Meet our new home manager
We’re delighted to welcome Sandra Roche as our new home manager. Sandra comes to us highly qualified, thanks to an MSc in Social Policy and Social Work Studies as well as a Diploma in Social Work, and she’s also determined to make a difference to the lives of people affected by dementia.
She has undertaken a wide variety of roles within health and social care that have brought her into contact with people affected by dementia. She has been a field social worker and, as registered manager, led a residential care facility (a former Methodist home) to a CQC Excellent rating. Here, one of Sandra’s biggest challenges was to oversee the phased demolition of the old site, dating back to 1948, and construction of a new build with residents still in situ. She was also determined that residents would have a say in the project.
“We involved residents in everything, from discussing plans with architects to testing out furniture. We even supported residents to try out new baths – on the retailer’s trailer! The CQC praised us for the high level of resident involvement,” she explains.
In search of a fresh challenge, Sandra moved to Sutton Council as Head of Provider Services, overseeing four care homes, three day centres and a homecare service. Part of the role involved the decommissioning and merger of care home facilities, as well as embedding a new staff culture. Sandra met the difficulties head on…. by commissioning a film that involved both residents and staff. The innovative use of stop-motion animation helped residents affected by dementia to articulate their reminiscences on camera. The film was so well received that it was featured at the 2010 National Dementia Conference as an example of best practice. Continuing with the theme of innovation, Sandra’s team later won a Health Service Journal Award for setting up the area’s first local Admiral Nurse Service to support families living with dementia.
Sandra’s main priority for Hampton is to create a happy environment where residents feel genuinely at home. She’s keen to support colleagues to develop their skills and be genuinely inspired by their work and is also keen for the home to achieve a CQC Outstanding rating – in all five categories.
She loves interacting with residents. “Nothing beats walking around and talking with residents,” she says. “If you have a bad day or feel stressed, having a chat is the best way to feel inspired all over again. It’s a huge privilege to listen to and learn from older people. I’m here to help and support them and their families, but I’m also grateful for the ‘gifts’ I get in return. I’ve learned so much about history, society and life in general from talking with them every day.”
Outside work Sandra is a single mum to 15-year-old Nathaniel, a film and media production student at the prestigious performing and creative arts Brit School in Croydon. Sandra herself landed a role driving a getaway car in one of Nathaniel’s recent productions! As Nathaniel plays rugby every Sunday, Sandra is often to be found ‘knee deep in mud on touchlines all over Surrey’. She also loves to cook and sing – her special party-piece (for anyone who’ll care to listen) is a medley of various Billy Bragg songs.