Happy Easter!

The Easter Bunny visited Valerie Manor again this year!

Wishing you all a Very Happy Easter – the residents have planned their Easter weekend including a 3 course meal on Sunday.

An extremely thoughtful gift to the staff from a wonderful residents family. THANK YOU x

Good News story..

How lovely that the first ‘internal’ visit was for someone’s 90th Birthday – our residents and staff made a banner to have the room ready for the special visit. As we are only able to have one internal authorised visitor the other siblings were able to have a window visit so their Mother got to see all her children on the same day albeit two of them at different times and outside.



The first visit in her room was I think the best birthday present my mother could have, and being able to see all 3 of us on the same day.

It was really important to her to get to 90 and we really wanted to be able to celebrate it with her. So it was very emotional for me.

The best bit about the visit was that there was no time pressure, and the knowledge that it would be happening again. It is very hard to put the emotion and relief to be able to do this, in to words.

I took this picture, her happiness shows in her face I think. (Daughter)

2nd COVID Vaccine!

It all started with an email on Friday afternoon from Dr Newsom advising that they would be visiting Valerie Manor on Monday at 10:00am to administer the 2nd vaccine.

In true Valerie Manor style – the planning process sprang into action (Zoe created a spreadsheet!) and everyone was contacted. Staff were brilliant in responding very quickly meaning that by Saturday morning we knew who would be attending.


In the morning Zoe & Alan arrived and set up the ‘outside’ area – clearly marking 2 meters distance in the queue with staff having already been allocation a queue position.

Alan managed the car park and ‘invited’ staff to join the queue as their turn arrived taking their temperatures whilst they were in their cars.

The car park quickly filled and everyone was in high spirits with an almost carnival atmosphere in the air – much like the first time.


Dr Newsom and his team of volunteers set up in the pod and didn’t let the pace drop as they saw staff not on shift first followed by staff on duty. Once the staff had all received their vaccination the team moved into the Conservatory and saw our residents who were equally excited.

Thank you to Dr Newsom from the Glebe Surgery and his special team for our 2nd vaccines We are so happy we are another step to being safer!

Also a HUGE thank you to the wonderful staff who were brilliant as always!

My 13th Anniversary!

So, yesterday was my 13th anniversary of Owning Valerie Manor – It was a busy day so I apologise for the delay in my thank you blog and summary of my 13 years! I have just posted a blog from my Mum and Dad who I think tell the story better than I do! – do also read Alan’s post from yesterday!

I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for my cards, flowers and gifts – the card signed by all the staff and residents was so very special to read………….

I cannot quite believe I have had the privilege to own Valerie Manor now for 13 years!

My journey began at the age of 13 when I started to work in nursing homes and my love for the older generation grew. I decided that I wanted to be a ‘matron’ of a nursing home and in 1996 qualified as a nurse.

My Career took me on a journey in the NHS working on Surgical wards at Eastbourne District General and The East Surrey Hospital then working my way up to be a Ward Sister for General Surgery at Epsom Hospital. I then moved on to be a Matron for general medicine and elderly care within the hospital working across two sites (Epsom and St Helier). Although I loved nursing, I also enjoyed the business side of the NHS and soon became a General Manager managing over 300 staff with a substantial budget! My project planning skills developed and during this time was seconded to work with KPMG and lead on reducing length of stay on the wards within the hospital which I also enjoyed!

Sadly, my Nan on my Mums side and Grandad on my Dad’s side had to go into nursing homes and some of the things we saw greatly saddened us. My Nan had a stroke which led us to purchase the ‘jalopy’ which we now use for Valerie Manor. Nanna Doreen was wheelchair bound so this allowed us to take her out on trips with my Grandad Phil (Dad’s dad) and have them home for the day. The first Christmas following my Nan’s stroke we were determined to have the family together and arranged for a hospital bed, commode, hoist etc to be delivered to my Mum and Dads house where we all enjoyed a few days together before my Nan was admitted to a nursing home. My nan was in the dining room in her profiling bed and I slept in the lounge during the night! Sad but fond memories, I think this is where I get my ‘can do’ attitude from as a family we would always find a way round things even during difficult times.

When my Nan and Grandad passed away my Mum and Dad asked if I could do better, and they re-mortgaged our family home to allow me to purchase Valerie Manor. I wrote a Business Plan and 6 months later Valerie Manor; a 15 bedded residential care home became my home and my extended family. I lived on site for 11 years and during this time had the nursing wing built which completed in 2009!

13 years – what a whirlwind! I think 2020 has been the most challenging year but it has for us all in one way or another. 13 is however my lucky number!!!

My philosophy is for anyone in my care to be treated as I would expect a member of my family to be treated and I am so proud that we have the team we do led by Debs and Lucy to care for everyone in our care at Valerie Manor in this way and indeed over the 13 years.

Over the years we have made friends and remained close with relatives of residents who have sadly passed away and staff who have been at our side over the 13 years.

I would also like to thank the local community, as during 2020 everyone came together for Valerie Manor DIY SOS and provided the POD for us to allow safe visiting and more recently regular testing.

I also wanted to say a special thank you to the staff at Steyning Medical Practice for all their support over the years and to our friends at Worthing Hospital, a special mention to Rhia Evans and Wendy Hartley who have guided us through using their clinical expertise  to help keep residents safe and out of hospital.

I don’t know what we would do without Upper Beeding Pharmacy – Mike, Lindsay, Teyah, Annie and Heidi who provide exemplary medicine management for Valerie Manor.

Not forgetting Alan who used to be a financial advisor and arranged my first personal mortgage in 2005 then arranged the finance to allow me to purchase Valerie Manor. In 2010 he came and asked me for a job! I feel like the luckiest person alive to have Alan by my side supporting me every step of the way along with my amazing Mum and Dad (Muma and Papa Bates!). Thank you also to my sister for working at the Manor for so many years (Sally-Ann) and to my brother (Damon) and my sister for putting up with all those late Christmas Lunches that my Mum and Dad mentioned – one year the whole family instead of having a late lunch joined the Valerie Manor family for our Christmas Lunch – My Neices and nephews too! A true Valerie Manor family!

2021 will be a better year for us all!

Take care.

Zoe xxx