Jobs for carers, domestic staff and kitchen staff are available at a new, purpose-built nursing home just outside Uckfield.
There is accommodation for 60 residents at the Herons Ghyll Care Village but Home Manager Alison Barnes is pacing the intake while staff are recruited.
Alison is pictured above with Buxted GP Dr David Wright, left, who makes regular visits to the home, and deputy manager Norman Ponce.
Eighteen people have now moved into the accommodation built on what were tennis courts at the former Temple Grove School.
The main school building, nearby but out of sight, is being converted to apartments.
The care village, which is owned by Mimosa Healthcare, is set on a hill and accessed on the first floor where floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of tree-studded views.
The ground floor, where rooms have doors on to a patio area, has not yet been opened.
A shop is in the process of being stocked and there is also a hair salon.
Alison, an experienced nursing sister, is very excited about her role at Herons Ghyll.
She is particularly pleased with the purpose-built accommodation, furnishings and decoration, including pictures of Sussex scenes on the walls.
She said: “There is nothing more I could wish for in a nursing home. It is light and airy, easy to move around and comfortable.
“There are en-suite wet rooms with every room, there are baths which can be raised and lowered and a variety of comfortable areas where residents can spend their time.”
Alison said the aim was to offer a flexible service for residents. For example they could choose when to have breakfast, what they would like and where they would like to eat it.
“Gone are the old days of getting everyone up at 7am having breakfast and then leaving them sitting around looking at everybody else. I would be mortified if that happened here. We are providing a service. It is all about the residents and their choice of what they want each day,” she said.
Alison is hoping to recruit staff from Uckfield and Crowborough because the people moving into the village are from the local community and it would be a bonus if they and their relatives could spot friendly faces they recognise among the team.
Alison started working life aged 16 as a cleaner at the Brighton General Hospital.
She quickly decided she would like to be a carer and when she was 17 started working with long stay elderly patients.
“I worked really hard and became a senior carer and then when I was 19 went to Brighton and Sussex University where I got a degree in nursing.”
She hasn’t looked back since. She was a nurse in the Army and also spent many years as a sister at the Sussex County Hospital. “Nursing has given me everything,” she added.
Among the jobs on offer at the Herons Ghyll Care Village is an apprenticeship in care which would be suitable for a 16-year-old who would be paid while receiving training over two years.
“Training is very important to us here. We have a 12-week induction course and it is eight weeks before new staff get on to the floor. There is also a worthwhile qualification to work for now, the Health and Social Care Diploma.
“People who come to us don’t need to have any qualifications. The most important thing we look for is kindness.
“We can normally offer work around the hours people have available, part time and job share, because care work is 24/7. This also means that when it comes to Christmas everybody has to do their bit and we all work short shifts over the holiday period.”
So far 20 people are employed at the home, the equivalent of eight more full-time care staff are needed now and by the time all 60 residents have moved in more than 60 people should be employed there.
Alison added: “There is something very special about everyone coming to this new building at the same time and starting this journey together.”