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News Archive
Care group marks International Men's Day
Care group marks International Men's Day
A GROUP of 13 care homes across the South East of England marked the recent International Men's Day by recognising the achievements of its male workers and calling for others to reap the rewards the sector has to offer. 
With the coronavirus crisis causing many people to re-think their careers, Nellsar, a family-run group of homes across Surrey, Essex and Kent, is urging more men to consider a career in social care - following an increased recognition of carers' contribution to society in the wake of the pandemic. 
With Skills for Care estimating that only 18 per cent of the 1.45 million people working in social care are male - approximately 240,000 jobs - the care group wants to encourage more men to enter the industry, which offers the opportunity to embrace an inspirational vocation, with tremendous opportunity for career progression and development. 
The group currently has a number of vacancies open including physiotherapist, registered general nurse, recreation and well-being coordinator, senior health care assistant and chef. 
 

York care home launches Christmas card competition for local children
York care home launches Christmas card competition for local children
EBOR Court care home in York is offering local children the opportunity to design its official 2020 Christmas card and be in with a chance to win £100 of high-street shopping vouchers. 
The competition encourages young people from the area to draw, paint or even photograph a design for a Christmas card in line with the poignant theme 'Caring this Christmas'.  
Ebor Court residents will judge the entries during a Christmas card gallery evening where the winner will be chosen. The cards will then be printed, ready to send to relatives and friends. 
Lifestyle manager Susie Carman said: 'It is more important now than ever to get into the community Christmas spirit, and this is such a lovely activity to do at home with the kiddies.  
'I think since March we have seen so many examples of how people across the UK have helped to care for one another so that was our inspiration for the 'Caring at Christmas' theme.  
'We have officially joined the 'hype' and put our tree up early, with lots of help from our residents, so I can't wait to send out our official Ebor Court cards this year too.' 
The closing date for the contest is November 30 and all submissions can be sent directly to the home with a note detailing the artist's name, age and what they think 'Caring at Christmas' means to them.

Homes welcome visitor testing plan
Homes welcome visitor testing plan
CARE providers have welcomed the announcement promising that care and nursing home residents will be able to enjoy visits from their loved ones before Christmas. 
But they have urged the Government to ditch the pilot scheme and urgently introduce visitor testing at all homes straight away. 
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said visitor testing would be available for care and nursing homes across the country in time for the festive period. 
The Independent Care Group said it was welcome news for all care providers. 
Chair Mike Padgham said: "Separating care and nursing home residents from their loved ones for a prolonged period has been one of the most distressing aspects of the coronavirus pandemic and has been very damaging for both parties' mental health and wellbeing. 
"Providers are very keen to enable visiting again but of course want to do so in the safest way possible for the residents, families and staff at the homes. 
"Our pleasure at this pledge is only tempered by the fact that we have had Government promises before and they have failed to materialise. 
"We question whether we need to have the pilot programme - which has only just started at 20 homes. By the time that pilot has been completed and the results considered we will be getting perilously close to Christmas. Our advice would be to press ahead with getting testing kits and training out to the homes as soon as possible and not delay any further.'

Care assistant crochets poppies for her customers
Care assistant crochets poppies for her customers
A CARE assistant with a passion for crocheting recently made more than 100 poppies as gifts to her customers 
Sammie Stanley, who has been care assistant at Bluebird Care West Berkshire and Bluebird Care North Hampshire for just over a year, realised that, due to Covid-19 restrictions, usual poppy sellers would not be going door to door this November, and so she decided to make ones that her customers will be able to re-use every year. 
She said: 'A lot of our customers will relay wartime stories, they love having a poppy in remembrance of this tragic time or to help them remember someone they loved. 
'When I made the poppies, I remembered stories my late grandparents told me about the fallen soldiers who fought for the world we live in today. It was an honour to do something so simple to say thank you to those who lost their lives protecting ours. 
'I loved making them because of what it means to me. I have a stepson in the armed forces, and we go as a family to watch the remembrance Sunday parade. It always brings me to tears.' 
 

Resident raises vital funds for the Royal British Legion
Resident raises vital funds for the Royal British Legion
A RESIDENT at Whitby House in Ellesmere Port has helped to raise money for the Royal British Legion by knitting poppies which she sold at the care home. 
Pauline Butterworth, aged 84, raised £25 for the home's local Royal British Legion branch through the sale of her hand-crafted poppies which were snapped up by staff. 
The home usually receives a supply of poppies to help raise money for the charity, however due to the current coronavirus pandemic, it was unable to happen this year. 
Home manager Angela Earlam said: 'It has been a very strange year for everyone, however we have been working hard to help the residents feel included as part of the wider community, as well as feeling safe and stimulated within the home. 
'Remembrance Day is incredibly important to many of our residents, particularly those who are veterans or where family members have served in the Armed Forces.  
'It was a wonderful idea of Pauline's to knit the poppies and they looked beautiful; the staff couldn't wait to buy one from her.'

Spirits lifted at care group
Spirits lifted at care group
THE Athena Healthcare Group is organising a sleigh full of fun festive events and activities throughout its Lodges in the North West of England and Dover. 
Although families are currently unable to visit the Lodge, the Athena Healthcare Group is eager to ensure loved ones can stay connected through not only video/phone calls but through their latest initiative, 'We Are Family'. 
'We Are Family' aims to inspire reminiscence, connection and family involvement by asking family and friends to send in their favourite photos, whether it's from a holiday, a cherished memory or a new photo of their grandchildren.  
The Lodges will then collect the photos to create a personal memory board for each resident to keep in their room so that they can always be with their loved ones. 
Each week, residents will come together with staff and loved ones via video call to look over their board, reminiscing and sharing the stories behind each image.  
It is hoped that 'We Are Family' will encourage conversation and family bonding while allowing residents to stay up to date with their loved ones during these difficult times. 
From December 1 the festive cheer will spread across all the Lodges as they hold their very own Christmas lights switch-on ceremonies with refreshments and seasonal tunes to fill the air.  
Masked balls, pantomimes, Christmas jumper days and traditional roast dinners to come in Christmas 'Come Dine with Me' specials are just some of the activities planned to keep spirits high and full of festive joy.

Veterans pay respects at care homes
Veterans pay respects at care homes
ROYAL Star & Garter has marked Remembrance with the veterans at its care homes. 
Despite nationwide restrictions put in place to tackle the pandemic, socially distanced services took place at the charity's Homes in Solihull, Surbiton and High Wycombe.  
It was the culmination of Remembrance events and activities taking place at the Homes in November. 
At Solihull, a bugler stood outside the Home to perform The Last Post and Reveille during the service. 
In Surbiton, there were separate services on each of the Home's three floors, to allow for social distancing. Tea and cake was later served to residents. There was also support from the local community, with nearby Shrewsbury House School laying a wreath outside the Home. 
At High Wycombe, residents laid poppies and wreaths they had made in the Home's Remembrance Garden, ahead of their Armistice Day service. 
In the days leading up to the services, residents got involved in activities including war poetry readings and arts and crafts.  
At Solihull, residents took part in poppy crafting, while the Home in High Wycombe was decorated with poppies, wreaths and soldiers' silhouettes, made by staff and residents.  
At Surbiton, veterans listened to Dame Vera Lynn in Music Club and made poppies which were displayed around the Home.

Group marks Remembrance Sunday by reflecting on war effort memories of its residents
Group marks Remembrance Sunday by reflecting on war effort memories of its residents
A CARE group marked this year's Remembrance Sunday by hearing and reflecting on the wartime memories of its residents. 
Staff at Nellsar, a care group covering the South East of England with homes in Surrey, Essex and Kent, took a moment to hear and reflect on the mix of poignant and uplifting memories of its residents who had lived through the Second World War. 
At Woodstock Residential Care Centre, in Sittingbourne, Kent, 81-year-old Barbara Woollett clearly recalled the loud noises of airplanes flying overhead and dropping bombs, before stepping out to view the resultant destruction left in their wake. While 87-year-old Helen Prow shared proud memories of her father, a sergeant major in the war. 
At St Winifreds Care Centre, in Deal, Kent, 90-year-old Molly Annall reflected on when she used to sleep in air raid shelters and sing songs with others to cancel out the noise of enemy aircraft flying in the air above ground. She also shared how she was literally knocked off her feet when a bomb went off near her. 
Fellow resident 88-year-old Barbara Lewis recalled how she lived near a TNT factory which her mother worked at and how the workers would have to quickly black out the factory's windows whenever enemy planes flew by. For 87-year-old Lewis Cooper, the war brings back the memory of being a schoolboy in Yorkshire and delivering lunch to his father who was a policeman, when sirens began blaring and a streak of light shot through the sky. An explosion from a bomb sent his father flying through the air, but Lewis remembers how he got up, dusted himself off and ate the jam sandwich Lewis had bought him. 
At Meyer House Care Centre, in Erith, Kent, 95-year-old Dorothy Desmond revealed how at 16 years old, she was so keen to join the war effort she tried to sign up to the Auxiliary Territorial Service claiming to be 18! Dorothy's sister Kath swiftly informed her parents of her sister's plans, which never came to fruition. 
84-year-old Beryl Day shared how she was evacuated from school and instructed to lie down on the road when a German plane flew overhead one afternoon. The plane then turned around and bombed the school and surrounding area. Miraculously, Beryl and her sister were unharmed in the incident.

Home marks Remembrance Day with intergenerational art project
Home marks Remembrance Day with intergenerational art project
RESIDENTS at a care home in Thornton-le-Dale marked a socially distanced Remembrance Day by receiving some artwork from a local primary school. 
The Hall care home was sent some specially designed Armistice Day-themed art from the children at Thonton Dale Primary School. 
The residents would normally be able to mark the occasion in-house with activities such as visits from local school children, however this year, plans had to change due to Covid-19 restrictions. 
The school wanted to help the home to make Remembrance Day special for the older generation and created some artwork around the theme of poppies to be displayed in the home. 
Home manager Diane Hagan said: 'Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day are very important to our residents and we wanted to make sure they were marked appropriately, despite the lockdown regulations. 
'We'd like to thank Thornton Dale Primary School for sending over such fantastic artwork. The residents love looking at it and think the children are very talented.' 
The Hall also held a socially distanced Remembrance Day service in the village on Armistice Day, which was streamed live on its Facebook page.  
It included The Last Post and dedicating a piece of artwork to those who died during the wars. 
  
 
 

Remembering those who lost their lives in war
Remembering those who lost their lives in war
CARE UK teams and residents have found ways to join communities across the country in commemorating Remembrance Day. 
At Priors House, in Leamington Spa, residents and team members worked together to organise a special Remembrance Day service as they installed a new, permanent war memorial.  
As part of the service, which was organised by the home, residents read poems and laid poppy wreaths. There was also a socially-distanced cornet performance featuring the Last Post and Reveille, which was specially organised for a resident who used to play the instrument himself. 
Residents at Care UK's Smyth Lodge, in Sidcup, marked Armistice Day by creating a sculpture of individually designed poppies in memory of their friends and family who have served in the armed forces. 
At Bickerton House in Bracknell, memories of times in the services were recalled and tissue paper was used to create poppies to remember friends and family who had served in the armed forces. 
And at Parsons Grange, near Reading, residents not only remembered those who served in the World Wars but also those who served in more recent campaigns. They created more than 100 felt poppies, some of which were added to the silhouette of a soldier in the home to form a sea of poppies, while others were sold to the community. All proceeds from the poppies' sales will go to an armed forces charity.

Care providers urged to stay on alert
Care providers urged to stay on alert
CARE providers are being urged to stay on the highest alert, despite figures showing a slowing of the Covid-19 death rate in care and nursing homes. 
Latest figures showed that 168 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to October 30 - 15 more than the previous week. 
The Independent Care Group, which represents providers, said it hoped the figures showed that deaths from coronavirus were slowing, but warned providers to stay alert. 
Chair Mike Padgham said: 'Given that the increase in deaths is much smaller for that week, there are some grounds for optimism that things are slowing. 
'But this is just one week, and really it is too early to say conclusively. We must stay on our guard, on the highest of alerts and make sure those figures keep coming down and down. 
'We must never forget that one death from Covid-19 is a death too many and each loss is a tragedy - a loved one, a husband or wife, father or mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle or friend. 
'The news about the vaccine is also positive and it is good to know that care home residents and staff will be the top priority, which is very heartening.' 
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 168 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes across England and Wales in the week ending October 30, up from 153 the previous week and 106 the week before.

Home and nursery join together for Remembrance project
Home and nursery join together for Remembrance project
RESIDENTS at a care home in Croston marked a socially distanced Remembrance Day by receiving some artwork from a local pre-school. 
Croston Park was sent some specially designed Armistice Day-themed art from the children at Croston Pre-School. 
The residents would normally be able to mark the occasion with a visit to a local church or memorial, however this year, plans had to change due to Covid-19 restrictions. 
The pre-school wanted to help the home to make Remembrance Day special for the older generation and created some artwork around the theme of poppies to be displayed in the home on November 11. 
Home manager Debbie Lewis said: "Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day are very important to our residents and we wanted to make sure they were marked appropriately, despite the lockdown regulations. 
"We'd like to thank Croston Pre-School for sending over such fantastic artwork. The residents love looking at it and think the children are very talented."

Retirement village residents stand for Two Minute Silence with resident priest
Retirement village residents stand for Two Minute Silence with resident priest
THE property owners and staff of Castle View in Windsor were able to mark Remembrance Day without having to leave their retirement village, thanks to resident Father Michael Morrisey, who led the two minute silence and a short service afterwards. 
Father Michael moved to Castle View recently, having led the Roman Catholic community in Windsor at St Edward's Church for 22 years, until he retired in 2013. 
The event took place in the village's spacious reception are. 
"Our safe bubble at Castle View allowed us to have our own Remembrance service, and we were honoured to have our resident Father Mike Morrisey officiate with more than 30 of our residents attending," said Robin Hughes, CEO of Castle View. 
Father Michael grew up in Limerick, served in the RAF for four years, and after his ordination became a Catholic chaplain for all three services, which included going to sea with the Royal Navy for two years. He moved to Windsor in 1991. 
Resident Father Mike Morrissey is pictured with Robin Hughes, CEO of Castle View Windsor.

Residents mark Remembrance Day with the Royal British Legion
Residents mark Remembrance Day with the Royal British Legion
REMEMBRANCE Day came early for the residents of Manor House in Little Weighton as they were visited by volunteers from the Royal British Legion. 
The care home was called on by the local Cottingham Royal British Legion. The Last Post was played, and a two-minute silence was held to allow the residents to honour lost loved ones from the forces. The Legion also brought a wreath for the veterans at the home to sign in time for it to be laid at Cottingham war memorial on Remembrance Day. 
The event was held at a social distance this year due to Covid-19, but staff and residents did not want the pandemic to prevent them from taking part in the community's remembrance proceedings.  
Home manager Leanne Hatch said: 'It was very kind of the Royal British Legion to come to visit us here. 
'Many of our residents were concerned that they wouldn't be able to formally mark Remembrance Day this year, an anniversary which is personally close to many of their hearts. 
'We would like to say thank you to the Royal British Legion volunteers for making it such a special event for us.' 
 

Home prepares for reflective Remembrance Day activities
Home prepares for reflective Remembrance Day activities
ROSE Martha Court care home in Leigh-on-Sea is preparing for a quiet Remembrance Day of reflection, as Covid restrictions mean traditional activities must go on hold. 
Residents at the care home would usually visit a nearby church to remember brave service people, or attend an event at a local memorial to lay a wreath, however this year these events may not take place due to government restrictions designed to stop the spread of coronavirus. 
To ensure the residents of Rose Martha Court still have the opportunity to remember those who served in the World Wars, and subsequent conflicts, the home is arranging internal events to allow for reflection and to celebrate the lives of the veterans and their families. 
Resident Queenie Watts assisted activities co-ordinator Joanna Furtak to decorate the home with hand-crafted poppies hanging from the ceiling.  
The wall of the lounge has been decorated with poppies, wreaths and flags. On Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day the home will also be watching the transmission on television and participating in a two-minute silence, listening to Vera Lynn and sing along songs.  
The home has also planned an afternoon tea and will look at photos from WWI to help residents reminisce.

Hereford care home creates a waterfall of poppies
Hereford care home creates a waterfall of poppies
STAFF and residents at Hampton Grange and Gwen Walford Nursing Home have taken on a huge task to mark Remembrance Day this year.  
2,500 poppies have been carefully sewn onto a piece of strategically cut netting, that when hung, give the effect of a waterfall of poppies cascading down the Victorian building.  
Hampton Grange has a long association with caring for the armed forces, with the home having been used to nurse servicemen blinded in combat during World War Two. 
Dan Bridges, home manager at Hampton Grange and Gwen Walford, said: 'I'm so proud of what the team and residents have achieved in remembering those that have fallen in the line of duty.'

No tricks, just treats for care staff this Halloween
No tricks, just treats for care staff this Halloween
CARE staff across an award-winning care group received an unexpected Halloween surprise when they were treated to wellbeing gift boxes following a frightening enough year.  
CHD Living, which owns and operates 13 care homes across Surrey and South London, decided that no tricks were necessary this year, and instead focussed on treating those working across its care services. 
Partnering with Brown Paper Packages, CHD Living organised the delivery of nearly 600 gift boxes to staff across its care homes, specialist rehabilitation centres and domiciliary care business, CHD Care at Home.  
A complete surprise to recipients, the boxes included everything needed for a spot of self-care including a mindfulness activity book, calming herbal tea leaves, a pampering face mask and delicious chocolates, all delivered with a motivational 'You Got This!' greetings card.

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