Real Lives

Kimberley turns tears into laughter

Kimberley Mann

Lifestyles Manager, Kimberley Mann hasn’t always been the life and soul of the party and her path to becoming the outstanding Lifestyles Manager she is today is drenched with tears and laughter in the same measure.

In 2016 Kimberley lost the love of her life to cancer. For eighteen months she’d stood by him watching first-hand the professionalism, understanding and care lovingly delivered by a raft of specialist carers.

After her partner had passed, and having witnessed the vital impact carers had, Kimberley realised that caring for others was incredibly important work, and as she says: ‘actually the most important work’. Within days she was applying to be a Carer, with her passion ‘to make a difference’ and ‘to give back’ overwhelming. Within a year Kim had worked in the community and gained her care certificate.

Kimberley first joined Hastings Court as a Health Care Assistant. After working on the Sunflower Dementia Care floor at Hastings Court for a year, bringing the fun back into the lives of the home’s dementia care residents, it was very clear that along with her caring skills, Kimberley had the ability to light up a room!

The sudden smiles of Sunflower residents were not unnoticed by Senior Registered Manager, Georgina Gamble and it wasn’t long before she joined the Lifestyles Team as a Co-Ordinator. Her energy and dedication to the role was visible from the outset and when the opportunity arose for Kimberley to apply for the position of Lifestyles Manager, Georgina knew that she ‘was the one’.

She regularly sources materials in her own time and will come in on her day off to benefit residents. Importantly, Kimberley has built a like-minded team around her who work with her to achieve the very best for those who live at Hastings Court.

Kimberley understands the importance of family, one of the key values of working within an Oakland Care Home. In previous times she has relished the opportunity to get families together and picnic in the gardens when the sun is out.

She also introduced ‘Magic Moments’ at Hastings Court. When a resident has a wish, be it going to a football match or to the ballet, she makes it happen. One recent example of this was when resident and retired composer John Simpson longed to hear again the music he’d once composed.

Kimberley arranged for the Sussex Coast Orchestra to come together, rehearse, then give a surprise performance of John Simpsons work in the home’s Cinema Room. Many of those taking part in the performance were John’s former students, now accomplished professional musicians in their own right

Thanks to Kimberley, Hastings Court’s weekly activity planer is jam packed with a relentless list of inspiring and fun activities including arm chair exercise, indoor putting, quizzes, dance, songs, life drawing, table football league, treasure hunts and fresh new entertainers ranging from a top Elvis impersonator to top magicians.

In recent times it has been more challenging than ever for Kimberley to be creative and keep residents happy, safe and spirits uplifted. But Kimberley has risen to the challenge and maintained a fun and safe environment for residents. Organising outside entertainers in the car park so residents can watch and dance along inside their rooms.

Kimberley also devised the idea of the bespoke weekly sixteen-page newspaper the ‘Hastings Court Crier’ which is written and inspired by the residents and staff. It brings together the talents and ideas of all members of the Hastings Court family and has been a great focus for the home in the recent difficult times, as well as keeping family members up-to-date with what’s been happening inside the home when they cannot visit.

Since being in the Lifestyles Manager role, Kimberley has gone above and beyond and is loved equally by residents and her peers and the home wouldn’t be the same without her. Thank you, Kimberley.

Hastings Court Care Home in East Sussex is an 80-bed care home operated by Oakland Care. The home offers personalised residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 80 residents.

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