The Hollies, run with an open door policy by Evergreen Healthcare, is a 40-bed residential care home in Darnley Road, Gravesend.
Since its inception 30 years ago, it has been family run by Helen and Peter Rogers and its reputation is second-to-none judging by the number of testimonials on its website (www.evergreenthehollies.co.uk).
Mr Rogers said: “Care homes are always in the press for negative reasons.
“We have worked hard to combat this stereotype and show the local community all the good things we do and invite the local press into our home.
“There is a lack of government funding in the elderly care sector. This makes it hard for KCC to place residents and for care homes to provide a high level of care. Consequently residents are being kept at home longer, resulting in the situation that when they do go into care, they are frailer and less mobile.
“We have tackled this by employing a physiotherapist and introducing a falls prevention clinic and twice weekly exercise classes.”
Standards of the health watchdog Care Quality Commission are consistently changing, forcing care homes to work harder to achieve a high rating. The Hollies has consistently met these standards for the past 20 years and last year faced its hardest CQC inspection yet, but with the staff’s hard work passed it and achieved a 'good' rating.
An interactive Facebook page also plays an important part in the lives of the residents. It not only shows daily care at the home, but allows residents to catch up with friends and family abroad.
The home also hosts Duke of Edinburgh participants and annually students from the Charlton Athletic Trust come in to bridge the gap between the young and elderly.
Throughout the year students from Greenwich University come for two-week community care placements in conjunction with Darent Valley Hospital.
Mr Rogers added: “We also take on one apprentice a year from the government scheme to give them the opportunity to become a qualified carer. We fully support them throughout their apprenticeship and in the past everyone that has completed this placement has gone on to become a permanent employee at The Hollies.”
Each year there is a garden party where invitations are sent to the local community to come and see the home and take part in the festivities.
This year’s sponsors are: University of Greenwich, Barnes Roffe, Handleshanken, KM Media Group, Kuflink, Gravesham council, Rise Communications, Hatten Wyatt, Caxtons, Partnership Invoice Finance, GK Coffee Group (Starbucks), and SoftForge.