Five minutes with…

Sue Revell Activities Lead, Kenwith Castle

Why I HEART my job, by Sue Revell – Activities Lead at Kenwith Castle

Sue Revell is the Activities Lead at Kenwith Castle, a spacious care home located in over 30-acres of stunning North Devon grounds.

Sue began working for Care South in 1998 as a Head Chef, before taking six years out to run her own restaurant. She returned to the Kenwith Castle’s kitchen in 2008 as a pastry chef, before moving to an activities-based role.

Sue said: “I enjoy enabling the residents to do things they used to enjoy. The trips out on the minibus to places in the forest or to see our beautiful coastlines are all very much enjoyed and make for a great source of conversation and reminiscence.”

Sue holds certificates in Therapeutic Activities, Exercise Leadership in Care Settings, Activities Leadership in Care Homes, and a Diploma in Dementia.

In her role as Activities Lead, Sue is responsible for setting up the activities for the residents in the care home. Sue said: “A typical day starts with what I call ‘butterflying’ where I pop in to see some residents or stop and chat to anyone I pass. I then set up our room ready for the day’s activities – I use lunchtime to get my paperwork completed. Everyone enjoys Monday and Tuesday afternoons as this is when we venture out in our minibus.”

Kenwith Castle is a care home with a community feel and often welcomes people into the care home’s bar or communal lounges that overlook the lake for engaging events and fundraisers. Many of the staff have family links to Kenwith Castle and have spends many years ensuring residents can live in their new home with comfort and enjoyment.

Carol Ball Deputy Matron, Fremington Manor

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Carol Ball is Deputy Matron at Care South’s Fremington Manor care home in Barnstaple, Devon. She recently celebrated 25 years working at the home.

Carol began her nursing training, when she was just 18 years of age as a student nurse at the North Devon Infirmary. It was then that she fell in love with nursing – a passion that she still has today!

In 1992, after a career in the NHS, she joined Fremington Manor as Sister. She thoroughly enjoyed her role and quickly became a real asset to the home, progressing to Deputy Matron in 2007.

Carol explains: “As soon as I joined Fremington Manor, it felt like a second home, there is a great sense of community in the home with both the residents and colleagues.

“As Deputy Matron, I work closely with Corinne, our home’s Matron – we have a fantastic relationship. On a day-to-day basis, I am responsible for ensuring that each day we have the correct number of staff on duty and recently I have undertaken a programme of recruitment – choosing those people that represent our HEART values.

“During my time at the home I have been fortunate to be able to study for several work-related qualifications including an NVQ 4 in Leadership and Management, a Mentorship course, and end of life and palliative care courses. As part of one of these courses, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to compare our own care planning for those suffering with dementia with St Christopher’s Hospice in London – part of my research included speaking to several government ministers and their assistants. Following completion of this course, I am far more proactive in this aspect of palliative care, ensuring that even at the end of their lives the voices of our residents are heard.

“I am passionate about influencing care delivery through education and communication; I am currently working with a small group of our Care Team Leaders, helping to guide them to become competent and confident in their role, for me helping to develop others is incredibly rewarding and one of the best parts of my job!

“My role continues to evolve on a daily basis, we are a busy team at Fremington, however, we are very much one team – all spokes in a wheel, working together to deliver the best care for our residents, whilst importantly upholding the Care South HEART values.

“I feel very lucky to work for Care South, I dearly love my job and there hasn’t been one day in the last 25 years that I have thought differently. I would recommend a career in nursing care to anyone with a caring attitude and a propensity for fun, Care South is a wonderful company to work for.”

Natalie Hosking Deputy Home Manager, Alexandra House

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Why I HEART my Job – Natalie Hosking – Deputy Home Manager

Natalie Hosking is the Deputy Home Manager at Alexandra House, a bright and spacious home overlooking the vibrant Alexandra Park in Parkstone, Poole.

Natalie has been working for Care South for a number of years, beginning her career in care as a Care Assistant at Queensmead care home in Christchurch. She was promoted to the senior role at Alexandra House in early 2019. Natalie said: “I was attracted to Care South by the HEART values, which are reflected across the company and can be seen in action every single day. I am extremely proud and excited to be the Deputy Home Manager of Alexander House. It is such a beautiful home with fantastic residents and staff.”

During her time at Care South, Natalie has progressed to become a Senior Care Assistant and completed an NVQ Level 2 Apprenticeship in Health and Social Care. She then worked as a Senior Carer before being appointed Care Team Leader and eventually Deputy Home Manager.

Alexandra House is a care home where people are at the centre of everything the team does; they will happily go the extra mile to ensure residents can maintain their normal lifestyles while being supported in their new home. Located near the centre of Parkstone, the care team will often support residents in their usual activities, whether that be popping out for a coffee or collecting the newspaper.

The bright and spacious home with a welcoming, family feel, and plenty of areas to either socialise with residents and carers, or relax in peace.

Debbie Hodges Home Carer in Bath and North East Somerset

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Why I HEART my job, by Debbie Hodges, Home Carer in Bath and North East Somerset

Debbie Hodges is a Home Carer for Care South in Bath and North East Somerset. With over 20 years’ experience in the care sector, Debbie worked as a Deputy Home Manager at a care home before making the move to home care.

Debbie said: “After working in a care home setting, I decided to try home care. Care South was recommended to me and I must say it was definitely the right choice – I’ve now been here over two years.”

Debbie holds a variety of care related qualifications, including NVQ Levels 2, 3 and 4 in Health and Social Care, an NVQ Level 2 in Leadership and Level 3 in Community Mental Health.”

“I usually start my day at 7am with a breakfast call to my first client. I then have another three or four morning visits, before starting the lunchtime calls. Visits can last anywhere from half an hour to an hour and three quarters depending on the needs of each individual.”

“In my role as a Home Carer, I provide personal care, as well as administering medication. I carry out a few domestic visits during the week, helping clients in their homes with chores such as light cleaning, preparing meals or the weekly shop and where possible, and when time allows, I also provide this support during my other visits.”

“I see the same clients every day and usually twice a day, which has to be the best part of my job as it means I can get to know them all and develop close relationships with them. It also means they see a familiar and friendly face and get continuity of care.
“Being a Home Carer is hugely rewarding as I know the role I do allows my clients to stay in their own homes.”

Care South Home Care provides care and support to everyone from young people and adults with physical or learning disabilities, to people who need a bit of help getting back to normal after an illness or short spell in hospital. Many of our clients are older people who need a helping hand with their everyday lives to maintain their independence. Home care is personalised to each individual’s needs, be it on-going, short-term or from time-to-time to help provide respite for a family member or carer.

Emma Cotton Home Manager, Alexandra House

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Why I HEART my job, by Emma Cotton – Home Manager at Alexandra House

Emma Cotton is the Home Manager at Home Manager at Alexandra House, a bright and spacious home overlooking the vibrant Alexandra Park in Parkstone, Poole.

Emma has been working for Care South since the age of 18, when she started working for the Dorset Trust before it changed its name to Care South. She commenced her career as a Care Assistant at Care South’s Wickmeads care home, before promotions to the roles of Night Shift Leader, Care Team Leader, and then Deputy Home Manager, before being appointed Home Manager at Queensmead in 2016.

Emma said: “My Mum worked for Care South for 18 years, so as a child I was very much involved in Queensmead, attending its annual fayres and parties. A career in care was the only thing I ever really wanted. Throughout my time at Care South, I have been provided with excellent training and a chance to progress in my career.”

Emma holds a Level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care, a Leadership and Management Qualification and is close to completing a Level 5 Diploma in Health and Social Care Leadership and Management.

In her role as Home Manager, Emma is responsible for the day-to-day running of the home, ensuring a first-rate level of care is provided for residents. Emma said: “I enjoy the variety in my role; I never know what the day will entail. I love spending time with the residents and their families, as well as the management side of the job.”

“I believe the key to running a successful care home lies in leading by example. I am a very hands-on Manager, and pride myself on knowing each of my residents and their families personally. I like nothing more than helping out with daily care tasks or joining residents for trips out. Good community involvement is paramount to the happiness of our residents. Seeing them stimulated and happy is very rewarding. The residents are the best part of my job; they are like my extended family.”

“A well trained and happy team is vital for a successful home.”

“I would certainly recommend a career with Care South. There are plenty of opportunities for career progression, with specialist training and qualifications to work towards. There is immense job satisfaction.”

“Care South is passionate about the quality of care it delivers. It has provided me with fantastic training and development opportunities and allowed me to fulfil my career ambitions.”

Alexandra House is a care home where people are at the centre of everything the team does; they will happily go the extra mile to ensure residents can maintain their normal lifestyles while being supported in their new home. Located near the centre of Parkstone, the care team will often support residents in their usual activities, whether that be popping out for a coffee or collecting the newspaper.

The bright and spacious home with a welcoming, family feel, and plenty of areas to either socialise with residents and carers, or relax in peace.