Happy New Year from Muma and Papa Bates!

A New Year Message to our Valerie Manor Staff

John and I would like to send HUGE CONGRATULATIONS & THANKYOUS  to ALL STAFF for your never ending dedication working so very hard keeping our Residents safe, well and happy over the past very difficult months.

It has been a long time and we really appreciate the many sacrifices that you have given both physically and mentally day in and day out.

We are not forgetting your own families that have given their support to you whilst you have been keeping the Valerie Manor ‘Family’ safe.

The extra mile taken to entertain our ladies and gentlemen has not gone unnoticed either!

We have received many lovely comments from families who are in awe of the way their close ones have been and continue to be looked after, from arranging safe visits outside in the Summer then recently in the POD to ‘Wear it Festive’ for St. Barnabas and making Christmas Decorations.

The smiles on faces when ‘dancing’ in the Conservatory speaks volumes.

The support received from the Community has been amazing.

This would only have happened because Local Businesses and residents are aware of what a lovely Home they have in their midst and appreciate, as we do, how hard  EVERYBODY works to maintain such a high level of Care.

I am sure there are not many Homes in the Country whose Owners have received a letter from their Member of Parliament to congratulate them and their Wonderful Staff for the way Valerie Manor has coped at such a difficult time!

We would like to thank you ALL for your continued support you give to Zoë and Alan.

We are very proud of you ALL and wish you and your families a very Safe and Happy New Year!

As Dame Vera would sing, ‘We’ll Meet Again!’,  hopefully in the not too distant future.

Very best wishes and love

Robin and John xx      


A COVID summary from Robin.

Please note that some of the images that follow where taken prior to the Governments guidance for Care staff to wear masks.

I so hope that everyone, Residents, Relatives, Staff and your families are keeping well.

It is hard to believe that my last visit to Valerie Manor was 12 weeks ago on 13th March when John and I came to join everyone to celebrate Zoe’s birthday…. all of a sudden things changed!

Zoe and Alan had already been preparing for what was forecast to happen –  busily putting plans of action in place and discussing it with their Managers.

As ever the Valerie Manor Staff hit the ground running ensuring that everyone was in a safe environment and also determined to make sure Residents still enjoyed as normal a life as possible especially as loved ones were unable to visit.

I would like to share with those of you who are unaware of what ‘Life in Lockdown’ has been like at Valerie Manor over the past few months.

Staff have been going that extra mile to make sure our lovely ladies and gentlemen remain happy as well as safe.

The weather being so kind, has been a real bonus for both Residents and Staff to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air……..Ice Creams, Smoothies, Cream Teas and Pimm’s on offer!

The Daily Newsround is extremely popular, kindly provided by a family whose relative resided at the Manor for 5 years.  Your time and thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.  In addition, as a ‘Thank You’ to Staff a wonderful performance of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ was performed on Flute and Trumpet by two members of the family.  An absolute joy to watch if you have not already seen it.

The look of love from a daughter to her father says it all!

In my absence Sally-Ann has been running the Exercises from the Chair in the garden!  Great music, great exercise, great fun!

  Sally-Ann also contacted St. Peter’s School, Henfield’s years 1 and 5 parents to request that their children either write a letter or draw a picture to send to Residents.  A lovely gesture very well received.


Mark coordinated the planting of Herbs and Sunflower Seeds, another special enjoyable activity.  Flower Arranging with Joyce is always a favourite……even better when you can do it in the sunshine!

Lucy organised some ‘Rainbow Making in keeping with the rest of the Country….lovely.  Bird Bingo, organised by Vikki has become a firm favourite Activity (don’t know if you call ‘house or nest!)

Zoe has taken on extra staff from the beginning of the shutdown.  We have 2 young gentlemen from ‘This is My Theatre’ as hospitality and Kitchen Assistants.  Simon and Ethan have been great additions to our ‘family’.  Simon is a Musical Director at This is My Theatre and has spent hours entertaining Residents and Staff alike with his Flute Playing around the gardens and building…everybody LOVING IT!

Ethan takes the Sunday Church Service for everyone Thank you both for all your hard work and enthusiasm and helping to put smiles on everyone’s faces!

Two more extra staff joined us when the Sussex Yacht Club had to lockdown……lovely girls this time…….Natalie and Rachel again working very hard with everybody.  Natalie on her Easter Sunday Day off coming back to join Residents and staff dressed as an Easter Bunny!   Thank you, girls, for your hard work and enthusiasm too!







A great Easter Programme was organised.  Carrie co-ordinated an Order of Service which had been provided by Reverend Emma and Shirley which Residents attended in the Conservatory and thoroughly appreciated.  Thank you, Carrie.

Rev’d Emma
Rev’d Shirley – Asst Curate







The Garden was ‘alive’ on Easter Sunday with Staff organising Games for everyone including ‘Bunny Bowls’.  Residents and Staff donning Bunny Ears and face paints.  Staff became very competitive during their Egg and Spoon Races which was thoroughly enjoyed by their spectators!

Everyone also enjoyed a beautiful traditional Simnel Cake which Alison managed to make even during this very busy time.  Thank you, Alison.

An absolute highlight was the VE DAY celebrations.  Arranged by Debs, Lucy and Karon, who were all dressed as Land Girls!

The afternoon was filled with lovely food, Pimm’s, Prosecco not forgetting the G & T!  The garden was adorned with Union Flag Bunting, the wearing of Union Flag Hats by Residents waving their Flags whilst raising a glass to remember this very special day.

A table was covered with memorabilia for all to see and reminisce.  Lovely smiles sharing Memories and Music provided by Simon and Ethan.

What more can I say about our Valerie Manor Staff that has not already been said?  You are all so very special working so hard for our Residents whilst supporting each other during these very difficult times keeping everybody safe and happy! 

We also celebrated Nurses day back in May.

Thank you also for the support given to everybody from our Residents’ Families.

Picture taken prior to COVID-19

Zoe, Alan, Debs and Lucy a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on the results you have achieved together!

See you soon Robin and John (aka Muma and Papa Bates!) xx

Hello from Robin.

Hello dear Residents, Staff and Families.

Missing everybody!

I would like to congratulate our wonderful Staff for looking after everybody so well at this difficult time. The photographs showing activities organised by Staff over the Easter period were amazing!

So many lovely smiling faces in the sunshine not forgetting the Bunny Ears and GIANT BUNNY!  The Egg and Spoon Race looked a hoot with Staff as ever going that extra mile to entertain our lovely ladies and gentlemen. 

I would like to thank Alison who found time to make the lovely Simnel Cake for everyone whilst so busy…..another ‘going that extra mile’ example.

A very moving ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ rendition from a relative and his lovely daughter played on Clarinet and Trumpet was such a wonderful thoughtful ‘thank you‘’ for Staff

Thinking about Instruments and changing the subject here slightly – I am sure that  none of you are aware that our Zoe played a Bell Lyre in a Marching Band and a Marimba for static displays, one being at the Royal Albert Hall, our son played a Trumpet in the same Band and spent a season marching with the Cadets of Bergen County.  Sally-Ann was also involved as a Flag Bearer!  

In my absence, Sally-Ann has been Exercising from the chair with our ladies and gentlemen again.  This time ending the session with Residents and Staff joining in with ‘Thank You for the Music’ by ABBA.  This being the Finale Song at our Let’s Dance! Shows since 2005 suggested by my then ‘Sound Man’ David.  Sally-Ann carrying on the tradition!

I cannot leave you without saying again a huge WELL DONE to Zoe, Alan and all of the Team for the hard work which is so very much appreciated by Residents and Families alike.

Keep safe and well and hopefully see you soon!…….hope you like this photograph of my favourite Blossom Tree!

Robin(Muma Bates)   


March Update

Hello everyone…..I so hope you are all keeping safe and well….missing everyone like crazy!

I managed to get two Monday’s Exercise/Mind Bender’s  in March before everything started….

So here we go….

St. David’s Day was on Sunday 1st March…..you may have seen the photo of the Daffodils which Zoe and I purchased on the Saturday ready for the Sunday morning for our lovely ladies and gentlemen to enjoy …beautiful!

On the Monday morning after our Exercising we enjoyed a St. David’s Day Quiz.  This one was a little harder than most but we soldiered on…..some answers were guessed as we had alternatives but most answered correctly through knowledge and memory…..e.g. Driving from London to South Wales which Motorway would you take?….(M4)….There was a Landslide in the 60’s of coal waste which killed most of the children and teachers in a school…(Aberfan)….most people remembered this dreadful event….the Capital of Wales is….(Cardiff)….we worked our way through 17 Questions!

We  enjoyed some music ‘The Heritage of Wales’  with songs from the Caerphilly Male Voice Choir, the Lucknow Male Choir and Soprano Mary Thomas.  The favourites were ‘Men of Harlech’ and ‘All Through the Night’

We then went on to having a Reminiscence Chat.

One Gentleman played ‘Men of Harlech’ at the Royal Albert Hall when he was in The Royal Marines,  another Resident lived in Wales on the Island of Barry until they were 10 years old, another got married and lived in Newport in 1959….being evacuated to Wales when they were 4 or 5 to get away from the Bombing in London was also remembered…..The Men’s Institute was another memory where no ladies were allowed….the Miners coming home from their shift covered in black from digging and then walking home through beautiful green valleys.   Must not forget the poor Pit Ponies who worked for hours with the men transporting the coal to the surface!

Some sad some lovely Memories were shared. Then it was my turn to show-off!

When I was young I had a very dear friend….Marilyn Jones, her parents were Welsh. She taught me to say the name of the longest place name in an English speaking Country which I remembered!!!           

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch !!!!

It is a small Town on the Island of Anglesey off of the Northwest Coast of North Wales  

In English the following is what it means….St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the White Hazel near to the fierce whirlpool of St. Tysilio of the Red Cave

Whew ! that’s all folks….to be continued next week

Stay safe and well

Robin x