need to understand colleagues, residents and their loved ones. It helps if you have eight arms to be able to get everything done that needs doing in a day!
I love how every day is different in this role, and I love every aspect of this job. Darlington Court feels more like a family than a care home.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, going to the theatre and the ballet, enjoying holidays and eating out.
I’m an experienced Maintenance Manager and have worked in other care homes and for other care providers. I’m of the opinion that I’ve worked for the rest and now I’m at the best. There’s no other care home like Darlington Court.
It’s important to be flexible, organised, proactive and attention-focused in this job. It’s also key to have a sense of humour and to be a team player. I believe that we are all here to do a job but, ultimately, we are making sure residents are happy in their home.
The best thing about each day is knowing that I have completed all the tasks that I have set myself as well as supporting residents and colleagues, making their life a little easier. I do enjoy making a difference to residents and bringing a smile to their faces.
In my free time I enjoy watching football, cycling, relaxing with the family and trying to get into shape.
The Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) Champion’s role is to establish and maintain a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness so that residents and colleagues in the home are kept safe. They ensure that all colleagues are well trained in infection control and are on hand to ensure the team are working to the highest standards.
Care enquiry lines open Mon-Tue 8:30am-8:00pm,
Wed-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm,