I’ve spent three decades working in the care sector – most of those as a home manager. I joined Care UK because it’s one of the leading companies in this country for care and it has a passionate and forward-thinking approach to care.
My favourite part of the day is any chance I have to spend time with residents and their families. It’s a privilege to care for older people, to learn about each person’s life history and wishes and to enable them to feel safe, loved and to give them a sense of self-worth.
I recently lost my own dad to mixed dementia and Parkinson’s, so I understand what many relatives are experiencing. I treasure the time I have with my family, and it’s wonderful to enable residents to spend quality time with their loved ones.
Opening a new-build care home is challenging but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to create a care home that offers five-star facilities and five-star care. I’m very excited about developing and supporting the Harrier Lodge team to do their best work and to support residents to live a fulfilled, purposeful life.
I’m an experienced registered general nurse (I qualified in 1998). I joined Care UK in 2014. Prior to that I’d worked in the NHS for 15 years on a very busy medical admissions unit. It was there that I gained a huge amount of useful experience of working with older people. I hadn’t worked in a care home before I joined Care UK. I started part-time, and before I knew it, I couldn’t keep away! I love the environment, as well as the caring, quality-focused ethos of Care UK.
I love coming to work in the morning and saying hello to all the residents. It feels like coming home. It’s very exciting to have been involved in commissioning a brand new home, and helping to develop and lead a team from the outset. I’m looking forward to meeting each new resident, getting to know them and their families, and watching the home flourish.
Throughout my 27 years’ experience working within the care sector, I have achieved a BTEC National Certificate in Caring Services and became MAAT qualified. I started working for Care UK in late 2011 at Kingsfield care home as a Finance Administrator and later progressed to Kingsfield’s Business Manager. After a few years an opportunity arose within customer relations; a role I have thoroughly enjoyed ever since.
In February 2018, I transferred from Kingsfield to Foxbridge House, Orpington, where I gained wider experience in the role with support from my wonderful colleagues. Today I am very excited and feel privileged to be appointed Customer Relations Manager at our new Care UK home, Harrier Lodge, Whitstable. I am very proud of our fantastic new home’s facilities and we’ve a great team waiting to welcome our new residents.
Making the decision to move a loved one into care is very difficult for families. I’m proud to be able to guide families along the journey, doing what I can to make the transition easier. I’m here to help them from their initial viewing of the home, all the way through to the day their loved one’s move in under the care of our excellent team. Taking time to talk to residents and their families is very important to me and the highlight of any day is to see residents laughing and taking part in the wide range of activities we will offer.
When I joined Care UK in June 2017 it was a new industry for me. I’d been an office manager for a publishing company for 11 years, but I fancied a new direction. I wanted a career that would challenge me and where I could benefit other people.
Before moving to Harrier Lodge, I was a regional business administrator for Care UK, travelling around different homes and supporting the business administrator in each home. I’m enjoying being based in one home now!
It’s an exciting challenge to be part of the team developing a brand new home. I feel privileged to be doing this role – welcoming all our new residents and helping them to settle in. I enjoy getting to know the residents and their families and finding out more about their lives.
Before joining the Harrier Lodge team in 2019 I had worked in maintenance roles in care homes for six years, and before that I worked in property facilities management, mainly contracting to local authorities.
In this role it’s useful to have experience in a variety of trades, so that you can turn your hand to whatever’s needed. Good communication skills are important too, as you’re working directly with residents, their families and colleagues. In the same way as carers and nurses need to keep up with new regulations, I need to keep track of related legislation in this role, so I can ensure that the home is always complying with regulations.
I’m focused on making every day as good as it can be for residents. There’s a friendly family atmosphere here at Harrier Lodge, and every day is a highlight for me. I’m helping older people to enjoy life to the full in a safe and happy environment. It doesn’t get much better than that.