Residents at Burnworthy House in South Petherton have been tirelessly knitting for months to produce blankets to donate to the Cats Protection League to ensure the animals are warm in cold weather spells.
The idea came after they donated blankets and pom-poms to the RSPCA in the winter to provide warmth and entertainment for the puppies and kittens.
Each week 10-15 residents take part in the knitting group with help from Claire Davis, Activity Co-ordinator and Gwen Trott, a resident’s daughter.
Karen Roberts, Manager of Burnworthy House, said “The Nifty Knitters has become a very popular activity in the home, attracting more residents to join since it first started last year. It has become a social occasion for the ladies and gentlemen who take part as they enjoy refreshments, a good chat and sometimes a singsong whilst they are busy knitting. In the warmer weather, everyone sits outside and chats about their memories of summer holidays, where they have been and family occasions.”
On Friday 5th April Somerset Care were delighted to officially announce the build of Wessex House with a ceremonial ‘ground breaking’ event. Councillor Pauline Clarke broke the ground at the building site in Behind Berry, Somerton, which will become the location of the new build 55-bed nursing home and Somerton GP surgery.
Residents of the current Wessex House, located in Pesters Lane, will move into their new home in Spring 2014 and will benefit from purpose built facilities and picturesque views of the town.
Guests of the ceremony witnessed the ground breaking and were then invited to a buffet lunch provided by the Wessex House staff team. Somerset Care used Skype to send live footage of the event to residents of the current Wessex House that were unable to attend.home in Spring 2014 and will benefit from purpose built facilities and picturesque views of the town.
Speaking on the build Alyson Martin, Chief Executive, said, “We are delighted that the construction of the new care home is now underway, the new Wessex House will offer superb facilities which will match the reputation that the home already has for quality care. We are pleased to be working with The Stepping Stone Group and the GP’s, the project will be a “first” for South Somerset as the Care Home and the GP surgery will provide health and care on the same campus”.
Somerset Care is celebrating this month after receiving a national award. Skills for Care named Somerset Care winners of the Best Recruitment Initiatives on Thursday 14th March at a gala dinner. Alyson Martin, Chief Executive, Sue Baverstock, Group Head of HR and Training and Judith Clark, Workforce Learning and Development Manager, attended the ceremony accompanied by Kevin Mellor, Manager of The Halcon Centre and a representative of ‘The Rising Stars’ programme.
One of the reasons Somerset Care received this national award, alongside their diverse recruitment initiatives, was for ‘The Rising Stars Programme’, a management development course, helping members of Somerset Care to progress into Management positions within the company.
Speaking on their achievement, Alyson Martin, said “Our workforce are our greatest asset in ensuring we provide Quality Care and Support, so recruiting the best people and offering training and support to encourage their continued development enables us to retain excellent staff. We are delighted to have won this prestigious national award on behalf of our team.”
On 6th March Somerset Care played host to over 160 delegates at Dillington House, near Ilminster. The conference entitled ‘Dementia-The Learning Curve’ welcomed Somerset Care staff, Care Professionals and Commissioners to debate, exchange ideas and share current best practice in dementia care services.
Delegates heard keynote speeches from Sarah Pickup, President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and Angela Rippon OBE, Co-Chair of the Dementia Friendly Communities Champion Group.
The purpose of the conference was to share Somerset Care’s dementia services called ‘PETALS’, the unique service delivers dementia care and support services to people living in their own homes and within Somerset Care’s residential and nursing homes across the South West.
Speaking on the conference, Chief Executive, Alyson Martin MBE, said, “The conference was an excellent opportunity to share ideas and best practice on improving services for people living with dementia. We were delighted that many people who attended felt the day was inspiring and informative.”
Somerset Care is pleased to announce that Care and Support Worker, Tom Jones, has been announced as the winner of the Merit Badge Prize Draw.
Tom, who works for Somerset Care’s Mendip Community Services, was nominated by a client’s family, who praised him for his trustworthy and caring nature. He was awarded a certificate, badge and a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher.
The Merit Badge is awarded to staff members of Somerset Care who have gone above and beyond what is expected of them. Each nominated staff member will receive a badge and certificate to congratulate and thank them for their hard work and commitment. Every quarter recipients of the Merit Badge are entered into a prize draw and will have a chance to win a voucher to the value of £50.
Speaking on Tom’s award, Kim Dominey, Community Services Manager, said, “Tom is a very valuable popular member of the team who really deserves this recognition.”
On Friday 1st February staff from Somerset Care’s Central Office turned up in an array of red clothes, shoes and accessories to support ‘Rock Up In Red Day 2013’.
Staff donated money to the British Heart Foundation and in return wore red items and purchased an arrangement of home made cakes.
In total the ‘Wear Red Day’ raised £148, with Somerset Care adding their charity lottery fund, making a grand total of £200 raised for the British Heart Foundation.
Speaking on the event Judith Clark, Workforce Learning and Development Manager, said, “I was extremely pleased with the amount raised for a great charity. Everyone really made an effort and the day was a real success.”
We received this charming compliment over the Christmas period, thank you to Alison for your lovely comments on the service you receive.
“Choosing a care agency can be such a hard task but once you find Somerset Care you don’t have to look any further, you are all truly inspirational”
“Since March 2012 I have been fortunate to be under the care of the Surrey Community Office run by Miranda and her wonderful team in the office and the carers. Everyone is amazing, without them I wouldn’t be able to live independently with my dog, my parents are also grateful as the pressure has been taken away from them.
Marie (who comes me every night except Saturdays – I would be truly lost without her), Kirsty, Katie, Nicole, Sarah W, Julie, Kristina, Jade and Jana all go the extra mile!
The purpose of emailing is to say Happy Christmas to you all and a huge thank you for all you do and the lovely team at Surrey who provide the rotas sort out and queries etc, they are all truly amazing. Not only does everyone care for me, they care for Ginnie my dog too, which is always a bonus!
I keep telling everyone what lovely carers I have as I have a double up call 4 times a day I need to know I can trust you all, and I certainly can that.
Happy Christmas to you all at head office and all the best for 2013.”
Somerset Care is pleased to announce that this year’s Harry Patch Award has been presented to two of their managers. The presentation was made at the Group’s annual Managers Meeting, which was held at the County Cricket Club on Friday 7th December.
Sue Steeds, manager of Critchill Court, a 50 bed care home in Lynwood Close, Frome and Netta Hunt, Manager of the West Somerset Community Services office, Minehead, were presented with a Bristol Blue Glass Bowl at the meeting to mark their achievements.
Sue, who was awarded an ‘Outstanding Leader’ award at the Group’s in-house awards ceremony earlier in the year, recently planned to create a 1950s themed reminiscence room with the help of local companies and families.
Netta, who manages the delivery of our Community Services in the West Somerset area has recently been involved in a ‘PETALS’ dementia pilot in the area, and has worked tirelessly in the roll out and development of the project.
Speaking on the achievements, Alyson Martin, Chief Executive, said, “Sue and Netta are both exceptional managers and we are proud to be able to recognise their achievements through this award”.
A Non-executive Director and former Chairman of Somerset Care retired this week after 12 years service.
Barrie Dale joined Somerset Care in November 2000 as a Non-Executive Director and took over as Chairman of the group in April 2007. Within his career at Somerset Care, Barrie has contributed greatly to the success of the business, overseeing the opening of new care homes, the growth of our community services and developing new services such as PETALS dementia care. At the end of 2011 Barrie took the decision to step down as Chairman, and Chris Davies CBE DL, took over as Chairman in January 2012.
Somerset Care organised a leaving party for Barrie, inviting both present and former Managers and Directors of the company to wish him well, at the party Barrie was presented with a number of presents from the group, including a memory book featuring photographs and messages from the staff.
Speaking on Barrie’s retirement, Chief Executive, Alyson Martin MBE, said “Barrie has made a significant contribution to Somerset Care over the 12 years he has been Non Executive Director. As well as providing expertise and leadership as the Chair he has also supported staff and clients to ensure Somerset Care provides high quality services.”
Somerset Care is pleased to announce that Chief Executive, Alyson Martin MBE, has been announced as a winner in this year’s Great British Care Awards, South West Region. Alyson attended the gala dinner on Friday 16th November at The Passenger Shed, Bristol, and was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Social Care’ award, for her commitment and dedication to the care sector.
Alyson has worked in social care for over 40 years, starting her career as a care assistant at the age of 16. Throughout her career she has undertaken a variety of roles including care home Manager and Director of Care Services, culminating in her appointment as Chief Executive of Somerset Care in January this year. Alyson’s outstanding depth of knowledge and experience has allowed her to have a significant impact on the social care sector, not only through her role within Somerset Care but also as a leading figure within the wider social care arena. She was awarded an MBE for her services to social care in the Queen’s Jubilee Birthday Honours list this year.
Alyson Martin, said, “I am delighted to receive this award. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout my career, including the thousands of staff who provide care and support to our vulnerable clients.”
As a winner of the South West Regional Awards Alyson will be shortlisted to receive a National Great British Care award in 2013.