Our staff bring their personal strengths and specialisms together to form a strong team with one aim to provide the highest standard of care for our residents. The majority are local people.

Residents and visitors frequently comment that our staff smile a lot. They do this because they enjoy their work. We separate the duties so that the care staff are not expected to be involved in the cleaning and catering which gives them more time to devote to the personal care of the residents. Whichever department the staff work in they all get to know and engage with the residents. We employ a committed team who recognize that their personal duty is to ensure the comfort, security and happiness of each of our residents and their family and friends who need their support and attention as well.

When you come to the Red House, perhaps to decide whether we are the right home for you or maybe when visiting a friend or relative please do watch the staff and see how they relate to our residents. You will notice that however busy they are they always find the time to stop and talk and listen. Providing care involves far more than attending to a residents physical needs. This is especially important when a new resident joins us because they are bound to be emotional, lonely or simply shy being surrounded by strangers having just left their home which they may have lived in for decades. We do recognise this and work very hard to deal with it.

We have over 50 members of staff. Most of them have worked for us for many years which allows an important continuity of care and relationships for our residents. Our turnover of staff is minimal. We try to avoid using agency staff if at all possible. We consider that the close relationship between the staff and residents is vital.

Our Manager - Carol Vaughan

Carol has worked in care since 1992 originally with the elderly and elderly mentally ill. She then moved to the Learning Disability sector for 15 years before joining us as manager in June 2013.

Her first appointment as a manager was in 2008 when she obtained a Registered Managers Award and NVQ4. Carol's other qualifications obtained during her career include:-

ILM level 3 First Line Management, RMA NVQ4, Level 2 Diabetes, Level 2 Mental Health Awareness, Level 2 Principles of the Prevention and Control of Infection in the Health Setting, Level 3 Understanding Palliative care and Level 2 Common Health Conditions.

As manager Carol and our assistant manager are responsible for the smooth running of the home.

She is a good leader and a passionate advocate for the Residents and is committed to the delivery of an excellent service including the training and development of staff to ensure the provision of high standards and person centred care.

Carol quickly developed a reputation for being a driving force for the constant improvement of our standard of care. She has shown herself to be the loudest advocate for our residents. She demands the highest standards and expects the staff to share her passion to achieve this. Her infectious laugh and good humour travels the corridors and rooms of the Red House and invigorates everybody.

Carol's personal interests are spiritual. She practices holistic therapies which include all forms of massage, Indian head reflexology, Guasha and Cupping, crystal healing and hands on healing. She also meditates and does yoga. Carol is passionate about the residents that she is responsible for having a deeply seated conviction that the human race do not support one another as they should. She believes in advocating the cause of each resident, and the resident matters more than anybody else. Carol's philosophy is that when you are looking after elderly people, you cannot change the life they have already lived but you can make sure that they are comfortable and enjoy what life they have left, and share their memories.

Assistant Manager - Vanessa Smith

Vanessa has worked in the care industry almost the whole of her working life. She started at the Red House in 1998 as a junior carer and since then has worked her way up through the ranks. She has to all intents and purposes done the job of Assistant Manager for a number of years but was formally appointed to that post in 2013.

Vanessa holds NVQ2 and NVQ3 qualifications. She also worked part time at West Suffolk College for a number of years where she qualified as an NVQ Assessor. In that role she would move around many other care homes in the locality assisting the staff to acquire their own NVQ qualifications. This gave Vanessa an exceptional insight into the attitudes and general demeanour of the staff employed throughout the locality. With the benefit of that experience she says with confidence that the staff at the Red House are in a special category of their own. There is an extremely happy and close atmosphere in the Red House. The staff treat their job as a vocation rather than just work.

Vanessa's job as Assistant Manager includes many administrative roles, this includes assisting the Manager in reviewing on a daily basis the individual care plans of each of the residents.

Administrator - Andrew Backhurst

Andrew joined the Red House in December 2011 after working in a small family run engineering firm since he left school. Progressing from the workshop into the office, where he acquired the skills and experience that were the foundations of the work he does for us today. Andrew looks after and runs the financial side of the Red House, including all the book keeping and accounting for the home and its residents (if they wish) as well as the payroll for the staff.

Andrew holds an HNC in Business Information Technology, Certification in Sage Accounts and Sage Payroll (Advanced user), he has recently been awarded an NVQ in Business Administration Level 2. Andrew also attends all the mandatory training courses that are held within the Red House. His door is always open to staff, residents and relatives and he always makes time for anyone who pays him a visit.

Head Chef - Natalie Brooks

Natalie has worked in the catering industry all her working life and for most of that within the care industry itself. Indeed Natalie's first career preference was to become a carer but she soon discovered her passion for cooking. She has a series of impressive qualifications. She is trained in MUST (the delivery of nutritional standards in the care industry) and she also has qualifications in health and nutrition and in dementia.

Natalie's personal mission is to deliver the best qualify meals to the residents which meet their individual preferences. She loves cooking and her great pleasure in life is feeding people and seeing them enjoy their food. She places great priority in asking the residents individually what they want and to deliver the food cooked to the style that they prefer. She does not take anything for granted.

Gardener - Ian Blackmore

Ian makes the point that first impressions are extremely important. As you walk into the grounds of the Red House to approach the main door you are immediately struck by the very large and well laid out garden which extends round and to the back of the building. In fact it is probably true to say that the Red House is almost as famous for its garden as it is for the building itself. We have regular open days and they have proved to be very popular because of the reputation that we have for our gardens.

Ian has noticed a higher proportion of our residents are mobile these days and they enjoy the garden and indeed participate in a gardening club. Ian re-trained as a gardener 10 years ago. He is qualified to Level 3 and holds and Advanced National Certificate in professional gardening. When he took over 10 years ago the garden had become very overgrown and he set about redesigning it. His mission is to make it not too formal. He would like to see it as a managed but natural cottage garden with things to see all year around. Like all gardeners Ian is constantly planning for the future and for next year. His next big challenge is to revamp the folly and its immediate surroundings.

Head House Keeper - Sara Bugg

Sara manages a team of five domestic assistants plus a laundry operator. All the residents' rooms and the communal areas are cleaned daily. The carpets in the communal areas are shampooed once a week and the others regularly and certainly as often as needed. One of the ways that a professional will judge the standards of a care home is its cleanliness and that it should be odour free.

The fact that we meet these standards is frequently commented on by the various authorities during their routine inspections and if you come and see us you should look out for this as one of the factors by which you judge us. Like the care staff the domestic staff will also take time to talk to and listen to the Residents

Team Training

Team Training - There is nothing more important in homecare than well-trained, compassionate staff.

Here at the Red House you can be sure that all our staff are kept up to date with the latest codes of practice and procedures so that the very best care can be given, the highest standards achieved and delivered at all times. We employ some expernal trainers  and also training via the computer.


First Aid
COSHH (Control of Substances Harmful to Health)
SOVA (Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults)
Infection Control
Health and Safety
Equality and Diversity
Moving and Assisting
Mental Capacity / Liberty Protection Safeguards.
Fire safety
Basic Food Hygiene
End of Life care
Common Health Conditions which covers Arthritis/Stroke/Dementia/Parkinson/Sensory loss
Understanding how to contribute to monitoring the health of individuals affected by health conditions,
Understanding the care of Diabetes, Mental Health Awareness

Some areas are compulsory to all staff whilst others depend on the individual's duties.

Even if the particular area of training is not compulsory any member of staff is invited to participate in area that is available and many do to advance their general skill levels.

Staff also undertake Level 2/3 Distance Learning to achieve their NVQ qualifications