Five minutes with… Sharlene Van Tonder, Home Manager

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Sharlene Van Tonder leads the team at Heathlands House. We caught up with her to find out what makes her tick, and why the newly built home is a special place to live and work.

Sharlene, can you tell us a little about your background? Five minutes with… Sharlene Van Tonder, Home Manager

My husband and I with our two children immigrated to England from South Africa in October 1996. I am a registered Nurse by profession and started with Care UK in Cambridge (February 1997) at the care home that was originally on the site that Heathlands is now being built. I developed within Care UK becoming a unit manager then deputy then finally a care home manager in 2001. I returned to Cambridge as the Manager in 2003 and managed the home till I left Care UK in 2008. I worked for another provider as a registered manager for three care homes on one site. I found this period of time gave me valuable experience and allowed me to grow in confidence as a manager. I returned to Care UK in 2014 to commission Cleves Place in Haverhill (my hometown). I then transferred to Glastonbury Court in Bury St Edmunds in 2016 as the registered manager and then had the exciting opportunity to also become the registered manager for Davers Court Care home also in Bury St Edmunds. I am so proud of what both my teams in Bury where able to achieve which was an outstanding rating with CQC, Davers Court achieving an outstanding in all 5 areas. This was a dream come true for me.

When did you join Heathlands House care home? 

I joined the home in February 2021 (exactly 24 years since I started in Cambridge ready for it to open in August 2021.

What’s your management style?

As a home manager I have been given the privilege of being the head of an extraordinary extended family, I believe in an honest open and transparent approach to managing. I also truly believe that it’s important to know when to lead from the front, push from the back and walk to the side. It is so important to me to be approachable to my team and to lead by example by being positive and passionate in everything we do.

What do you feel sets the home apart?

Heathlands is already so special to me as I feel I have completed a full circle. I have so many special memories that I have carried with me all these years and I am so excited for all the new memories to come. I am confident that with my team we will be able to offer a real home from home feel. Our Ethos from the beginning will be that Heathlands is a home with heart, a warm hug and one filled with hearty laughter. 

How do you like to unwind?

I am a sci fi fan and enjoy watching sci fi movies, and reruns of the original Star Trek. I love reading and family time especially with our German Shepherd cross Labrador, Gib.

Open to new residents

442 Bullen Close, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB1 8YU

Heathlands House

Heathlands House

CQC Rating: The CQC have not inspected this service yet
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Day club

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