Our team at
Ventress Hall

Trusted to care in Darlington


Meet our friendly care team

There's a strong family atmosphere here at Ventress Hall, and it's all down to our superb team. Some of us have worked for years in the care sector, while others have moved from other industries, or have cared for family members and then wanted to care for others. You can find out more about us on these pages.

Diane Encinias

Home Manager

I joined Ventress Hall back in the 1990s, progressing from a carer to a senior and then to become the deputy manager.

All of my experience enables me to challenge our practices, improve what we do and strengthen our relationships with the local CCG and healthcare team – all for the benefit of our residents.

I love seeing the residents happy, and I enjoy seeing the positive impact of the work we do. We often have residents join us for short term respite care as they convalesce after an illness or operation. It’s wonderful to see them recover and return home. 

I’ve worked with many of the team here for many years. I have a profound respect for them and recognise each of their contributions. It’s safe to say that this home has a special place in my heart and I’m looking forward to developing Ventress Hall even further so we can deliver even greater outcomes for residents and their families.

Vikky Fitzgerald
Head Housekeeper
I was working in the hospitality sector before I joined the Ventress Hall team five years ago.

I was working in the hospitality sector before I joined the Ventress Hall team five years ago. A lot of the traits that are useful in that sector have been helpful in my move to the care home sector, such as hard work, and being reliable and good with people. 

I love chatting to the residents when I’m cleaning their rooms. I work hard to put a smile on their face and make their day as good as possible. I take pride in keeping Ventress Hall clean, tidy, pleasant smelling and infection-free. I’m determined to keep doing that so that residents and colleagues stay safe. 

In my free time I spent lots of time with my grandchildren. I also love my holidays!

Wendy Clare
I've been a part of the Ventress Hall team for over ten years.

I’ve been a part of the Ventress Hall team for over ten years. I actually joined to work in the laundry because the hours worked with my family commitments. However, when this role came up I was keen to develop my skills and support the residents and team in a different way, so I applied and was successful. During my time at Ventress Hall I’ve been supported to develop my skills and do further training, including an NVQ 3 in Business Administration. I was proud to achieve my NVQ, which I did in my late forties.

What I love about this role is that every day is different. I’m very busy, with lots of different tasks to do, and I have a lot of involvement with residents and their families. We’re like one big family at Ventress Hall. Everyone supports each other and the teamwork is incredible. 

Away from work I like reading, socialising, and I love to dance!

Conrad Benson
Maintenance Supervisor
I've worked in various trades, including painting and decorating and on the electrical side.

I’ve worked in various trades, including painting and decorating and on the electrical side. Having that range of experience is really useful in this role as you never know what each day will bring. That’s part of the attraction of the job. I love solving problems and I like having the autonomy to get on with whatever needs fixing. 

I was keen to join Care UK and Ventress Hall because of its impressive ratings. Everyone I met at my interview was really nice too – it was easy to see myself working here. I enjoy supporting the residents in whatever way I can. You get very attached to the residents, which makes it unlike any other job I’ve had. 

Our experienced teams

Every day Care UK colleagues live our values of passionate, caring and teamwork to empower residents to enjoy fulfilling lives.


Our hardworking teams always keep residents 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. 


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.


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 residents enjoy an exceptional and safe service every day.

All our teams get to know residents 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.