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Heather View care home in Crowborough, East Sussex

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Natasha King

Home manager

I’m passionate about my role and the home. I like to see lots of smiles and interaction with staff and residents. A good working day for me is to know that I have given my all to my team and to residents, knowing that they have all had a good day and that the care they’ve received has been the best.

Before joining Heather View I’d worked in independent care homes for ten years. I wanted to stay in the care sector while developing my skills and career. Care UK really helps you to progress – I actually started as a senior care assistant but was offered a promotion to deputy manager. At the end of 2017, I was incredibly proud and happy to be offered the role of home manager.

I think my proudest moments at Care UK were being nominated for the Team Leader of the Year award in the Care UK Residential Care Services Awards, and then being promoted to my current role. I’m now really looking forward to continuing to make Heather View the best dementia care home in the area, delivering the best possible service.

Jerry James

Deputy manager

I love being part of Heather View family. I enjoy the time I spend with residents, their families and my colleagues.I always strive to bring a smile to people's faces, and I'm focused on keeping the home's standards at the very highest level.

Being a nurse gives me the opportunity to help other people and to grow and develop in ways that are consistent with my values.I love being able to empower others to speak up for themselves, and to help them to live with dignity. I'm proud of the impact that I can have - I remember a resident's family member contacting me to tell me the difference I'd made to her mother throughout her time at the home. It's those moments that make what we do worthwhile.  

Caroline Thomas

customer relations manager

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 Heather View, and it’s got to be my favourite part of what I do. Ours is a very cosy and comfortable home, with a very friendly family atmosphere and we’re all very proud of it. 

Andrea Butler

Lifestyle lead

I’ve turned my hand to a range of different roles, including organising conferences and events across the UK and Europe, and training the over 50s in computer skills. My role at Heather View tests all my skills, from organising activities for over 60 residents to learning to drive the home’s minibus!

A big highlight for me has been a recent outing that we went on with a resident to a local stables. Horses have been her lifelong passion but she hasn’t experienced them for many years due to poor health. Seeing her joy when she interacted with them was simply incredible. I’m looking forward to continuing to bring value, a smile and fulfilment to the lives of Heather View residents. 

Siobhan Gill

Business administrator

I worked for a health insurance company for a long time, but I fancied a change and the chance to work face-to-face with customers. I joined Care UK in 2011 as receptionist, and was promoted to business administrator within six months.

I enjoy the HR side of my role: ensuring that procedures are followed and work is produced to the standard that residents and their families expect. I also love seeing residents happy. Christmas time is a particularly special time as it’s very joyful, and seeing that joy on residents’ faces speaks a thousand words.

Away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a very young son, who keeps me busy too!

Zoe Higgins

Head chef

I became head chef at Heather View in early 2016, having worked my way up since joining the team in 2012.  I’ve worked in catering for over 30 years – 23 of those at the Grosvenor Hotel in London. I’ve cooked for all sorts of celebrities, from Jane Fonda to Diego Maradona and I’ve been sung to by none other than Max Bygraves!

I love my job because every day is different, and I’m passionate about good food and creating meals that residents enjoy and that support their health and wellbeing. Part of my role is to ensure that meal times are enjoyable, fun and social, and that all residents are able to dine with dignity.

Kelvin Luscombe

Maintenance manager

I joined Heather View in July 2011. I used to run my own care home in Hailsham, but I fancied a change of role whilst staying in the care sector. In my role it helps if you’re versatile. You need to be thoughtful and considerate – this is the residents’ home after all. You need to act quickly to keep everyone safe and you need to support relatives and loved ones.

My role’s a lot more than just maintenance! I love meeting new residents and their relatives and helping to make their rooms homely – even taking them to the pub or for a drive in the country.

It’s lovely working in a new home and great for residents to live somewhere so nice. We have a great team and a great manager and things are really positive.

Angela Wickins

Receptionist

The best part of my role is meeting new people and getting to know them – particularly residents and relatives. It’s very rewarding knowing that you’re helping people as much as you can. Sometimes, the people you meet are at a low point – it can be very challenging moving into residential care, or choosing a home for a loved one, so being kind, welcoming and caring is all-important.

Away from work I like to relax by watching films with a glass of wine, and I enjoy sewing. 

Jan Cottingham

Head housekeeper

I joined Heather View in 2015. I’d worked in retail for over 20 years and I fancied a career change. It was a huge challenge to leave a sector I was experienced in and start in a completely new one. But although I loved working in retail, working at Heather View is more rewarding. 

Making a great home for older people is hard. Every resident is different and you need to be caring, strong, patient and friendly, but it’s fantastic to be able to make a difference to residents. And you can do that just by chatting to them and having a laugh. It’s very rewarding when you make them smile.

I’ve got a great team at Heather View; they’re friendly and hard-working and we all get on well. The home in general has a lovely friendly atmosphere, which everyone comments on.

Karen Simmonds

receptionist/lifestyle coordinator

I originally joined Care UK in 2013. I’d experienced the organisation when I cared for a relative, and I felt strongly that I wanted to contribute to the wellbeing of Care UK residents.  I joined Heather View as a lifestyle coordinator and did that for a couple of years. I then became a support worker for a charity that works with people affected by brain injury. At the same time, I stayed connected to the lifestyle team here and supported them as a temporary, or bank, lifestyle coordinator. I then returned to the home in 2019 as receptionist. 

For me, nothing beats seeing a person I support enjoying their life, doing things they enjoy and smiling and knowing that I’ve had a part to play in that. Being able to make a positive impact on a person’s life is what I love. 

In my spare time I like to go walking or motorcycling. I enjoy reading and I’ve recently taken up yoga.

Dianne Harris

receptionist

I have a relative who is a resident in a Care UK home, and having got to know the great team who are supporting her, I thought ‘I want to work for this company’. I used to work as a receptionist in an opticians, so I’m no stranger to the job itself. 

Being friendly, efficient and polite is what this job is all about. We don’t think twice about going the extra mile for residents and their families, and we never forget that a smile, though it costs nothing, can mean so much. I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends – so I’m in a good role for that – and the team I work with at Heather View are fantastic. 

Away from work, I love going nature walks with my family. In fact nature – in the form of my garden – is my biggest passion. I have a colony of bees, some newts and slow-worms and so many birds who visit. 

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