I started working for Care UK in 2007. The organisation strives to deliver excellent and efficient care to residents, and it really shows.
I believe in inspiring residents and my team to do things that they never thought they could. As a Home Manager, it’s important to have a vision for the home you run, and for the people you care for, and work with. I love that Winchcombe Place is a hive of activity, and I always enjoy my walkaround the home each morning. It’s a chance to greet residents and colleagues and find out what they’ve got planned for the day.
What’s noticeable about the home is the family atmosphere. We’re like one big family here and that’s clear as soon as you set foot inside the home. The team at Winchcombe Place is one of the most productive I’ve worked in. We all work well together to get the job done.
Being a Home Manager isn’t a ‘nine to five’ job, but in the time I have away from work, I like to join my husband in taking my dog Buster for a long walk.
Being a customer relations manager, or CRM, involves doing all the tasks I love to do – liaising with a wide range of different people and supporting older people and their families through what can be a very stressful time as they search for the right care home. I love being part of a team that’s making a difference to people’s lives.
I joined Winchcombe Place in June 2019, and I’m enjoying getting to know the team and the residents themselves. I used to work in recruitment and events, so I love working with different people. I’ve also worked in domiciliary care, so I knew I wanted to continue working in the care sector.
In my spare time I enjoy socialising with my friends and family, and doing some travelling. I also enjoy watching motorbike racing.
I started working for Care UK in 2014. Before joining the organisation I was an Operations Manager for a national catering company. This is very different, but I love the rewarding nature of my job – being able to have a positive impact on a person’s day. When I bring a smile to a person’s face or I make them laugh it’s a fantastic feeling.
Quite a few of the residents at Winchcombe Place are living with dementia and are at different stages of their dementia journey. I work hard to see the person behind the dementia. Every person we care for is an individual, with different needs. One of the key things I’ve learnt in this role is to be alert to a person’s body language when you’re doing an activity with them, particularly if their verbal communication has been affected by dementia. Their body language can give you important insights into how they’re feeling.
One of the biggest highlights of this role was when I took a resident on a barge trip. This particular person hadn’t left the home, and hadn’t spoken, for nearly two years. At the end of the trip they smiled at me and said, “Thank you. That was lovely”.
I have 20 years’ experience working in the catering industry, but for years I have cooked for people who wanted food, whereas now I am cooking for people who need food and it is much more rewarding.
My biggest professional challenge so far has been to run a 280-seat restaurant with a team of 16 chefs in Edinburgh. My highlight was catering the opening of the Dolphin Adventure Centre in Pangbourne and meeting Prince Edward, who was opening the centre.
My role requires you to be good at listening to what the residents want and what their expectations are. It is also very important to have a good team and get them to contribute their ideas into work practices and menus.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my partner and kids, as well as the occasional game of golf.
I’ve been working for Care UK since 2017, and prior to that was Maintenance Manager at a medium secure hospital for many years. I wanted to join the Winchcombe Place team because I felt I had valuable skills and experience to bring which would benefit older people.
Moving my career to Care UK has been such a great move for me – challenging me and enabling me to develop. I think it’s important to be professional and caring in this role, and it’s vital that everything you do is done with understanding, and a smile.
Every resident at Winchcombe Place, and at all other Care UK homes, is ‘resident of the day’ at least once a month. This is a chance to ensure that their care and lifestyle and all aspects of their daily life are meeting their needs and wishes. As part of this initiative I check the resident’s bedroom to ensure it’s safe and everything is working properly. I get to have a chat with them too, which is very rewarding, and gives me a chance to get to know them better.
Care enquiry lines open Mon-Tue 8:30am-8:00pm,
Wed-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm,