NCF Rising Stars Programme


2019-2020 NCF Rising Stars


Applications are now closed for 2019 programme

The NCF strategy incorporates a strong focus on leadership. The programme provides an opportunity for those shining lights in NCF member organisations to develop leadership skills through an annual programme of mentoring and activities.

10 places are available each year and open to Managers and Registered Managers in social care and support in NCF member organisations.

Applying organisations also commit to providing a mentor for the programme, who agrees to meet / contact the Rising Star at least 4 times in the year’s programme as well as attend some of the activities.

The programme begins with the successful candidates being given a free place to attend the NCF Annual Conference thanks to the sponsorship of Annual Partners Carterwood.  All accepted Rising Stars and Mentors commit to attending the NCF UK Care Conference for their introductory meeting to the programme and each other.

The conference programme gives the opportunity to engage with the conference programme, learn of key policy developments, best practice innovations and challenges facing the strategic thinkers within the sector.

During the conference there is a dedicated session for the Rising Stars and Mentors provided by Apetito where they are introduced to a programme of support that will run throughout the year.

Click on the link for details on the programme activities:

  • Free attendance at the NCF Annual Conference with thanks for Carterwood
  • Free attendance at the Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards Ceremony, thanks to CMM + half day session with Vic Rayner
  • Free attendance at the NCF Managers Conference with thanks to Person Centred Software
  • Visit to WCS Innovation Hub WCS Castle Brook, Kenilworth
  • Media training with Altural
  • Diet and Nutrition tour with Apetito
  • Technology and Data day with Person Centred Software
  • Staff Recruitment and Retention Masterclass with Neil Eastwood, Founder of Care Friends
  • Each Rising Star shares their journey with CMM in a monthly feature – you can read them here
  • 4 mentoring sessions per annum – each Rising Star is matched to a mentor in type of provision and / or closest location

If you are interested in applying for the 2020 programme please contact [email protected]

“I have met with {my mentor} twice now and we are due to arrange a third meeting, we have also had contact via email.  It’s been really helpful as she has shared documentation with me that I can use within my service and a recent visit to some of their services was extremely beneficial.  I have been able to meet with some of their managers and discuss with them some of the issues I’ve faced and they have shared what improvements they have made to their services.  This has been a great support as I have been able to take forward their way of working to improve the protocol for admissions to my service.”

Lesley Henderson, Service Manager, Sefton New Directions, Chase Heys Respite and Intermediate Care Service

“I wanted to become a Rising Star to build up my support network, knowledge and skills. In this career, we never stop learning, so to have access to a wide network is something not to be missed.”

Beccy Ingleton, Registered Manager, Parkhaven Trust

“I was really pleased to be chosen, to know that someone sees potential in me and that I’m working hard to achieve the best for the people I support.”

Katie Reynolds, Registered Manager, Look Ahead, CMM interview

NCF Rising Stars

2018 Programme

17 – 18 April – NCF Annual Conference 2018, Reading

14 June – Diet and Nutrition day with Apetito, Trowbridge, Somerset

20 September – Technology Day with Person Centred Software, Guildford

12 – 13 November – NCF Managers Conference, Chesford Grange, Kenilworth, Warwickshire

13 November – Castle Brook tour & WCS Innovation Hub, Warwickshire

21 November – Invitation to celebrate 30 years of ‘A POSITIVE CHOICE’ at the House of Lords, Residential Forum

7 December – The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards – The London Marriott Grosvenor Square, & Rising Star meeting with Vic Rayner

12 February 2019 – Media Training Day – Altura Learning

8 April – Recruitment and Retention Masterclass – Neil Eastwood, Care Recruitment Specialist

Additional CPD support from Care Management Matters

21 June – CMM Insight Learning Disability and Mental Health Services,  The Renaissance Hotel, Manchester

27 September – CMM Insight – The Lancashire Care Conference – Mercure Dunkenhalgh, Blackburn

11 October –  CMM Insight – The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Care Association Conference – Windsor Marriott Hotel, Windsor

Recruitment and Retention – a Masterclass with Neil Eastwood

As the final event of the NCF Rising Stars 2018 Programme, we are focussed on one of the biggest challenges Managers and Leaders in Social Care will face in the coming years – Finding and Keeping Quality Staff.

We were delighted to have Neil Eastwood, author of Saving Social Care and an international speaker on this topic, to run an interactive workshop, held at Anthony Collins LLP on 8 April.

To help the NCF Rising Stars master recruitment and retention best practices, Neil shared his approaches to attracting, sourcing, selection, on-boarding and long-term retention of frontline care staff.

It was to a high-energy, fun and instructive session to end the NCF Rising Stars programme. Attendees received signed copies of Neil’s book, Saving Social Care, and lifetime access to his online Recruitment Masterclass course! A fantastic support and resource to have all Neil’s tips and advice close to hand during the development of their careers.

In the spot light – Media Training for NCF Rising Stars

On 13 February the NCF Rising Stars visited Altura Learning in Milton Keynes to experience what it is like in front of the camera and behind the scenes, something Altura Learning offers to their members to highlight best practice in the industry.

Exposure to the media provides excellent opportunities to publicise an organisation and for the NCF Rising Stars the chance to positively promote the role of the Registered Managers in social care.

The Media Skills Training provided by Altura Learning, enables development of communication skills, advice to deliver effective and successful messages, techniques to cope with unexpected and challenging questions and to build confidence.

The day provided The NCF Rising Stars training in 3 different skills sets:
How to read and monitor an autocue
1-2-1 interview skills for radio and audio recordings
TV Interview with resident interviewer Matthew Macnamara

What did you take away from the day?

“Tips in relation to body language/posture, to be confident, be relaxed (or appear relaxed)!” said Carl Jones from Making Space.

“Give yourself time to think, don’t answer if unsure, get across your message” replied Nadine from MHA

The critical role of the Registered Manager is acknowledged across the Social Care sector. S

kills for Care state

“The role of registered managers is critical in the adult social care sector… Registered managers are highly committed individuals running a range of 

services and the personal rewards of the role can be great, with many managers talking about their role as a ‘passion’ not just a job. That means support for this key group of leaders is vital.”

With the support of Altura Learning, the NCF Rising Stars were given training in skills that they will use regularly as well as in media situations.

“The skills that I have learnt will be used daily, the techniques to answer difficult question, being aware of facial expressions that are used.” 

said Caroline Coogan, Registered Managers from New Outlook Housing Association.

We are grateful for the support of our Annual Partner Altura Learning who are able to offer this important investment in Registered Managers in NCF membership. Great things happen when we work together!

Photo – NCF Rising Stars: Carl Jones, from Making Space, Anna Lewkowicz from The Orders of St John Care Trust, Lena Norman from Look Ahead Care, Julie Veritiero from Boroughcare, Nadine Webster from MHA and Caroline Coogan from New Outlook, and Sam Stuart from WCS Care

During the year long programme the NCF Rising Stars have been interviews by CMM, documenting their career journey and experience of taking part in the NCF Rising Star Programme.

NCF Rising Star Carl Jones improves leadership at Swallow Lodge and received glowing CQC report

The report, which was produced after an inspection in October, has upgraded leadership from ‘requiring improvement’ to ‘good’. Manager Carl Jones (NCF Rising Star) took over the running of Swallow Lodge in October 2017, and the latest report notes that the service

“was well led, the registered manager was visible and supportive towards the people in their care, their relatives and the staff who worked at the service.”

“Relatives felt their views and opinions about their family members were listened to”


Rising Stars attend The Markel 3rd Sector Care Awards – The London Marriott Grosvenor Square to celebrate good practice

On 7 December Vic Rayner and Sharon Blackburn CBE were joined by the NCF Rising Stars – Nick Rickwood from RAFA, Julie Veritiero from Borough Care and Olu Yusuf from Accord who later tweeted about the NCF Rising Star Programme:

“I am loving every bit of it and it’s really adding great value to my experience in social care improving my work ethics and personality as well. Thanks for the opportunity given. @vicrayner Your effort with we Rising stars is most appreciated. Amazing experience.”

The NCF Rising Stars met with leading people in the care sector including Andrea Sutcliffe and Sharon Allen OBE and had the opportunity to spend time with the Chelsea Pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea who opened the Awards and also sang later in the proceedings with the children from St Joseph’s Roman Catholic primary school.














NCF Risings Stars Programme 2019 – Confirmed Event Dates

5 June – NCF Annual Conference 2019 – Shaping the Agenda for Great Care

3 July – Diet and Nutrition day with apetito, Trowbridge, Somerset

16 July – Meeting with Care Minister

26 September – Technology Day with Person Centred Software

4-5 November – NCF Managers Conference 2019

5 November – visit to WCS Castle Brook and Innovation Hub

13 February – Media Training Day with Altura Learning

8 April – Staff Development Day with Neil Eastwood, founder Care Friends; Paul Gaudin, founder CareRooms; Kate Terroni, CEO, Care Quality Commission

CMM official media partners to the NCF Rising Star Programme – monthly interview with each NCF Rising Star in Care Management Matters Magazine

NCF Managers Conference and WCS Castle Brook and Innovation Hub Tour

The 4-5 November were busy days for the Rising Stars. Thanks to the generosity of Person Centred Software the Managers on this leadership programme attended the NCF Managers Conference.

This conference was all about the power of the manager. Managers are fundamental to the delivery of outstanding care, and this conference is aimed at supporting managers to make the most of their own ability to deliver high quality, person centred care. It will celebrate success and provide inspiration through a wide range of workshops and top line speakers.

Day 2 started with ‘Rise and Shine with the Rising Stars‘ – Kelly Hartley from Fremantle Trust, Faye Upton from Amica Care and Charlotte Sehmi from Optalis, shared their career journey and experience of the programme with audience.

At the end of the day – 5 November – the Rising Stars jumped on board an Oomph! Out and About Bus to take them to WCS Care Castle Brook and Innovation Hub.

WCS Care uses a range of products and services, which, when combined with our values-based approach to care, help us to ensure that every day is well lived for residents.

At their home, Castle Brook in Kenilworth, they’ve implemented a range of tools, systems and approaches in an inspiring environment to enhance the dignity, choice and independence of residents, while giving team members the opportunity to bring their own personality and creativity to their role.

The Innovation Hub gives them the opportunity to share our approach with other providers (and learn from their experience), show them the systems in action in a real-life setting and try new innovations before rolling them out to our homes.


NCF Rising Stars meeting with Care Minister

On the 16th July 2019 the latest cohort of NCF Rising Stars were invited to attend a roundtable with Care Minister Caroline Dinenage MP. This group of leaders within the care sector had been selected to be Rising Stars by their organisations. New to management within their organisation, they had been identified as real movers within their teams who are committed to creating change and leadership.

The Minister was very interested to hear about the managers’ career to date – with many sharing their story of having joined the organisations as care workers, bank staff or cleaners – and having moved their way up through the career ladder in care. In addition, there were opportunities to talk about the innovations that managers had in place to support the delivery of great care and the challenges that they faced in their day to day work. They were able to provide her with a true picture of their day to day experience as a manager – sharing their ambitions for their services and the sector as a whole.

The Care Minister reflected on the recent recruitment campaign #everydayisdifferent and how strongly she felt about the central role of care in supporting people to live as independently as they can, with a personal approach sitting right at the core. She complimented the managers on their infectious passion and drive for delivering care. She noted how delighted she had been to spend time with the leaders of the future.

Rising Stars were drawn from the following organisations:
Abbeyfield Society, Amica Care Trust, Avante Care and Support, The Fremantle Trust, Friends of the Elderly, GuildCare, NorseCare, Optalis, Pilgrims’ Friends Society, The Salvation Army and St Monica Trust.

If you have any questions relating to the NCF Rising Stars programme, please contact [email protected]

NCF Rising Stars visit apetito

The NCF Rising Stars Diet and Nutrition Day, attended by both the Rising Stars and their mentors, took place on Wednesday 3rd July.

The day, held at apetito Head Office in Trowbridge, allowed the Rising Stars to learn about dysphagia from Helen Willis, Dietitian at apetito. They also heard from Laura Hardman,

Ethical and Sustainable Manager at apetito, who led a discussion on what ethical trade and sustainability means in the care sector.

Lisa Delaney, Care Homes Sales Manager at apetito, said, “At apetito, we are great supporters of the Rising Star programme and so it was an

honour to host the rising stars and their mentors for the Diet and Nutrition Day. As a leading provider of food to the health and social care sector, we pride ourselves on being experts in diet and nutrition.

The day provided a great opportunity for rising leaders to learn and understand how food plays an important role in the health and well-being of those in their care.”

Our thanks to apetito for hosting an other fabulous day.

NCF Rising Stars Programme – the 2019 cohort start their leadership development journey

The 2019 cohort of NCF Rising Stars start their programme at NCF Annual Conference 2019 with a lunch specially provided by apetito and with thanks to Carterwood.

Supported by annual partners, the NCF Rising Star programme provides an opportunity for those shining lights in NCF member organisations to develop leadership skills through an annual programme of mentoring and activities.

10 places are available each year and open to Managers and Registered Managers in social care and support in NCF member organisations.

Find out more email: [email protected]


Faye Maycroft is Home Manager at Amica Care Trust

Career history

I started my care career when I was 17. I was a care assistant working in a residential dementia home. I then chose to complete my nurse training and qualified in 2009.

I always knew I wanted to be a nurse but never knew what speciality I wanted to work in. I also trained as a midwife, however as I was training I found work as a bank nurse at St Johns, where I work now.

I worked there as and when I could help out alongside my midwifery. I then made the decision to apply for the deputy manger’s position in 2014 and things have just progressed from there. After success in my role as a deputy, I am now registered manager.


I am registered manager for a 42-bed nursing home. We are part of Amica Care Trust, which has five homes in total.

St Johns is the home I manage; it is situated in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and we care for people who are funded by the local authority as well as those who are paying for their own care. St Johns is open to residents over the age of 50, and provides full nursing care. We support those who may be living with dementia and we also provide end of life care. Our aim is to help support residents to live the life they wish.

Current role

I have been in my current role as home manager now for over 12 months. I enjoyed my role as deputy manager but always knew I would like to progress to home manager.

My expectations were quite different to the reality of becoming registered manager. It is such a massive step up from the deputy manager position in many ways, and it was a shock, but in a good way, although it can be very hard feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day! I’d say that’s the most difficult part.

One of the best parts of my role that I really enjoy is having the team I work with around me. I have a vision and I always make sure I’m sharing this with them, and keeping them aware of my wishes for the home so we can all work towards them together.

Rising Stars

I was nominated for the NCF Rising Stars programme by Amica Care’s Operations Manager, John Chapman.

I hadn’t really heard of the Rising Stars programme, so once I was nominated, I looked into it and realised what a massive opportunity it was, so I was very grateful for this.

So far, I have mostly enjoyed meeting lots of new like-minded people; it was nice chatting with the other Rising Stars knowing that we all have the same apprehensions and share similar challenges. It’s also great to meet other people in the sector who you can learn from and it has been good to share best practices too.

Future career

As far as the future is concerned, I definitely want to continue being registered manager for St Johns Court over the next few years and develop my skills and leadership style, as well as my knowledge.

I’m happy with where I currently am in my career. The Rising Stars programme has helped to reassure me and make me realise that we are all doing a good job. It also encourages me when things are hard that it’s worth continuing to offer the best care we can to hopefully improve care in the future.

Now in its third year, the NCF Rising Stars Programme addresses the need to invest in and develop the skills of the next generation of leaders in social care, with registered managers from the NCF membership selected to take part each year.

For more information, contact Helen Glasspool at National Care Forum. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @NCFCareForum

Read all the CMM Rising Star Interviews HERE