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Francis Court care home in Copthorne, West Sussex

Care UK

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Mary Ann Ballesteros

Home manager

I graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing in the Philippines in 1993, and went on to study a leadership and management course at Gloucestershire University and a leading change in dementia care course at the University of Surrey. I also hold a sign off mentor certificate which I obtained at Kingston University.

After my training I started to work as a registered general nurse both in hospitals and nursing homes. I have also worked as a deputy manager and a general manager with private and charitable organisations, before joining the team at Francis Court in January 2016. I decided I wanted to work for Care UK as they are one of the leading health and social care providers in the UK and I feel that I share the same values of that of the organisation.

I believe to be an effective home manager you have to possess a positive attitude towards the residents and their relatives. Good organisational and problem solving skills, and an ability to establish good relationships are also essential. You need to be supportive with staff and be able to develop them to grow within the company. I will be leading the team in a clear and transparent way and listening to suggestions and opinions from them. I will embrace change and continue to look at various means and ways to improve the quality of life of the residents and at the same time the working conditions of the care team. You must also be able to work with people coming from different backgrounds and able to cope with demanding and stressful situations. 

My favourite part of the working day is when I see my team and the residents engaging and communicating with one another. I look forward to seeing the residents receiving a high standard of care delivered by my highly skilled care team. 

Outside of work my hobbies include watching films and looking after my grandson.

Val Stiller

Lifestyle coordinator

I’ve worked in the care sector for over 30 years and I used to run a day centre for people who were living with dementia. I fancied a new challenge, and here I am. Every day is different here, which is what I like, and there’s always the challenge of coming up with new activities for residents that will be stimulating and appeal to the different needs and capabilities of the people we care for.

Outside of work I’m a keen swimmer – I swim around three miles per week, and go to Zumba classes and the gym. I’m a bit believer in keeping fit and active at all stages of life.

Jo York


I’ve been with Care UK since 2013.  I began working at Francis Court as the afternoon Activity Coordinator and transferred to the position of Full Time Receptionist in June 2015.  I enjoy my new role immensely, meeting new people and getting to know our residents and their families.

No two days are the same and I make time every day to visit our lovely residents.  The best times for me, however, are those that I am able to spend singing with the residents; their enthusiastic response and smiles are so heart-warming. You know you’re doing something right when you’re making people smile.

Chris Smith

Maintenance manager

I joined Care UK having run my own plastering business. I generally start early so I can get a lot done before I’m in the residents’ way! I really enjoy helping residents to make their rooms homely by putting up pictures and doing whatever they ask so that their rooms look nice. I even love doing DIY jobs at home – I get bored if I’m sitting down for very long!

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