Sara Grist, Head of Care
Sara has been working with the elderly for the majority of her life, beginning her career helping her granny to sell sweets, drinks and newspapers to residents in a care home in Darlington during her summer holidays. Her family bought a care home in 1979 and Sara started as a full-time carer before moving up the management ranks, taking over as manager following her mother's retirement.
She is fully qualified with a management degree and a foundation degree in health and social care - dementia. Sara was part of the Local Care Homes Association for 15 years as the dementia lead, organising training and conferences for association members, and then the Kent Integrated Care Alliance which includes all areas of care.
Sara joined the Home Instead team in January 2018 after meeting Symone at the Tonbridge Dementia Friendly Community group and is the first point of contact for all care enquiries.
"I love working for Home Instead Senior Care and ensuring our clients' are safe, happy and well cared for. I'm proud to work with such a fantastic team who all really care."
Sara is the Registered Manager for Home Instead Senior Care Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge.
Sue Hayward, Senior Manager
As a former Matron of Edenbridge Hospital, Sue brings considerable knowledge and expertise to our team. She is key in training high quality staff and managing the thorough quality assurance process with our clients. She carries out quality assurance checks with clients via telephone and visits to check they are happy with our service - from dealing with the office to the care services received.
Denise Collins, Assistant Care Manager
As one of our management team, Denise is a qualified trainer and provides new recruits and existing team members with training and supervision. Denise is often out and about supporting our CAREGivers with their clients, observing them in practice, providing advice and techniques to help them deliver great care and take care of themselves. Denise really enjoys going out to meet potential clients and their relatives to discuss their requirements, assess their needs and is a key part of the process in matching CAREGivers to clients to ensure a happy combination.
With a passion for what we do, Denise regularly covers client care visits as a CAREGiver and loves this hands-on part of her role.
Sue Solomon, Care Administrator
After leaving school, Sue completed the RSA Diploma for Personal Assistants to gain her secretarial and administrative skills. She went on to work in London for a number of years within the area of human resources prior to starting her own family. During her early career, Sue successfully passed the professional Personnel Management exams to become a graduate of the Institute of Personnel Management. As her children were growing up, Sue worked at local primary schools both as Teaching Assistant and Personal Assistant to the Headteacher.
Sue joined Home Instead Senior Care as Care Administrator in 2019, supporting the senior management team and ensuring the efficient running of the busy Tunbridge Wells Office as well as visiting clients, getting to know them in their own homes.
Vicky Roper, Business Manager
Vicky has been a key part of the senior management team almost since the launch of the Tunbridge Wells, Edenbridge and Sevenoaks Office.
After Vicky gained her Finance-based degree qualification, she went on to take her professional accountancy exams and working within the accountancy sector before moving into the media industry.
Although Vicky is very much a ‘numbers’ woman, she is of the belief that we are all individuals and does not treat our client’s as just numbers, but as the individuals they are. She very much enjoys working in the care sector and being part of the team.
Symone Salwan, Founder (1970-2020)
Symone Salwan founded Home Instead Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks & Edenbridge office in 2011.
Starting her own home support business and being a provider of care for the elderly was always her dream. Following a busy career in management consultancy and business start-ups, it was only the untimely death of her Grandmother that changed everything for her and made her realise that she had to do something to prevent anyone else going through the same experience.
With the support of her partner, Graham, she gained the courage to change her life completely and move into homecare support which she was truly passionate about. Home Instead Senior Care was the vehicle that fit completely with her ambition and ethos; Quality care providers offering the best home care support services by far.
Through her family, she dealt with so many issues with care and finding a way through the maze of health and social services. She learned more about the wider issues facing elderly people within the healthcare system from her voluntary work as Treasurer for the League of Friends of Edenbridge Hospital; a role which she was proud to fulfil for two years.
She was trained by The Alzheimer's Society as a Dementia Friends Champion and regularly delivered Home Instead Family & Community Dementia Workshops. Her other activities include being Co-Chair and Trustee of Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community (now a recognised charity), Chair of West Kent Dementia Action and a Trustee of The Carers Wellbeing Initiative, small organisations providing tangible assistance to people in need of support. She founded the Forget-Me-Not Cafes in 2015, working with partners in the community to address loneliness, isolation and overcome some of the stigma associated with memory and cognition impairment.
She loved doing something she loved and was dedicated to providing the highest quality of care so that she and her team could make a real difference to the lives of older people living in the area.
Following her sudden passing in February 2020, her team continue to run the business in the way in which they know Symone would have wanted. She will always remain a huge influence in the running of the business and was greatly respected by her team and all those she worked with and helped over the years.