Brian & Margaret Westlake – Founders
Brian and Margaret first entered the care industry in 1988 with a vision to provide community and residential care for older people based on family values. This approach was named ‘Family Care’ and was designed to be cost-effective, comprehensive and flexible with a sharp focus on safe and compassionate care. This business model is still popular today and Altogether Care has become synonymous with merit, achievement and reliability in delivering care services that truly promote independence and a better life. Brian is the holder of Great British Care Award for an outstanding contribution to social care he is also the President of the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Care Providers Federation.
Stephen Knell – Chief Executive Officer
Steve has always been actively involved with the family business from an early age, and has worked in many different roles within the care sector for a period of over 25 years. As a result he has a deep rooted passion and understanding of the importance of care from a personal, as well as practical, perspective which is embedded into the firm’s values and culture of how care should always be delivered to support the individual most effectively. He still enjoys getting involved in the business especially from being ‘hands on’ with teams on the ground. Steve has overall responsibility for the smooth operation of the partnership’s Care Homes and Care at Home services throughout Dorset and Somerset.
Steve was born and educated in Weymouth where he continues to live with his wife and two sons. He has always pushed himself and recognised the reward from putting in the extra effort in professionally or personally as an experienced off road ultra distance runner and marathon runner. Steve likes to spend his spare time on the trails exploring the place he loves the most, the Dorset countryside.
Through his role at Altogether Care Steve has developed a strong commitment to the people and communities he serves and feels particularly privileged to have been co-opted onto the committee of Hangers Heroes, a local organisation that provide help and raise money for local charities.
David Taylor – Non-Executive Board Member
David is a qualified Social worker of over thirty years. He has worked for social services at every level and was a Director of Children’s services in Somerset from 2004-10 and Director of Older People’s services in Shropshire 2010-13. In addition, he was also the acting Chief Executive in both of these local authorities.
Since his retirement David has run his own company acting as a consultant to public sector bodies as well as becoming the Independent Chair of two safeguarding boards.
David is a school governor as well as the vice chair of a further education college and chairs a large youth charity in Somerset.
Donna Milne – Operations Manager – Care Homes
Donna has always been passionate about caring for people and striving for high standards of care, working as a volunteer in her teens with physically disabled teenagers and the elderly. Her passion for high standards of care has continued into a successful career, qualifying with a BSc in Adult Nursing. Whilst recognising the importance of quality of care she feels passionately that more importantly the resident experience should always be excellent.
When her children were very young she felt it was time to pursue a vocation in nursing and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing in 1999. On qualifying Donna worked within the NHS for several years and became Ward Sister caring for medical and surgical patients.
Donna transferred her skills and became a Nursing home manager within the private sector in 2006. She thrived in this environment and felt privileged to care for the older generation. Her passion for high standards of care continued and was promoted to Director of care and Operations manager positions. More recently she commissioned two nursing and dementia homes achieving all standards required for CQC compliance. She is now looking forward to bringing her enthusiasm and expertise into the client experience for Altogether Care across their range of Care Homes.
Ellie Fruin Hayes – Operations Manager – Care at Home
Ellie has come to Altogether Care at Home with an extensive background in the management and development of care at home services, having headed offices for care at home companies across Dorset. Ellie’s passion for quality of service delivery and commitment to customer service, has led to a change to the operations manager’s role at Altogether Care at Home to allow her to use her skills and knowledge to share and ensure that the maximum benefits are gained from her experience to date. Ellie still manages time for direct contact with care workers and clients to maintain a well led service.
Her up-to-date knowledge of training requirements and hands-on tasks ensures she is able to support and guide her team of office staff and care workers to ensure our customers receive the very highest levels of care.
Ellie says “As more and more people are living for longer, the demand for care services continues to increase. With this increased demand, however, it is important that we don’t lose sight of the fact that all care should be delivered with dignity and respect”.