From sword swallowing to caring: care group attracts some unlikely recruits

Hayley Bowles (left) and Daniella D’Ville (right)

A world record holding circus entertainer and globetrotting cabin crew hostess are among the new staff who have joined leading care home group Nellsar during the pandemic.

Newly recruited Daniella Martin, Recreation and Well-Being Champion at The Old Downs Residential Care Centre near Dartford, Kent is among the new intake.

Daniella was previously known as Daniella D’Ville, the circus and sideshow entertainer, classical dancer and holder of seven Guinness World Records.

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Explaining how she went from sword swallowing and snake charming to caring for Nellsar’s elderly residents, Daniella said: “The events of this year meant all my jobs were cancelled, so I was looking for new work. I actually didn’t even know this type of job existed until I found it online and as I read more about it, I realised how suited I would be for it.

“My previous role and being a Recreation and Well-Being Champion are very different jobs in one sense, but there are similarities. In both, you want to make people smile, grab their attention and get them to come on a journey with you and offer some escapism.”

Another new face is Hayley Bowles, who has joined Nellsar’s Lukestone Care Centre, in Maidstone, as a Recreation and Well-Being Liaison. Having spent 15 years with British Airways as long-haul flight cabin crew, jetting to destinations from Costa Rica to Peru and everywhere in between, Hayley, like many airline cabin crew, found herself jobless following the pandemic.

Hayley said: “As cabin crew, I was always keen to be on hand to assist the elderly on board, which is how I knew I would fit well into a care environment. Helping people comes naturally to me. My role was centred around communication and I was required to keep people safe and deal with every situation. People skills and emotional intelligence were key.”

For those who are interested in a career in care, Nellsar’s latest job vacancies can be found at

Tags : Human ResourcesNellsarRecruitment

The author Lee Peart

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