Why choose Christies Care as your Live-in Home Care provider?

Christies Care is a family owned and run live-in home care agency, established in 1987. We specialise in providing live-in home care to dependent adults, carefully matching personalities so that our clients have a team of carers whom they know and like.

We have grown through word of mouth and positive recommendations. Our consistently good service to our clients and carers has enabled us to become one of the largest specialist agencies for live-in home care in the UK. Christies Care has clients throughout the country, from Scotland to the Channel Islands and we select, recruit and train our carers to look after their clients’ wishes.

Our Local Area Advisors are spread all over the UK , and visit our clients regularly, to complement the service given by our head office.

Christies Care has been inspected and rated as Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission – a rating awarded to less than 3% of all care agencies or care homes. We work closely with Social Services Departments and health professionals.

Our Saxmundham based support staff of around 75 people are there to make sure that we have all the procedures working well to act quickly and efficiently on each client’s behalf, including our ability to start work for a client often within 24 or 48 hours of being asked.

Over the years, we have invested heavily in creating a good environment for carers, staff and all our visitors. We have subsidised guest rooms for our carers, and a disability-friendly en-suite guest room for clients and other visitors who want to come and stay.

HUGH GATHORNE-HARDYChairman & Director

Hugh was a founder shareholder of Christies Care and has been chairman since 1991. His active interest and investment has led to develop and grow the company to its current size, with Christies Care now arranging around 23,000 weeks of care a year.

Hugh’s focus is on maintaining and improving the service Christies Care gives to its clients, carers and staff. He is closely involved with the day-to-day running of the company and still frequently visits clients.

A Suffolk man, Hugh’s background was in commerce and banking and as a management consultant and chartered accountant.

LIN BARNESDirector & Registered manager

Lin joined Christies Care in 1999 as the company accountant and has found working in the care industry much more rewarding than the commercial sector.

In 2009 she became Regulation Manager and put in place a quality improvement programme which focuses on ensuring Christies Care provides a continually improving standard of care. This includes involving more clients in providing feedback so they can influence the development of our service.

Lin became Registered Manager in 2010 and Director in 2012.


Freddy has been working at Christies Care since 2009, becoming a director in 2014 and managing director in 2015.

His role is diverse, from visiting clients and carers, to building relationships with other organisations in the social care world.

Before joining Christies Care, Freddy was a management consultant, specialising in improving client satisfaction and loyalty. Before that, he was an academic, working in Sheffield and Bournemouth Universities, and the Natural History Museum. He gained his PhD at King’s College London.

What sets Christies Care apart from other live-in home care providers?

We do not let our clients down. Once we have started you are not left without a carer. Our size allows us to find a substitute for a carer who has to leave her client (through illness or a family emergency). We measure continuity of care. In any week, more than 90% of long-term clients will have a carer with them whom they have met, liked and have had caring for them before.

One of the most frequent questions potential clients ask us is “Will I like my carer? Will I get on with him or her?” Our answer is yes. For two reasons:

  • Christies Care’s booking team has the expertise to make sure carers and clients get on well. How? Because the members of the team know their carers well. They meet and interview all carers and talks to carers frequently, building a good relationship. A booking co-ordinator explains how it works in more detail here.
  • Our clients choose which carers they have. Our clients choose if they want a particular carer to form part of their regular team, or if they would prefer not to see her again. Our aim is to introduce carers to our clients who will be liked, and successful.

It is essential that carers have the right skills and attitudes to look after their clients. This is why all Christies Care carers have background checks, two in-depth interviews, an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and go through our intensive two-week residential training course, followed by compulsory distance-learning and follow-up tests.

Carers have their skills updated yearly (they stay here for a two day update course), and are expected to attend condition-specific training should that be needed.

As our client, you have a choice about how you want your carers to be managed.

The introductory model. We can introduce carers and you engage them yourself; telling them what you want them to do, how you want to live and agreeing the tasks she should carry out. You must be confident that the manner in which your carer carries out her tasks will not be subject to supervision, management or control by anyone. You must be able to sign a contract with the carer, to demonstrate that the carer is genuinely self-employed. Christies Care introduces suitable (trained, checked) carers to you. The carer is self-employed and responsible for all her tax and NI. With this model, a week of live-in home care costs between £650 and £950.

The domiciliary, fully managed model. The alternative is for Christies Care, as a CQC registered domiciliary care agency, to manage and control the carer. Christies Care (after consulting with you) tells the carer what tasks should be carried out and manages her performance. The carer is employed by Christies Care and Christies Care is responsible for all tax and NI. With this model, a week of live-in home care costs between £900 and £1,300.

We give our clients the care they want, when they want it. So, if you have a family emergency, and need a carer fast, we will act fast.

We know that if our carers are happy and confident in their abilities, they will do a good job. This is why we give all new carers a two week induction training course (including a two-day dementia course), and every carer comes back for a yearly update. We also have a specialist carer support team, who are there to offer help, advice and a listening ear to all of our carers, and our Local Area Advisors will visit our carers, if ever they want or need help, advice or just a chat.

Christies Care has clients throughout the UK (we have even had a client who lived in Gibraltar). Although most things are organised from our base in Suffolk, we know that a local connection, and meeting a local person to discuss care is essential.

This is why we have a network of Local Area Advisors, who will visit you whenever you want; whether you want to ask some questions about live-in homecare, want someone to give you advice about any aspect of care, or they simply pop in for a chat when they are passing.

We also have good relationships with local hourly care agencies, and can recommend good ones.

For most of our clients, the overall cost of engaging a live-in home carer is between £900 and £1,300 a week – depending on their wants and needs.

We are confident that we offer very good value for money, when compared to many residential home costs, the cost of 24 hour care from hourly providers, or many of our competitors.

Our team have used Christies Carers to look after their own relations. For example:

  • Hugh (our Chairman) had Christies Care to look after his mother for the final three years of her life and to look after his mother-in-law for the last 7 months of her life;
  • Our (now retired) Local Area Advisor Margaret had carers from Christies Care looking after both her mother and her mother-in-law for several years;
  • Paula (another retired Local Area Advisor) had Christies Care for her mother;
  • and Lin (a director) had her father-in-law cared for by Christies Care for five years.

Other members of our team have used us for their relations too. Therefore, we understand the concerns and expectations of our clients intuitively.

We are big enough to perform well; to have the in-house training capabilities, the carer availability and to have enough resources to solve most problems.

We are small enough to still keep our small company ethos of knowing our individual clients and carers well. So every client has a named person to talk to, as well as their local area advisor, who will visit whenever the client wants.

Anybody needing care is likely to be vulnerable to abuse. At Christies Care we take this very seriously.

  • We check all prospective carers against the Independent Safeguarding Authority lists, have an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (previously called CRB) and we act on any convictions recorded.
  • They need to provide us with two written references which we then check. Our team rings the referees to ensure they are who they say they are.
  • We check the quality of carers’ work, including unannounced spot checks and act on any concerns.

Family ownership means that we act for the long term (a second generation is in place for succession). We can’t be forced to focus on short term performance, as we have no shareholder pressure, and we own all of our assets.


Local Area Advisors

Because we recruit and train carers and look after our clients wishes from our Saxmundham base, we need a way to give our clients and carers close local support; so that we can meet our clients face-to-face, and get to know them well. Therefore we have a team of Local Area Advisors. Our Advisors live all over the country (from Fife to Yeovil, from Cheltenham to Felixstowe), and work for us locally. This way, our clients are rarely more than about an hour from one of our Advisors, whenever they (or our carers) want a face to face visit.

LAUREN DEWINGLocal Area Advisor Manager

Visiting a new client

If you are seriously thinking about live-in care, or you want to start having Christies Care carers, one of our Local Area Advisors will come and visit you:

  • Then you can talk to someone face-to-face, to ask our advisor questions, and find out more about Christies Care and live-in care.
  • We want to get to know you, and can only do this properly with a face to face visit, both at the start of care and regularly thereafter. There’s no substitute for a good visit.

  • We also want to make sure that both carer and client will be working in a risk-free environment, as far as possible. Therefore our local area advisors will assess risks and make recommendations to remove or reduce those risks. NB We recognise that our clients have every right to take risks, if they want. Therefore we welcome in-depth discussions around our risk assessments and recommendations, because we don’t want any of our risk reduction suggestions to be restrictive.

Visiting our regular clients

We like to make a courtesy visit to our clients each year and maybe pop-in briefly a few times as well. Our fee covers up to two extra visits a year, if your wishes or needs have changed and you would like us to have an up-to-date record.

Visiting our carers

Our local advisors like to see our carers too, when they visit a client. Carers like it as it helps us give them more job satisfaction.

“I’m often inspired when I see what carers can do. How they really do improve people’s lives. There is a genuine bond between the carers and their clients. You can see how much the carers really do care. There’s no predicting what I’ll see next. One day I may be advising a client about how to get out of a chair safely and another day I’ll be talking to a carer about her family at home.”

Anthea Blenkinsop – Local Area Advisor


Your Booking Team

The complex task of matching the skills, attributes, outlooks and personalities of carers to suitable clients is managed by our booking team. They know the carers and spend time talking to clients and/or their families. This gives them the knowledge and the skills to assess which carer would ‘fit’ well with each client.

We organise our bookers in teams, so that if a client’s particular booker is on holiday for example, the rest of the team will still know enough about the client to be up to date and be able to make any decisions.

“I absolutely love my job and working for Christies.
I like that my job is so varied and no two days are the same. My colleagues are so caring, kind, knowledgeable and compassionate and I enjoy coming to work each day.”
“I used to be a support worker (as hourly care) for five years, so I understand that our carers have to have a very caring and understanding nature, and also have to use your initiative a lot.”
“I enjoy Learning about clients and their lifestyles, amazing histories and tales of ‘derring do’. While it can be challenging and frustrating it is also very rewarding and fun.”
“I work within a fantastic team and together we help to provide our clients with care workers who enable them to continue living at home and live a fulfilling life.”
KATHRYN MARSHALLHead of Bookings Department

“I started at Christies Care in 2011 as a booking coordinator in The Emerald Team. I was promoted to Working Team Leader a year later and in 2017 to my current position. I am now lucky enough to work with all the bookings Teams.

I work with a wonderful team of colleagues and I enjoy speaking to a variety of different people and the close contact with clients makes my role very rewarding.

Previously, I have worked as an hourly carer, but I have spent most of my time working in Special Needs assessment for children with Learning Difficulties.

I have an energetic child who I am privileged to devote my leisure time to.”

The Life of a Booking Co-ordinator

Life in the Christies Care booking office is certainly not predictable. I can find myself dealing with queries ranging from “help, my carer is ill and I need someone today” to “there’s a fox in the kitchen what shall I do?” My regular job includes introducing the regular team of carers to their clients and making sure the rotas and changeover of carers work.

The other main part of my job is matching carers to clients. A client may be just starting with us, or his regular carer may be sick. It is a great feeling when a client tells me that he or she really likes their new carer; that they have things in common, can discuss similar interests and get on very well.

Last Christmas, one client found that none of his team of regular carers was available. I introduced a male carer to this client, despite his reluctance, as he was used to female carers. When I rang in the new year, I found that they had had a great Christmas together and had enjoyed lots of walks and “men’s talk”. This experience has opened up the client’s horizons to having more of a mix of carers, who each engage and stimulate him in a different way.

I often find that the family’s perception of what their mother or father may want in a carer may be very different to what the client actually wants.

Early in my career as a booker, I was told by one client’s son that his mother would only like calm and quiet carers.

I therefore introduced calm and quiet carers. When I talked to the client, she always said that the carers were fine but there were no ‘sparks’.

I mulled this over with our Local Area Advisor, Heather (who had visited the client several times and knows her quite well), and she said that “I find that this client brings out the loud and bubbly side in me, I think she could do with someone who is more fun”.

So I introduced a more gregarious, outgoing carer and found that they got on fantastically well.

When I rang to see how they were getting on, I found that they had been dancing in the hallway (literally) and expounding on the joys of eating prunes and sharing healthy food tips and cooking skills.

I learned from this and focus on introducing carers who make the client happy first and foremost, as well as liaising with relations.

A major part of our job is interviewing and getting to know the carers. How else can we be sure that we are introducing the right carers for our clients? We sit down with the carers when they come here on induction training and have time to get to know what sort of person they are. We also talk to the carers at their work, seeing how they get on with different clients and generally getting to know them better and keeping up a rapport.

I have only been with Christies Care 2 years and it has been really rewarding to get to know my clients over the years and through a variety of changes in their lives. The job gets much better as we get to know our clients and can really understand their needs and wishes. We often share details of what’s happening in our lives. If I had a pound for every time I had been asked “Have you finished building your house yet?”, I would be a very rich lady. And before you ask, we are 18 months in and no, it is still not finished!

Your Booking Teams

JOE GLASSSapphire Working Team Leader

“I’ve been with Christies Care since January 2016, first as a Booking Coordinator and now as the Working Team Leader of the Sapphire team. I really enjoy being able to speak to all kinds of people from different backgrounds, hearing the stories they have to say. I find it very rewarding helping people with their needs and working in a team where everyone is so close you know that even when you’re not here all your clients are well looked after.

I used to be an estate agent and by doing this I have learned to listen to the needs of people. In my spare time I enjoy watching football, watching films and tv box sets and taking my two dogs out and about with my fiancé.”

CHERYL SEDGEBookings Co-ordinator

“I have worked for Christies since January 2011. There is never a dull day and the work is always busy and varied.

I enjoy Learning about clients and their lifestyles, amazing histories and tales of ‘derring do’. While it can be challenging and frustrating it is also very rewarding and fun.

Out of work I spend time with family and friends; enjoying music, the countryside and my dogs.”

EMMA FORDBookings Co-ordinator

“I have been with Christies Care since 2004. What I like most about my job is the diversity of people I work with and helping to make a difference in a person’s life

Family time is extremely important to me and I enjoy spending time with my two young children. We love being “out and about” and like to travel and visit different places.”

NICOLE TAHERINIABookings Co-ordinator
WALEED ALBAYATIBookings Co-ordinator
JANE PETRIEBookings Co-ordinator
JAMES WATKISSTopaz Working Team Leader

“I joined Christies Care in January 2014, and am the Team Leader of the Sapphire bookings team. My team and I manage clients who are predominantly based in the East Anglia area.

Before joining Christies I had been working in the hospitality industry for over 10 years, and decided on a change of direction. I chose Christies Care as I still very much wanted to work closely with people, and since joining the company have found my role to be most rewarding.

I get a real sense of satisfaction knowing that the help we provide enables our clients to maintain their independence and enjoy living in the familiar surroundings of their own home.“

CHRIS INGRAMBookings Supervisor

“I have been working at Christies for 11 and a half years now and I enjoy being able to help people receive the care they need to remain in their own homes.

When I’m away from the office I enjoy spending time with my family and taking my son to London to see our favourite football team, Crystal palace, play.”

SARAH RAMPLINGBookings Co-ordinator

“I joined Christies Care in 2009 as a Booking Co-ordinator, and I particularly enjoy talking with my clients and their families. It’s nice getting to know them so I can make sure I find just the right care assistants to meet their needs and lifestyle.

In addition to this I’m also an assistant trainer for the Learning Disabilities and Autism awareness training course that we provide for all care assistants within Christies Care.

When I’m not at work I spend time with my family and enjoy reading, regular exercise and baking.”

CARLA SALTERBookings Co-ordinator

“I’ve worked for Christies Care for over 7 years now. During my time here I’ve enjoyed meeting so many different people and helping to build relationships between clients and their care workers.

I have learnt a lot about what it must be like to be a care worker; it takes a special type of person and I sympathise with how difficult it could be but enjoy seeing the difference live-in care makes in everyone’s lives including the care assistants themselves.

In my spare time, I love travelling and exploring new places, photography, art and cycling.”

EMMA PAYNEBookings Co-ordinator

“I’ve been working for Christies Care for the past 5 years and really enjoy working as part of a team and enjoy speaking to clients and their relatives.

Although I haven’t had any care experience myself, when talking to our carers I always do my best to understand what they are going through and provide support to both our clients and our carers.

During my spare time I enjoy spending time with my son and I also enjoy horse riding.”

TERI SKINNERBookings Co-ordinator
NICOLA MAGUIREBookings Co-ordinator
KAREN KITSONBookings Co-ordinator
SHAUNNA BARBEREmerald Working Team Leader

“I started with Christie’s Care in January 2015 in the carer support department. I then moved over to the Bookings department and am currently the Working Team Leader of the Emerald team. I enjoy my job very much and the variation it brings on a day to day basis.

In the past I have been a carer myself so I understand not only the stress and pressures involved, but equally the massive benefits providing care can bring for both our clients and carers.

Some things I enjoy outside of work include spending time with family and friends, baking and going to Zumba classes.”

KATIE CLEMENTSBookings Co-ordinator

“I have been with Christies Care since June 2015. I thoroughly enjoy my job as a booking co-ordinator. I find it both rewarding and diverse. I work within a fantastic team and together we help to provide our clients with care workers who enable them to continue living at home and live a fulfilling life.

When I am not at work I spend time with my young son and partner. I also enjoy travelling and taking my son to explore Suffolk.”

KELLY BUNDYBookings Co-ordinator
EMILY SMITHHead of New Client Team

“I have worked for Christies Care since 2006. I enjoy the fact that in my role I’m always meeting and speaking with new people and no day is the same. I have enjoyed working in various Departments across the company and am grateful to Christies Care for allowing me to progress since I have arrived.

As a Senior Working Team Leader in the Carer Support Team I was proud to see how much positive feedback the team receive from the carers. It is nice to see that their hard work is appreciated by many. I am pleased to have recently been promoted to head the New Client Team.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I attend yoga classes and help at a local Dance School.“

MANDY BOWENNew Client Co-ordinator

“I’ve been with Christies since early 2013. The best thing about my job is helping people live independently in their own home.

When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer she made the choice that she wanted to remain in her home, however she was scared to be alone. I looked into Live-in-Care for her and this gave my mother peace of mind and allowed me to maintain my family life and be involved as a daughter not a carer. This worked well and my mother got her wish and was able to live in her own home until she passed away.

I have a young daughter so when I’m not working I’m with her, enjoying our time together.”

LYNNETTE GLENNON New Client Co-ordinator

“I started with Christies Care in January 2006 in Carer Support, my first ever office job. A few months later I was then offered the position as a Booking Coordinator and have been in this department ever since.

I have had many lovely clients to confirm care workers for and get to speak to people from all walks of life.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my young Niece and Nephew and love Musical Theatre.”

NICOLA PHILLIPSNew Client Co-ordinator

“I started with Christies Care in 2014, joining the Sapphire Team within Bookings then in 2015 I moved on to the New Client Team.

I absolutely love my job and working for Christies. I like that my job is so varied and no two days are the same. My colleagues are so caring, kind, knowledgeable and compassionate and I enjoy coming to work each day. It is a very satisfying job, allowing people to stay in their homes and remain as independent as possible.

I am a family girl and all of my spare time involves running around after my very hectic, busy (and noisy) 7 year old daughter!”

KATE HARVEYNew Client Co-ordinator

Hello, I’m Kate and I started with Christies Care Ltd in March 2015 as a Recruitment Co-ordinator. I’ve recently moved to my new role in the New Client team. I really enjoy speaking to different people daily.

My understanding of what’s involved in care comes from previously being a support worker for 2 years. I worked with adults with learning difficulties and know it can be a challenging but very rewarding job. I have also cared for an elderly family member at the end of their life so understand the constant changing needs of people and the many different aspects of care involved.

I enjoy dancing, and love spending time with my nieces and nephew.”

SAM DEARENew Client Co-ordinator