Our team at
Highmarket House

Experts in award winning care in Banbury

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Meet our friendly care team

Our colleagues are a happy, enthusiastic team. We love making each day the best it can possibly be for our wonderful residents. You can see some of us popping up on our Facebook page, and on these pages you can read more about some of our dedicated team members.

Alessandra Knaggs

Home Manager

Alessandra Knaggs

Im a qualified nurse and was a Clinical Nurse Consultant before joining the Highmarket House team as Home Manager in 2021

I wanted to join the home as Care UK has a brilliant reputation for care and for supporting its colleagues. Im very excited to be part of the team.I think to be a good home manager you have to listen to and respect your team. After all, theyre the backbone of the home, enabling the home, and the residents, to flourish and thriveI enjoy working with the team to come up with new ways to ensure the residents receive the best quality care in a way that suits them and their unique needs. I love empowering residents to achieve more than they ever thought they could and enabling them to embrace lifelong learning. Anythings possible for the people we support.Im looking forward to getting to know the team and the residents better, and to supporting the Highmarket House team to continue to provide the same fantastic level of care.
Francesca Cowley
Deputy Manager
I’ve worked in the care sector since 2008, since I was 18 years old.

I’ve worked in the care sector since 2008, since I was 18 years old. I’ve worked my way up doing different roles, including team leader, trainer and unit manager. I joined Care UK in mid-2018 because I’d heard good things about the organisation. When I came for my interview I knew I wanted to work here – it felt like home rather than a workplace. The company supports its people to develop and learn, which I really appreciate.

I’m very proud to have stepped into the role of Deputy Manager. I have a passion for what I do and I’ve done it for a long time, and I’m always looking to make a difference to the people we care for. Everyone who works at Highmarket House takes a ‘whole home’ approach to caring for residents. Every colleague and every department pulls together to support residents’ health and wellbeing.

Away from work, I like to spend time with my family – I have two young sons. I like listening to music, watching TV and going on a good shopping trip. 

Yavor Dimitrov
Head Chef
I’m originally from Bulgaria, where I went to a highly regarded culinary school.

I’m originally from Bulgaria, where I went to a highly regarded culinary school. I’ve also developed my skills in professional cooking with an NVQ level 3 from Stratford College. I have worked as a chef in various restaurants, hotels and business venues. I joined Care UK in 2017.

I’m passionate about great food and I like to make people happy through food. Care UK gives chefs a chance to be creative and work closely with residents to produce delicious food that they’ll love. One of my favourite parts of the day is when I get to chat to residents and find out what they think of the food. It’s a good opportunity to get new ideas for dishes. 

Outside of work I enjoy fishing and gardening (food-related activities!) as well as, obviously, cooking!

Wendy Cross
Lifestyle Lead
I enjoy doing anything that’s craft-related.

I enjoy doing anything that’s craft-related. I absolutely love to sew and make personalized ragdolls in my spare time, and I used to work in a local haberdashery shop before I joined Highmarket House. A friend worked here and suggested the job to me as she thought I’d love it. She was absolutely right, and here I am. I joined the team in 2018.

In this role it’s important to be energetic, caring, patient, flexible and organised.

I love spending time with residents and their families, hearing about their past, the jobs they’ve had and how they used to live. Of course, I love the craft activities that we do too! Looking ahead, I’m looking forward to getting to know the residents and their families, finding activities they enjoy and making residents’ wishes come true.

Sally Parsons
Business Administrator
I knew I wanted to work at Highmarket House as soon as I walked into the home for my interview.

I knew I wanted to work at Highmarket House as soon as I walked into the home for my interview. It had a fantastic atmosphere and everyone was so welcoming. Before I joined the team here, I worked at the Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Daventry as HR & Administration Coordinator. 

Working for a large company like Care UK but in a care home like Highmarket House gives you the best of all worlds. You have the support of a big organisation but the home itself works like a big family. I love coming into the home in the morning and meeting one of the residents who always arrives in the café at the same time. We make ourselves a drink, put the radio on and have a chat before getting on with our day. 

Melissa Harvey-Pemberton
Head Housekeeper and Infection Prevention and Control Champion
As Head Housekeeper I work across Highmarket House and liaise with different teams, so it means I’m in a good position to oversee IPC at the home too.

As Head Housekeeper I work across Highmarket House and liaise with different teams, so it means I’m in a good position to oversee IPC at the home too. I ensure all paperwork is completed and all IPC audits are performed regularly, and I support other teams to be compliant in IPC.

Care UK is a great company to work for and Highmarket House is a lovely home to work in. When I joined, the team and the residents made me feel very welcome. The managers are very supportive, and it’s fantastic to see the difference that you can make to the home on an individual, as well as on a team, basis. I’m very proud to be ensuring the home is achieving the highest standards in cleanliness and infection prevention and control.

Rob Bliss
Maintenance
I knew I wanted to work here at Highmarket House from the moment I set foot inside the home for my interview.

I knew I wanted to work here at Highmarket House from the moment I set foot inside the home for my interview. I immediately felt like one of the family. I love how in this job you know you’re making a difference to a person even from the smallest gesture.

While it’s vital to have the skills to be able to turn my hand to everything my job demands, it’s important to have compassion, a ‘can do’ attitude and to be calm under pressure. Residents and colleagues rely on me to keep the home safe and secure.

Every resident at Highmarket House is treated with dignity and equality. There’s always a lot of smiles and laughter, and that creates a great atmosphere which residents respond well to.

I joined the home in 2020 and I’m looking forward to continuing to build strong working relationships with colleagues, residents and their families and to supporting the home to gain an ‘outstanding’ CQC rating.

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.