3 minutes Customer Profile

How A Midlife Crisis Leads To Care

While the classic midlife crisis often results in the purchase of a Porsche or maybe even divorce, Neil and Sue Robson took a rather different route. They bought a care home in the wilds of the Shropshire countryside, and then a year later set up a successful domiciliary care company.

Sambrook House, Shropshire

Neil, a graduate engineer, had spent his career in engineering and IT, and Sue, a graduate nurse had worked her way up to NHS Director. In 2004, they reached the stage when they were ready for a change and decided that together they had the skills to make a success of it in the residential care arena.

Originally based in Portsmouth, the couple realised that they couldn’t afford the real estate in the south of England but had family in Norfolk and Shropshire. They soon found and fell in love with, Sambrook
House in Shropshire and quickly moved to purchase the business and house next door, which would become their home.

“If we thought the businesses were going to be a smooth and easy run towards retirement, we were sadly very mistaken, but after 19 years, we’re still loving every minute of it. Our guests and our team have become our family and no day is the same. Last week I was fitting a new bathroom while this week I’m installing a cloud-based digital care-planning solution for staff.” Neil Robson explains.

“We didn’t really know how much we didn’t know, which is probably for the best, but we are quick learners and hard, ethical workers, and with our wonderful team we have got to where we are today. A home with an excellent reputation, gold stars for food hygiene and fabulous food!”

Sambrook House has 28 residents (the eldest being 102) and has been extensively refurbished to showcase rustic charm alongside hotel-like accommodation. Offering a warm, homely and comfortable environment in which to live, Head Chef Michelle Harmer has also helped the home gain several awards for its food.

We’re blessed to have Michelle

“We’re blessed to have Michelle. She is quite extraordinary and has been with us since 2014. Her creativity has no bounds and the choice and variety she offers throughout the day, seasons and year is incredible,” continues Neil. “Our residents love a lot of the classics like our daily homemade soups, fish pie, steak & ale pie and traditional roasts, but we also have regular curry nights and all-day brunches. Our new second chef is from Thailand, so we are also discovering some beautiful South East Asian flavours and dishes.”

“When it comes to products, the Country Range portfolio is always on point – great quality, immense variety and fantastic value. The pasta, rice, flour, butter and juices are the sort of raw materials that feature widely on our menus, plus we will use other items like tinned fruits and cooking sauces, the Korma Curry Sauce being a particular favourite.”