People make places.
Not only is our home immaculately furnished but it's also home to a family of incredibly passionate, dedicated staff with personalities to match.
Absolutely everyone is approachable, warm, friendly and focused on you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Plus most of our specialist carers have been with us for at least five years. Move in with us and you'll soon see why they haven't moved out.
But don't just take our word for it. Blenheim House was recently rated Investor in People quality standard in our Care and Quality Commission assessment.
As well as your expert carers, behind the scenes a management team ensures everyone's unique needs are met daily and without compromise.
We've been running Blenheim House this way for almost two decades and have received praise locally and nationally for the way our care home looks and the way it surpasses expectations for both residents and relatives.
Nicola joined the team at Blenheim House in January this year, bringing with her 34 years' experience of working in social care.
Previously working as a regional director, covering services across up to six counties, the move to Blenheim has given Nicola the opportunity to focus on her core value of delivering a person-centred service. "Working at one site means I can focus on the residents, making sure that they get the person-centred care that they need and deserve," explained Nicola. "I am a passionate hands-on manager who will always put residents first. I much prefer being out of my office amongst the residents getting to know them."
"Being based solely at Blenheim House also gives me the chance to support and mentor the wonderful staff that we have and develop them."
With the home expanding its offer from a 53-bed home to 85-beds, Nicola has big plans to make sure that the residents and their needs are always at the heart of the home. "With our person-centred approach we will find out the likes and dislikes of residents and identify what is important to them, so that we can support and care for them and make sure that they keep as much independence as they can.
"For example, we have one resident in his late nineties who is a keen gardener. He now runs our gardening club and has helped to start growing all our own vegetables, which are used in our own kitchen. You couldn't get a carbon footprint smaller than that!"
Moving forward, Nicola and her team are looking for opportunities to involve the Melksham community more with the residents. "We want our home to be a real hub for the local people, with regular events and activities open to everyone.
"Things like art classes, yoga or Tai Chi, anything that links us directly into the local community and the interests of the residents. We are also planning to contact the local schools and invite them to come in and meet the residents so they can share life skills and talk to the children about what they are interested in."
Nicola's plans to involve the community are already off to a great start with the home soon to host its first mother and toddler group on Friday 18th August. We also have a day nursey attending every week for lunch with the residents, followed by chat and play in the afternoon.
Whilst focussing on the needs of the residents, Nicola also appreciates the importance of having a strong and supportive team to help deliver the person-centred service. "I have a whole home approach to being a manager, so everybody that works within Blenheim feels part of the team, and no-one feels isolated," she explained.
"Everyone has the same training, for example moving and handling training and dementia training.
"I like all the staff to interact and build relationships with the residents. The chefs are always encouraged to come out and talk to the residents, to find out what they would like to see on the menu."
Blenheim House is currently rated 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission, but Nicola wants to see this changed next time they visit. "My vision is for this home to achieve a CQC 'Outstanding' rating," she said.
"Hopefully with our plans to involve the community and our continued focus on the needs of our residents, we can achieve this. It's really exciting that we are starting to involve the community more. It is a really big piece of work. We have fantastic facilities, wonderful staff and we are right in the middle of a vibrant community; we need Melksham to embrace and support us."
I qualified as a Nurse a little over 5 years ago from the University of the West of England and following this my journey has been one that has shaped the choices I've made on my career path. As a child, I had envisaged myself becoming a midwife and this was the route I was going down until during my training in adult nursing I felt the unforgettable rewards in working with older people. I saw how the little things make a huge difference to those in need of assistance as they get older and decided that I would continue on this path instead.
Once qualified I had hoped to work in a hospital setting but due to the politics of nursing I had to reconsider and began my career in a nursing home in Swindon. This setting again changed my chosen career path as I now saw that the difference between hospital settings and nursing home settings was even more rewarding and the differences that could be made by myself for these people I was caring for was even greater.
My career has seen me progress within the community setting from a fresh-faced nurse to the position I am now and I feel that this is due to my passion for making a difference, challenging practice when I feel needed and keeping a bubbly, smiling and homely attitude towards the environment I work within. My outlook within care settings in the community is that we, the staff, are working within our resident's homes, we are privileged to be trusted with such intimate and difficult tasks towards the latter stages of people's lives. Making these people feel comfortable, cared for and fulfilled daily is what makes a difference to their happiness. Listening to their thoughts, concerns and giving their families support makes a difference and offers such fabulous rewards and I couldn't wish for a better career path than that.
After training in performing arts and events management I have been lucky enough to work creatively with older people for the last ten years in a variety of different settings. My passion is in enabling older people to led fulfilling, active and varied lives, where age is not a barrier.
I worked for a number of years developing and building up a vibrant, exciting leisure and lifestyle programme for a group of care homes in Bath and Bristol. This enabled me to see the profound effect creativity and social engagement can have for older people living in care.
For two years I ran my own business ‘The Cat's Whiskers Tea Dance Company' which specialised in providing interactive, professional entertainment for those in care. We spent a lot of time reminiscing with Residents and I was privileged to hear a lot of incredible, moving stories that reinforced my belief in the importance of creativity in care settings.
I then moved on to work at a theatre in West Berkshire where I launched a number of creative and social projects in the community and in local care homes. The job afforded me the opportunity to further my training and develop more exciting, ambitious creative projects such as Dare to Dance for over 55s, an intergenerational poetry project and a photography project. Although I enjoyed working in a theatre environment I missed the family feel of care homes and the opportunity to really get to know the older people I was working with.
My career so far has encouraged me to think broadly and ambitiously about activities in care homes; whilst there is a place for bingo and skittles there is so much more than can be done to improve the lives of people living in care.
At Blenheim I am really excited to work with the Residents, family and staff to launch more connections within our local community including schools and local groups, creative projects (such as creative writing, book club and a Blenheim choir) interesting weekly speakers as well as trips to a wide variety of places.
I was born in Congleton Cheshire, the second of four children.
Dad was in the air force and later an engineer for BA and mum was the deputy head of the local primary school. We were a close family, and did lots of things together, and I always loved our family holidays to Cornwall, Scotland and Devon. Christmas was a magical time in our family, with some lovely traditions which I later continued with my own family.
I left home at 18 to do my nurse training at the Manchester royal infirmary, married a Manchester lad, and worked in neurosciences for 21 years until I moved back to Stoke on Trent with my four children in 2001.
After moving to Stoke on Trent, I worked as a manager in care, working for Majesticare for nine years and studying dementia studies at Bradford university. More recently I became the UK head of dementia care for Sunrise, before returning to Majesticare this year in my current role.
I have a son Dan, and three daughters Jen, Lulu and Sophie and 4 beautiful grandchildren, Alex, Dominic, Gracie and Reuben. We all live nearby and are a very close family. There is always something going on in my family, and the latest drama was that Reuben was born in the passenger seat of my car on the way to hospital, and I delivered him! I now live in Congleton, where I was born, with my partner Emmanuel and our mad spaniel Max.
I have worked on the very busy, sometimes challenging, but always fun, front desk at Blenheim House, since August 2014. My badge says Receptionist but my real job role includes an awful lot more. From the day I walked through the door I knew this is where I am meant to be. I feel very passionate about my job and our Residents and do my utmost to ensure they receive the best possible care and respect for the time they are with us.
I love being a member of the extended family here at Blenheim and enjoy being part of a team working to make it the best place for our Residents to live, Staff to work and friends and families to visit.
Prior to Blenheim, I worked as P.A. to a Building Surveyor for twenty years and for a short time, the Local Authority in their Housing Department. I have two children and four grandchildren who I enjoy spending time with, along with my husband Paul.
My late Father was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and dementia nine years ago and it was that experience that brought me to Blenheim.
Adrian is our Maintenance man who will help you in any way possible to rectify the problem. Adrian looks after all the facilities in our home ensuring the building is safe and secure. Adrian has been working at Blenheim House since April 2016. He started working in care in 2012 and saw an opportunity to work for Majesticare at Blenheim House as our maintenance man and he has not looked back since. Adrian was in the army for 22 years before starting a new career in care which he enjoys immensely.
When I was in the army I did a number of jobs such as driving tanks and lorries for a while, then I worked in the family office looking after new and old families getting posted in and out of the regiment. I went in to the stores for four years then I went to Bovington, the British Tank Museum for another four years looking after the soldiers who were on courses. I was in charge on two buildings worth over 2 million pounds each. I spent over 17 years in Germany whilst I was in the army. When I completed my army service, I did care in the community working in domiciliary care for four years, as a community staff supervisor, looking after the staff and clients. I really enjoyed the job then I had the opportunity to become the maintenance man at Blenheim, which enabled me to still see and talk to the residents which I enjoy, especially listening to the men who were in the forces, I could listen to them all day long. I love my job, it is different every day.
My role here at Blenheim House is that of Head Housekeeper, a role I am proud of. This role brings many challenges, occasional hurdles to overcome, but is ultimately a lot of fun and very rewarding. My role is to ensure as you walk through our doors you see a beautiful, well-kept home. Making it a home our residents are proud to live in and families enjoy visiting.
Blenheim House has also been my home since we opened our doors in November 2013 and Sampford House before that.
I watched Blenheim House grow literally from the ground upwards and like the beautiful rooms and furnishings within it I am part of the fixtures and fittings now too after all these years!
I am very lucky to lead a team of amazing Housekeepers who make my job so much fun and are very much my extended family. As a team, we will always strive to do our very best for our residents, their families and the staff in whatever way we can.
Whether you are taking the time to read this because you may make Blenheim your home or because you are hoping to join our team, let be the first to say, "Welcome to Blenheim House!", "Welcome to the family!"
I started off in the care sector aged sixteen, attending Chippenham College and successfully completing a GNVQ in Health and Social Care. It became clear to me that caring for people was something I was passionate about and this then led me to enrol in a degree in mental health nursing at UWE in Bristol. I was a stone's throw away from being fully qualified when I realised that mental health nursing wasn't the career that I originally thought I wanted, so I made the hard decision to leave and decided to go back into the NHS.
I worked for many happy years at Chippenham Hospital as a Nursing Auxiliary and I thoroughly enjoyed it but decided that I would like to try something different and was offered a job in a care home, something which was very different to what I was used to.
Since this time, I have worked in the community but my heart has always been in the care home industry.
I have been at Blenheim House for three and a half years, starting as a care assistant. I have worked my way up to the Residential Manager's post which I feel is my biggest achievement besides having my three beautiful children.
It's a challenging but very rewarding role and each day is very different. The residents are an extended part of my family and each one receives the person-centred care that they deserve. This is something the staff at Blenheim House very much believe in as our residents are always our main priority.
The support I have received throughout my time at Blenheim House from my team on the Residential floor, the residents and their families have been overwhelming. Blenheim House is where my heart belongs.