James Edwards

James Edwards

Franchise Owner

James started his career in IT, working from the ground up as a support engineer, through the ranks to senior engineer positions and network adminstrator roles responsible for the infrastructure, integrity and reliability of systems for big multinationals and SME’s. James has a varied exposure to many different industries that have made use of his knowledge, from stock brokerage houses and banks, to fruit importers and superyacht owners.

In the last few years, James has been looking for a way to contribute to society in a more meaningful way. James chose to leave IT and set up Caremark in Ashford, covering the Ashford and Shepway districts in Kent. James has a keen emotional interest in making sure care provision is of the highest standards for those that need it, due to some of his own family members’ experience when receiving care.

In his free time, James enjoys long walks on the coast with his partner and their dogs, reading, running and studying for new skills.

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Barbra Pennington

Registered Care Manager

Barbra has worked in the Health and Social Care sector since 2008. She started as a Healthcare Assistant in a local care home, where her confidence grew and soon she became a Senior Healthcare Assistant. From here Barbra went on to a Nursing home and spent 9 months there only leaving to join the NHS. Barbra worked on a General Surgical ward, learning from nurses and improving her knowledge and skills.  After 4 years working on a ward, Barbra decided she wanted to work in Infection Control, where she supported Infection control nurses in maintaining and improving the infection control standards within the local hospitals.

After working in infection control for almost 2 years, Barbra became a Deputy Manager for a domiciliary care company based in Ashford, where she gained further knowledge and skills. Barbra ran the business in the absence of the Registered Manager and gained confidence to be able to do this on a permanent basis. She was recently nominated for the Frontline Leader award for KICA, showing she can be a successful frontline leader.

Barbra enjoys working in the care sector as it makes a difference to individual’s lives, where they may only see care workers throughout the day, due to not having any family and friends, or because their family isn’t able to take care of them.

In her role as the Registered Care Manager at Caremark Ashford & Shepway, Barbra is looking forward to making a difference to those that require care, support, and companionship, where her role will involve employing care workers and other employees with the same values as her own. Barbra prides herself in being approachable and being able to empower others to be the best they can be.

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Field Care Supervisor

Hester is our Field Care Supervisor with Caremark Ashford & Shepway, primarily working in the Ashford & Shepway districts.

Hester has been a teacher for the past 25 years working in mainstream secondary schools, but moving to special educational needs, and social emotional and mental health schools for the past 8 years.

During the past 3 years, Hester has cared for her father, who developed dementia and lost his independence soon after. The experience gave Hester the opportunity to find a different part of herself.

Hester’s children are grown now, and she decided that a change of career was due! “Care Assistant” seemed a natural step, as supporting others has always been important to Hester – being at home or at work. Hester has now stepped up into the role of Field Care Supervisor.

Hester has expressed her excitement about her new journey with Caremark and to be able to support our clients in their independence.

In Hester’s spare time, she enjoys going for walks with the family puppy, spending quality time with family & friends and taking the odd afternoon nap!



Care Assistant

Ever since Kirstin watched her Mum & Stepdad care for her Grandad towards his end of life, she has been very passionate about care. It’s something she’s always dreamed of having a career in. Although caring can be challenging, it’s an extremely rewarding job. Kirstin wants to be there to support customers whilst still letting them keep their independence. Kirstin wants to be able to put a smile on each and every customers face and make them feel valued. Seeing them happy will make her happy.

In Kirstin’s spare time she loves going out with her fiancé and their 2-year-old son. When it’s her son’s bedtime, she loves to sit down and watch a good Horror movie with a cup of coffee and a packet of Jaffa cakes



Care Assistant

My life is a little less ordinary than a lot of peoples may be. I’m actually a radio and internet broadcaster, of 30 years and a musician. I’ve been a radio advertising and Marketing Sales Executive and also a Kent County Council Marketing and PR Manager and media buyer, but I took my first care job in 2011/12 after a period of a difficult divorce and unemployment.

My daughter was a care worker and still is, and she encouraged me to try a care / support role. Once I started I have not looked back. Out of all my glamorous jobs in my life in radio etc., enjoying the privilege of meeting and helping many amazing and very special people who live with exceptionally difficult circumstances, is far more satisfying than my past career roles. I have been with a care company in Medway for 10 years looking after and supporting a select few people . One person for ten years now, and who I still support.

In 2019 I moved to Lydd making it less viable to work in Medway with just two clients, so I approached Caremark. I researched many care companies, but Caremark by far seemed the best. They seemed to me to be a really friendly , professional and great company to work for, and I’m pleased to say I was right. I would say, in my mind Caremark are big enough to cope but small enough to really care, which is brilliant. The people here are great. Helpful supportive and professional and I love working here alongside my broadcasting, playing in my four piece folk rock band ‘Shanakee’ and my recording studio work. Long may it continue.



Care Assistant

Rebecca has always known she wanted to help people, even from a young age. This saw her spending some time working in surgical theatres training towards becoming an Operating Department Practitioner. However, this wasn’t quite the right fit for Rebecca as she enjoys getting to know people and spending more time face to face. Rebecca then finished a degree at university and sadly saw the passing of her father from cancer. Seeing the care he received and how much her family valued those who cared for him and the difference they made, inspired Rebecca and encouraged her to find her way of helping people. This ultimately led her to Caremark, where she enjoys building a rapport with clients and seeing the impact she makes day after day.

Outside of work, Rebecca spends time working with local community groups aiming to bring people together, especially those who may be isolated and lonely. She also enjoys quality time with her family and pets and is a fan of horror films and video games.



Care Assistant

Graduating with a BSC in Food Science and Technology, Faith never anticipated she would have passion in taking care of the elderly, vulnerable and people in need. But when Faith’s dad suffered a serious injury, he only wanted to be taken care of my her. That helped Faith realise that she was destined for care. Also, growing up as the eldest child meant taking care of her siblings, and the passion and love for caring just came naturally. Faith decided to pursue what she really wanted in life and relocated to the UK to become a Care Assistant, and this led to her joining us here at Caremark.

Faith loves spending time with her husband and their son in her spare time, trying new dishes for them and going to Church on Sundays.

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Care Assistant

Simone started care at 16 in residential care, before moving to learning disabilities and then on to dementia care. Simone left care homes and worked for a care agency for a few years before leaving to have her 3rd child.

In 2010 she decided she wanted to work more with children and gave up her job to start volunteering at a children’s centre, where she was put into training, including a level 2 diploma working with young children. Once Simone had completed this she wanted more, so decided to do her level 3 diploma.

In 2020 Simone lost her husband and decided to leave working with children, and in 2021 she went back into retail for a few years. In 2023 Simone decided she wanted to go back into care but not residential again. Simone saw the advert for Caremark and thought she would give it go. In Simone’s own words, ‘I’m so glad I did, what am amazing company. I have never worked for a company that cares how you feel and is always making sure you are happy, I love my customers and our team of staff’.

Want to find out more?

Reach out to us today – the Caremark Ashford & Shepway team are ready to answer your questions. 


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