I’ve worked in the care sector for over 20 years having gained a diploma in management and a qualification in dementia care along the way - the last thirteen of those years I have been working as a care home manager. I was looking to work for a company that had ‘quality of service’ as their main priority and having heard a lot of good things about Care UK, subsequently joined them in 2014 as home manager at Meadow Court in North London, before transferring to Mildenhall Lodge a year later.
I believe that an effective home manager needs to be empathetic, a good listener and approachable, as well as a leader. My aim is to continue improving the high quality service we offer at Mildenhall Lodge and to support the team in doing so, thus improving the lives of the residents.
I was thrilled to be awarded the 'Motivational Leadership' award in the Suffolk Care Awards in 2016 and put it down to the wonderful team we have here, who work hard to create a warm, caring environment at Mildenhall Lodge, where residents feel safe and happy.
I worked as a receptionist in a hotel before I joined the Mildenhall Lodge team as Head Housekeeper in 2014. Care UK were actually doing interviews in the hotel I was working in so I introduced myself, had an interview and got the job. It’s the best choice I’ve ever made, and in 2020 I was proudly promoted to deputy manager.
I'm passionate about delivering the best care to our residents. In this role, it’s vital that you are committed to the privacy and dignity of the residents. It’s also important to remember that this is their home, and we’re guests in it. It was a huge career highlight to be part of the team that helped Mildenhall Lodge to achieve its ‘outstanding’ rating from the CQC.
I enjoy everything about my job, but making a resident’s day a little better, and making them smile, is what I genuinely love. It fulfills their life and mine.
I’m passionate about organising fun events (I used to be entertainment secretary for Mildenhall Social Club, booking acts and entertainment and a busy bingo night). I think in this role you need to enjoy life and be larger than life: it’s up to me to provide a happy environment for residents, after all. I’m often making a fool of myself, being the first one to sing or dance, but if it makes residents smile, and means they’ve had fun, that’s what matters.
Music makes our residents come out of themselves, so I love it when we have musical entertainers. Residents smile, sing, dance and sometimes cry as they’re reliving old times with loved ones. Above all, the music lasts all day in some form – I’ll walk past a lounge and someone will be singing a song – which is lovely.
Before coming to Mildenhall Lodge, I was a chef assisting the RAF, however, I have worked in the care sector before. When I was ready to make a career change, I decided to apply to Care UK and Mildenhall Lodge and I’d heard good things about the company. I’m very pleased that I did: I have a great team here and we all get on well.
I’ve worked in a five star hotel and cooked for celebrities but I love cooking for the residents and getting to know them and their families. I confess to being a perfectionist: I’m determined to provide the best food we can and to make Mildenhall Lodge’s food the best in the company!
I’ve lived at Mildenhall Lodge since it opened in 2014 and before this I lived in Lakenheath Village Home for 10 years. My father was a publican. In that industry you end up needing to be all things to all people. I would often listen to people’s problems, but it’s a role that’s come in handy here – I’m a good listener!
As Resident Ambassador I listen to other residents’ issues and communicate them to the home team. I like making things better for my fellow residents and the home team is keen to improve whatever they can for us. I also participate in interviews with potential new staff members. I enjoy the work I do in the garden, and I love to spend time with my family. I have four granddaughters and six great-grandchildren who keep me occupied!
I’m delighted to be joining Jean as a resident ambassador. My fellow residents voted for me to become an ambassador, which I’m very proud of. I’m a good listener and I like to solve issues, so I’m looking forward to getting into this role, and being involved in interviewing prospective staff members.
I’m a Mildenhall local – it’s where I lived and raised my family. However, I used to run my own medical supplies and pharmaceuticals business, which took me all over the world. Medicine was a theme in my family: my aunt was one of the founders of the blood transfusion service.
In my youth I was very athletic and broke a local record for the long jump. Running – including cross country running – was also a passion of mine. I’m still discovering new interests here at Mildenhall Lodge, and I’m looking forward to helping residents to make the most of life in this lovely home.
My Mum moved into Mildenhall Lodge at the end of 2018. As the Relative Ambassador, I meet with new and existing relatives to offer support based on my experience as a relative of a loved one living in a care home environment. I have a beautiful dog, Freya, who likes to visit the home too!
I moved to Mildenhall Lodge in August 2016 from a rescue charity. I’d been wandering around near Wisbech on my own and they took me in. Katy, the manager at Mildenhall Lodge, and her husband came to see me at the charity quite a few times as they wanted to be sure I’d fit in to the home and be okay with the residents. I did my best to convince them that I was a keeper, and here I am!
People call me docile, but I prefer ‘gentle and affectionate’. I like to go around the home collecting cuddles and making the residents smile – it’s just a natural gift I have. I like to ‘help out’ around the home too, particularly if food is involved. People are always saying they’d like to take me home, but I’ve finally found my best home ever, and I’m not going anywhere!
I am proud that myself and animal friends here - the budgies, canaries and chickens - can call Mildenhall Lodge, 'home', especially as it is newly registered with The Cinnamon Trust, as a part of their Pet Friendly Care Home and Retirement Housing register.