Mary to manage residential care home

A RESIDENTIAL care home in Southwold, Suffolk has appointed a new manager.

Mary Jeffries has joined Oaklands House in Reydon following a wide variety of other roles in the care sector in East Anglia.

Ms Jeffries, who holds a masters degree in social sciences, has previously been a social worker across all care groups, a project manager, a research manager and a commissioning manager. She also headed up a small Suffolk-based charity for a number of years.

Before taking up the position at Oaklands House, which is owned and managed by East Anglian independent care provider Healthcare Homes, she spent six years as a Care Home Inspector with CQC.

She said: “I am very excited to have joined Oaklands House and am looking forward to working closely with the team. Healthcare Homes has an excellent reputation and I am committed to ensuring that Oaklands continues to be a happy home for staff and residents alike.”

Chief executive of Healthcare Homes Richard Clough said: “We are delighted Mary has joined us. She brings with her a wealth of valuable experience and expertise and I have no doubt she will have a very positive impact on Oaklands House.”

Colchester-based law firm Thompson Smith & Puxon now has another qualified solicitor within the firm. Emma Town, who joined the firm in October 2008, qualified on November 1.

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Ms Town studied law with Spanish law and language at the University of Essex. During that time she spent a year studying at the University of Madrid in Spain. She then went on to complete her Legal Practice Course at the City Law School.

Human resources director Richard Porter said: “Our graduate recruitment programme continues to bear fruit. As a firm we are committed to supporting our trainees and keen to invest in the future of the firm. We are a firm in which younger lawyers can obtain a wide experience of legal practice and develop their expertise in a chosen area of law within an encouraging and mentoring environment. Emma will be a valuable addition to the firm and on behalf of Thompson Smith & Puxon I wish her every success in the future.”

Mel Barker, managing partner for the Norfolk and Suffolk team, is retiring from Clydesdale Bank following a career spanning over 40 years in the industry.

Mr Barker joined Clydesdale Bank four and a half years ago and will be stepping down at the end of February 2011. His banking career began in 1964 in Holt, North Norfolk, and he has spent most of his career in East Anglia, which has involved, Barclays Bank, Baker Tilly, and more recently, Clydesdale Bank.

He has held a wide range of regional roles in the financial services sector, specialising in the corporate and business market and has many years experience leading teams of business bankers.

He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my career in banking and feel privileged to have spent most of my working life in East Anglia. My time with Clydesdale Bank has been all about real relationship banking and I have particularly valued my involvement with the business community.”

Andrew Pike will officially take over as managing partner of the Norfolk and Suffolk business teams when Mr Barker retires in mid February. He will combine his new appointment with his role as managing partner of Clydesdale Bank’s East of England agribusiness team.

A trainee accountant from Suffolk is celebrating after achieving the highest result worldwide for a professional exam.

Lucy Maynard, a trainee accountant with Larking Gowen, based at their Ipswich office, scored an impressive 93% in her Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Paper F8. This paper covers auditing and was taken by 30,700 students worldwide.

After studying accountancy at A-level, she realised that this was the career she wanted to pursue and joined Larking Gowen three years ago.

“I looked around for opportunities and came across Larking Gowen, who offered an excellent training scheme,” she said.

“I put in a lot of work preparing for that particular exam, as auditing was a new area for me, and I came out of the exam hoping I had done enough to pass. When I received my exam results I was amazed to find I had achieved such a high result, and when I got the letter saying I had gained the highest mark worldwide I was completely stunned.”

To mark her success, Lucy was presented with a certificate of merit and a cheque for �200 by the ACCA* and vouchers, also to the value of �200 on behalf of Larking Gowen, by regional partner, Brian Pring.

Bob Rose, managing partner at Larking Gowen, said: “Everyone at the firm is both proud and delighted with Lucy’s achievement which she obviously thoroughly deserved.

“At Larking Gowen, we take training very seriously and put a lot of time and resources into it so, when something like this happens, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Site manager Don Weaver from Colchester has scooped a regional accolade.

Mr Weaver, who has spent more than half a century spent in the construction industry, 39 of those years as a site manager, was Pride in the Job’s South East regional winner in the Large Builder Category for his work on a Bovis Homes development, Quadriga, in Colchester.

The award is the fifth that he has received over the past two years, and says winning the awards is the epitome of his career.

Pride in the Job was launched by NHBC, a non-profit body which aims to raise standards in the building industry, in 1980 to recognise the best site managers throughout the UK.

After 18 months of rigorous judging by NHBC inspectors and regional directors, the winners of the 23 Seals of Excellence and four regional winners were announced at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on October 15. The regional winners now go through to compete for the ultimate accolade – the Pride in the Job Supreme Awards to be announced in January.

NHBC’s regional director for the South East region, Steve Catt, said: “Pride in the Job tests a site manager’s commitment to quality. Only those who demonstrate exceptional standards in every aspect of their work on site and in the homes they build will succeed.

“The winners in the NHBC South East Region have proved their commitment to excellence having been selected from almost 13,000 site managers across the UK. As well as carrying out spot checks of the day-to-day running of the site, each site manager is assessed across 38 areas of site management including their technical knowledge, consistency in the build process, leadership and organisational skills.

“Quality construction is the product of hard work, planning, leadership and technical expertise and I am delighted that as we celebrate 30 years of Pride in the Job, site managers in this region remain committed to making sure their customers buy homes of the highest quality. They are doing a great job in extremely challenging times.

“NHBC is proud to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the industry’s only competition that rewards and recognises the work of site managers.”

Among those to scoop a seal of excellence from the NHBC, along with Mr Weaver, was site manager Ian Saward of Crest Nicholson (Eastern) Ltd, for 127 - 135 Beehive Lane, Chelmsford.