Meet the team

Our trained team of professionals work together to create the best possible experience for those living in the home, striving to deliver excellent care services in a warm, homely environment. You can find out more about some of our wonderful staff members below:

Rhonda Herring

General Manager

Hi, my name is Rhonda, and I am the General Manager here at Austen House. Welcome to our website!

After 16 years as a project manager supplying to blue chip companies, I decided to retrain in adult nursing and qualified as a Registered General Nurse with a First Class Honours degree (BSc Hons). After spending some time in orthopaedics nursing, I felt unfulfilled – as if something was missing. Since transferring into the care sector in 2013, I have never looked back.

Care of the elderly is an area I feel passionately about, and Barchester’s approach to how they care for this vulnerable group of people is, I believe, second to none. We pride ourselves on offering a 'home from home' environment to all residents and a weekly schedule brimming with social activities, entertainment and trips out, as well as the assurance that families and friends are welcome any time of the day to visit their loved ones.

At Austen House, we offer a warm and friendly atmosphere filled with laughter and happiness among residents and staff alike.

I very much look forward to meeting you and answering any questions you may have!

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Esther Hehetror

Unit Manager

I have been an RGN for over 35 years and have been working in elderly care since 2004. I am passionate about making a positive difference into the care of residents and love my job as a Unit Manager.

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Wendy Riache

Administrative Assistant

Wendy provides clerical and administrative support to the Administrator and General Manager. She meets and greets all visitors to Austen House, both on the telephone and face-to-face.

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Lind Immaculate


I have been working for Barchester since 2015, starting out as a Carer specialising in dementia support. I had a lot of training through Barchester, which has helped me to deliver better person-centred care to residents during my time at this company.

In 2017, I began studying accounting, which led to my promotion to Receptionist. In this role, I answer the phone and welcome visitors into the home.

I enjoy my new position and look forward to what the future holds for me at Barchester.

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Ainsworth Brown

Head Chef

Ainsworth started working in the hospitality industry in 2004 as a second chef at a different care home. He gained further experience as a Chef De Partie, preparing various English, Asian and French authentic dishes, before being promoted to Head Chef.

Ainsworth started at Austen House in 2015 and has gained experience in elderly care and understands about the nutritional welfare of those we support, catering for varying diets, including vegan, diabetic, celiac and authentic cultural cuisines.

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Gabriel Hirta

Maintenance Manager

I have enjoyed working for Barchester as a Maintenance Manager since 2018. I am a qualified heating and gas engineer, but I feel that Austen House is my second home. 

Barchester is a great company to work for; they make you feel welcoming and they help you with your professional development. I enjoy managing the building at Austen House, and it gives me great satisfaction to see that my managerial skills contribute to the safety and well-being of those we support in a safe and warm environment.

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Sophie Swanborough

Housekeeping Team

I am the Head Housekeeper here at Austen House. I have worked here for 4 years and I enjoy my job very much, as each day is different. I love interacting residents and loved ones as I go about my daily tasks. I take great pride in the home being clean and well-presented.

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