Meet The Manager

Charlotte McKenzie

Hello Charlotte, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in Care?

Yes, from the very beginning when I started my studies in Nursing in South Africa to eventually coming over here, I have been very proud and honoured to take charge of many care homes over the years and implement the person-centred care ethos that gives independence to the residents to fully enjoy their home.

It sounds like you have a lot of experience, what is it about giving Care that you enjoy?

I get great joy from giving joy, it is also the whole package, not just the care side, the activities we do, the quality of food delivered, cleanliness and the look of the whole home are all important factors for me. This is why management suits me as it is the delivery of the whole service that I thrive on, not just one part of it

You have consistently been given favourable recognition from the CQC for services you have run, what philosophy do you have to ensure such high standards?

I am a strong believer that you lead from the front, I am more than happy to get involved in any aspect of running a home including many years as an activities coordinator. This demonstrates the inclusive nature of what we all do, we need to be a strong team working for each other and making sure all residents feel part of the Cornerways family.

You are now at Cornerways Residential Home, what is it about the home that made you feel you wanted to be part of it?

Well, I have managed many sized homes from 20 bed to 150 bed and for me, my experience has shown me that nothing beats the family atmosphere you can create with a smaller home. If done right, you genuinely know each other so well that the slightest look or action and you already know what that person is saying, even without words. This is so important, this closeness in a care home as sometimes for the residents the words are hard to come by. However, I extend this to the team as well, when you know your team that well, which you do in a smaller home the results are amazing and something we can all be proud of.

What do you hope to achieve at Cornerways Residential Home?

A home that the residents, family members and Hythe as a community can be proud of. I’m a strong believer in being part of the fabric of the community. One of the first things I did was encourage our chefs to get locally produced and fresh food, which is delivered daily. We also have a connection with a local school whereupon the kids spend some time at the home speaking with the residents. It is all part of the family ethos that I’m so strongly committed to maintaining.

What can residents expect from an entertainment point of view?

Non-stop fun!! Well as I have had many years as an activities coordinator. It is about offering a wide choice of activities that encourages inclusiveness from all and this is where a smaller home thrives as when you truly understand your dynamic of residents then you create an activities roster that is suited for them and if need be we can concentrate on certain senses with some residents that hopefully encourages them to express themselves. Activities are such an important care tool and we definitely keep them all smiling at Cornerways including myself, I get such joy from this.

Do you have anything to say to residents and families that are either already at Cornerways or thinking of coming?

This is the resident’s home and we work for them. They are in charge, they decide their routine, they decide what activities they do, we facilitate, we encourage, we assist to make sure they are fulfilled and feel part of the Cornerways family. This independence is demonstrated for example when we have 3 ladies that once they finish there tea just sit at the table just talking and laughing endlessly, we just leave them to it, it is their home this is the beauty of giving person-centred care we are led by our residents.

It would be nice to know more about you away from Care, what hobbies do you have?

In my younger days, I would design and uplift homes. A great skill that I have brought over to my management side as the home has to look a certain way for me, it has to express the joyousness of life and I’m so meticulous with this, to colour schemes, cleanliness, even if the curtains are not right. Everything has to be on show and is so important as it is a look of a home that makes the individual proud to be part of it and family members proud that their loved ones are in such a nice home.

Favourite past time?

I love to sew, it is something that I have always enjoyed and done throughout my life, I really find it therapeutic. In fact, when the care home needs something in most cases I will just go home and make it for the residents and you will see my initials on many of the items at the home. It is just part of the inclusive nature we have created at Cornerways which we all view as our own home.

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