A Christmas message…..

Zoe & I would like to wish everyone a very safe & Happy Christmas.

Whilst we cannot celebrate as we would choose to this year, rest assured our amazing team who are working today and in the run up to Christmas have pulled out all the stops – as they always do.

We could not be prouder of the entire team who throughout this year have selflessly made the residents welfare and happiness their priority – many have not seen their own family members as they would normally.

We would also like to thank our wonderful, supportive and understanding relatives/friends of residents throughout the pandemic – who have trusted our decisions when guidance was changed (often at short notice) and also their kindness and appreciation of pressure the Valerie Manor team are continuing to work under.

It would be wrong also not to thank the local community including Steyning Medical Centre & Beeding Pharmacy to name just two. Without their help and guidance things may have been a lot different for our staff and residents.

There are simply no words to express how we felt about the local community by the way they reacted to our need for the visiting pod. In such difficult times for everyone so many gave their time and materials to ensure our residents and relatives can enjoy safe visits. We are extremely fortunate to be part of this community and the way in which Valerie Manor has benefitted from this –  we can assure you will not be forgotten.

We were very pleased to receive a letter from our local MP Andrew Griffith, whose words say it all “simply exemplary”.


Finally it goes without saying that we wish you all a very safe and Happy Christmas as well as a healthy & Happy New Year.



Valerie Manor DIY – SOS. Visitors POD Day 1! Thank you isn’t enough…….

Where do I start? This is going to be a long one! Here are just a few words of thanks from some of our residents and staff: 

And some of our relatives………….

“To Timberrooms and all the generous local companies, contractors, organisations, material suppliers, volunteers and individuals associated with building and finishing Valerie Manor Visitors POD:

Please accept our sincerest “Big Thank You” to all those who have taken part in building and providing a truly wonderful POD for Valerie Manor residents to meet safely with their relatives.  It will mean so much for our 91 year old Mum “Brenda Wilson” to be able to see her son (John) and daughter (Tina) in the flesh without face masks or through a computer screen after 8 long months.  There will be tears of joy, air kisses and virtual hugs, with just so much pleasure and a true sense of wellbeing for all involved.  Thank you and Thank you again from our family….Brenda, John and Tina xxx”


“Could we as a family thank everyone for helping with the POD construction. It means so much to be able to see our loved ones. We are truly grateful to you all. Best wishes.”


“With the onset of winter, we were deeply concerned as to how we would be able to meet with our loved one whilst keeping them safe.

The Provision and Construction of this amazing Pod is nothing short of a miracle. Our heartfelt thanks go out to each and everyone involved in the project.  Zoe, Alan and all the staff have worked tirelessly to maintain the physical and, vitally, mental well being of the Valerie Manor Family and the Pod will be a tremendous boost to moral.

A neighbour of ours recently remarked that the virus has brought humanity together but humans further apart. This Pod has shown that Community Spirit can, at least, ease the pain of separation, especially for our elderly relatives and their families. It may not be able to facilitate much missed hugs and kisses, but it has provided a sanctuary for maintaining much-needed human contact.

Thank you.”

Opening Day! 

Pictures say it all! 

Just a few thank you’ s on our journey:

Final touches………

Hanging baskets and planters kindly donated by Donovan J & D Flowers………….stunning

Painting kindly donated by local artist Jane Colthup: janecolthup@yahoo.co.uk/ 07423 051551

Volunteers – Wow just wow -I hope I don’t miss anyone out:

The main man himself! 

James Wilmot – Timber rooms with who this project would not have been possible


Kelvin Maddox, Ryan Geal, Al Beazley, Matt Hodson – electrician, Dave Neale, Peter Carter, Alex Bishop, Ben Midgeley, Cameron Baldock, Tom Owen, Ashley Dawe, Tony Yeowell, Tim Yeowell, Ben Cooper, Nigel Howell, Malcolm Quigley, Bradley Hampton – Plasterer, Adam Cliffe – provided multi finish (Plaster)

Food deliveries – Martina Osei-Bobie, Hilary Stevens, Kay Kennedy, Jayne Williams, Kate Hewitt

Businesses – Benchmark Windows, Gardner & Scardifield, Southdown Flooring, Steyning Rugby Club, Barry – Maple Electrics

Neil Pringle – https://www.neilpringleproductions.co.uk/

Here is some of the journey – also captured on BBC Radio Sussex.

BBC Radio Sussex and our Visitors POD! Also a huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

We are also generating a gallery of the journey…………….From myself, Alan and all the residents, relatives and staff of Valerie Manor – Thank you to our local Community and team of volunteers for making this possible……

Asymptomatic Blanket Testing.

As you are no doubt already aware the Government announced that everyone in a care home (residents & staff) would be provided with a test.

These tests have now arrived (after a bit of a hiccup) and our Super Testing Team – Debs & Lucy have sprung into action!

The tests need to be taken over a three day period and this started yesterday morning – Debs & Lucy were in at 06:00am and continued to undertake an astonishing amount of tests by the time the courier collected the tests at 16:00. They managed to get half of the people tested in one day! – so we are well on schedule thanks to all their efforts.

The process isn’t just about conducting the test, each test has to be recorded on paper and then registered online but Debs & Lucy worked out the process and all has gone to plan.

Please join me in thanking Debs& Lucy for all their efforts – not only on this testing process but for the tireless work they have done from the outset.

Finally thank you to all the staff as well – it is due to their professionalism and compassion that we remain free of symptoms at this time.



One of our relatives sent this video to us, which they featured in and it made Zoe & I so happy I asked if we could share it here on our blog.