Valerie Manor – National Care Team of the Year 2015!

I am absolutely delighted to say that on Friday 24th April 2015 Valerie Manor was announced the winner of the Care Team Award 2015 at the Great British Care Awards care home national finals held in Birmingham.

Being the South East Regional Winners in November 2014 was such an achievement and to become the National Winners is something that we are so very proud of. I can’t think of a better way to reward and recognise the dedication and hard work of the whole team.

Our residents, friends, families and extended community were also delighted with the news and we celebrated with sherry and cakes for those who could attend, in the Valerie Manor conservatory. We have also organised a special staff event for those who were unable to attend the awards, to take place on Saturday 2nd May 2015. We will also be awarding each member of staff their very own medal to keep as a way of saying thank you and to recognise their achievement.

Some emails and testimonials from friends and family of Valerie Manor…
• “Sometimes when I see someone being shown round I tell them that the care here is superb and now it’s official: Valerie Manor has the finest care team in the whole of Britain, WOW! This is a place where the residents come first, all day, every day. I am highly privileged to be able to live here.”
– Brian Lahee, a resident of Valerie Manor

• “We were so thrilled to hear your good news at the weekend. What a wonderful achievement but well deserved. We never cease to wonder at the patience, care, kindness and good humour of all your staff to residents and visitors alike. Valerie Manor is a very special place and we feel our mother is so blessed to be in such an amazing care home. The family feel very blessed as well to know that she is in such good hands at this difficult time in her life. Well done everyone who plays a part in this very special care home, you are a wonderful team. With love, Viv x”
– daughter of a resident

• “What absolutely fantastic news!! Many, many congratulations to you and all the staff!! We have said it all along – Valerie Manor is the best and to have that officially recognised at a national level is a truly deserved accolade for your vision, dedication and hard work. We know from firsthand experience how amazing your staff are and we are delighted that all their effort, care, kindness and support have been so well rewarded. You have been like an extended family to our loved ones, to residents past and present and to us and for that we thank you most sincerely and totally endorse the award of National Care Team 2015! Very, very well done!! Once again huge congratulations on your magnificent achievement. Fran and John Xx”
– friends of Valerie Manor

• “Wonderful news, and rightly awarded, we send our congratulations to you, and all at Valerie Manor, we will always remember your care of Kate (O’Mara), and how safe, and peaceful she found being there.
love Belinda Carroll and Michael Cochrane”
– family of Kate O’Mara, a previous resident

• “You and all your lovely staff deserve the National Award as everyone tries so hard to make Valerie Manor such a special place. We feel so glad that Mum is a resident and is so well looked after in the uniquely happy atmosphere.”
– daughter of a resident

The Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout England and are a celebration of excellence across the care sector. The purpose of the awards are to pay tribute to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding excellence within their field of work. For more information, please visit

> Download the full press release (PDF)

National Care Awards – Interviews


Following our success as South-East Regional Care Team of the Year in November, Jane, Gabi and I attended the 2015 National Care Awards Interviews which were held in Birmingham.

The venue was Edgbaston Cricket Ground and when we arrived we couldn’t resist a look around the shop!!

After signing in we were invited to have tea and coffee in one of the hospitality boxes which had a balcony overlooking the ground. As you can see from the pictures the sun was out and watching the ground staff cut the outfield was a good way to settle any nerves.

Our time arrived and we entered the interview room and we were all very pleased with how it went.

Only time will tell, but fingers crossed for April!

> News Release: National Finalists for the Great British Care Home Awards Announced

Gold Healthy Workplace Award!

I was delighted to receive the top Gold Award from Councillor Sue Rogers and Beverly Young, Workplace Health Co-ordinator from Horsham District Council for being a Healthy Workplace. Our staff’s health is very important to us and especially in this field of work keeping our staff healthy is not only of physical importance but their mental well-being as well, so exploring ways to reduce stress and treat our staff is also important to us. In 2014 we arranged Indian Head massages for those that wanted them and we also arrange counselling sessions to support our staff in the difficult work that they do.

Some of the other areas that we have focused on since we achieved our Silver Award in 2009 are: More on site health checks; Hot staff meals available for longer shifts; Water chiller plumbed-in in January donated by a kind family; Cycle to Work scheme introduced + bike rack installed; Manager and office manager go early morning running; Two more staff stopped smoking; Annual health questionnaire used for night workers; Health promotion messages on payslips and at staff meetings; Indian Head Massage on site for staff; Counselling support on site for staff e.g. end of life advice; On site nutrition talk to staff; Weekly staff boot camp in garden; Helped staff download app for iPhone for monitoring alcohol intake; Fruit and healthy food for staff training and meetings; Signed up to work place challenge in January; Two staff undertaking ‘dry January; Pedometers provided for all staff; Sponsored ride yer bike for charity; Signed up for workplace challenge ‘active Sussex.

South East Regional Care Team of the Year 2014!

I am so proud to announce that the Valerie Manor Care Team has been voted Care Team of the Year for the South East region at this year’s Great British Care Awards Regional Finals. After nearly seven years at Valerie Manor I was so honoured to receive the award together with some of my colleagues at the awards ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Brighton on Saturday evening. It was such a lovely evening and one that I was delighted to share with not only some of the staff but my mum and dad who without them I wouldn’t be here at Valerie Manor. We were so thrilled by the judges comments who said we were a “Truly compassionate team who brace the very best in care and support for older people. The team have been enabled by the exceptional management of Valerie Manor to support both one another and the residents in their care”.

I feel so proud of the Valerie Manor Care Team I wanted to recognise their hard work and dedication by nominating them for this award on behalf of the relatives and residents here at Valerie Manor. We continue to receive wonderful testimonials from family and friends, including these very kind words recently from a relative; “I can honestly say that Zoe and Alison run a very special place. ALL staff, from management to gardeners and cleaners, care for my mum, and I know that I leave her in safe and loving hands when I am not with her. Residents are treated as all the staff would wish their own relatives to be cared for. The facilities are obviously excellent – but that means absolutely nothing without the staff. I only wish that all our elderly people could receive the care that those at Valerie Manor are lucky enough to get”.

I wish everyone could have seen the huge smiles on the residents faces this morning when we proudly took the trophy to show them during breakfast – winning the award not only means so much to the wonderful team here but is also so special for the residents.

Office Manager, Alan Fry said; “The Care Team, of which I am proud to say I am part of, are a truly special group of people. The team have received numerous nominations and been finalists as well, but to win the Care Team of the Year in the South East region really is a huge achievement and one to be rightly proud of. Their dedication and thoughtfulness is not restricted just to the residents but also to the visitors and colleagues”.