Meet the team

From nurses and carers to chefs and housekeepers, staff in our home are here to deliver high quality care and services to those we support. Check below to meet some of the friendly faces you are likely to see when visiting our home:

Denise Findley

General Manager

Hi, my name is Denise, and I am the General Manager here at Hawthorns. I hope you find what you're looking for on our website!

I am a registered nurse and have worked in the private healthcare sector for over 25 years in a variety of roles, including operations, clinical and quality.

Now I am with the Hawthorns team and I am responsible for the running of this lovely home. My passion is to provide outstanding service and care for those who we support.

I live in the North East with my husband and dog and, in my spare time, enjoy travelling and ancient history.

Sharon Harwood

Elderly Frail Unit Manager

I qualified as an RGN in 1990 at Cleveland College of Nursing and Midwifery. I worked as a staff nurse at DarlingtonMemorialHospital as an Anaesthetic and Recovery nurse until 1994. I commenced employment at Hawthorns Care Centre on the Nursing Unit in August 1994 initially on night duty. I became Nursing Unit Manager in 2002. I have completed various clinical and academic courses including Diploma of Nursing, ENB Care of the dying patient and their family, Infection Control and Clinical services during my time as unit manager. The standard of care has been maintained and enhanced. The unit has an excellent reputation in the community and is well recognised as providing a high standard of care. The unit provides a variety of care including long term chronic disease, palliative/end of life care, intermediate care and long term care if the elderly frail. 

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Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown


Hi my name is Lisa Brown I am the Administrator here at Hawthorns. Since leaving college I have always worked in customer relations. I started working as a part time receptionist in a local hotel and then moved to a full time role in a large hotel chain for 7 years.

I started working at Hawthorns as a receptionist in February 2002, I worked as receptionist until I became an Administration Assistant in 2004 and since then I have undertaken more responsibility within the administration team leading to talking over the role of Administrator in January 2017.  I have gained my NVQ level 3 while working for Barchester. I am very passionate about my job and love working with the team here at Hawthorns.

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Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas

Head Chef

Hi, my name is Claire and I'm the Head Chef here at the Hawthorns.

My passion and love of food started when I was young, my mother and father have eclectic and adventurous tastes and this was reflected in my home life. Never one for just plain food, I cooked up Italian, Thai and other dishes on a regular basis. Holidays also provided an insight to food and culture which I then brought back and tried out, my favourites being Australian, Russian and Egyptian. This led to a career in catering and a degree in Hospitality Management from Robert Gordon's University, Aberdeen. I have worked in a variety of hospitality environments, including the Caledonian Thistle Hotel, Aberdeen and Edinburgh Universities, within the fine dining team cooking for Prince Phillip, Puccino's Cafe Bar and now here at the Hawthorns where I have been for the last 15 years! 

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Deborah Flower

Deborah Flower

Unit Manager Downstairs Neuro Unit

My name is Deborah Flower and I have been a Qualified Adult Nurse for 29 years.  I have worked at the Hawthorns for 17 years as Neuro Manager and prior to that worked as a junior sister for 7 years on a Neuro Rehab Ward for the NHS.

Ralph Bossingham

Ralph Bossingham

Music Therapist

Ralph is the music therapist at three Barchester care homes; Hawthorns, Billingham and South Grange.

He loves music in all aspects of his life. When not at work, he plays the saxophone in a soul band and piano in a small jazz project. Music is a huge part of his home life too. He recently became a father and has been enjoying introducing his baby daughter to the wonder of music.

Ralph’s music therapy sessions brings fun and laughter to the homes he works in. Through music, he reaches out to people who may otherwise struggle to communicate and he has seen how music can restore or replace what has been lost socially. Music can help people regardless of their disability and illness and sharing in music is an incredibly comforting, positive and affirming activity.

Every Wednesday afternoon, Ralph runs a session called ‘Sing with Ralph’, which he says is one of the highlights of the week. The group is full of energy and fun. People in the group suggest songs they want to sing and they play all kinds of instruments including drums and glockenspiels. 

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What happens now?

Are you ready to discuss your individual care requirements? Pick up the phone and talk to us, book a visit to our care home or come and take a look around our facilities.

Care enquiries

New care enquiry phone lines are open 8am - 8pm

0191 448 9332

All other calls

0191 587 1251

Send us an email

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Useful downloads

Here to help you make the right decision about your care requirements.

Care Home and Company Awards