Somerset Care held their annual awards ceremony on 26th September at the Somerset County Cricket Ground, Taunton.
Over 180 guests, including award winners and their families, attended the event at which staff were recognised for their long service and special achievements. In total the ceremony celebrated 655 years of long service, with one staff member celebrating 40 years. In addition to long service, presentations were made to staff members who had been nominated by their fellow colleagues for their special achievements, with an Overall Winner being announced in each category.
Attendees heard speeches from Alyson Martin, Chief Executive, Eoin Keogh, Director of Care Services, Susan Baverstock, Group Head of HR and Training and Chris Davies, Chairman.
This summer we seem to have benefited from good weather, I hope that it remains so for the summer events that are happening across our services. There are the usual round of Cream Teas, Fetes, BBQs and a few more unusual events. I’m hoping that the Residential Op’s team return fit and well after their attempt in the three legged race at the Field House (Shepton Mallet) Sports Day.
Alongside the day job (or nights!) that everyone has in supporting all our customers I’m constantly impressed by all the ‘extra’s’ that staff do, whether it’s supporting our own fundraising functions or contributing to Charitable events held to raise money for wider good causes. There are too many to mention them all, but some of the recent ones I’m aware of include, skydiving, running in the Race for Life and a RNLI raft race in the Bristol Channel!
Care and Support news
Occupancy in our care homes naturally fluctuates but top notch goes to the teams at Popham Court, Southlawns and The Priory who have all attained 100% occupancy in August.
The Mendip Community Services team have recently held an opening event for the re launch of the Emma Sheppard centre at Frome. The service provides day support to people with dementia and is highly valued by the people attending. I recently visited the centre and was impressed by the service, my contribution to the day was joining in with the fitness session, it was good fun and enjoyed by all.
Howard Jones, 83 (not the well known musician) but a resident at Sunningdale Lodge is part of the Ages2.0 project. He has just independently completed his online ‘Forget me Not’ life story book, some achievement as he had not used a computer before the project started and he was able to upload his photos and life story into the book.
For our Realise services one of our current pieces of development work is the conversion of a couple of unused staff flats adjacent to Halcon House in Taunton, this will create super accommodation for some Learning Disability clients in the near future.
Hot off the press – Pulsford Lodge have just attained their Gold Standards Framework accreditation and have achieved the highest rating of Commended. Congratulation to all of the team for their hard work in receiving this accolade.
I have been ‘out and about’ visiting services over recent weeks, care home visits included The Priory (Tetbury) and Greenhill House (Cheddar), then South Hampshire and Mendip community bases and on to Sheffield, North Allerton and Ponteland where I visited some of the new YourLife schemes. It has been a delight to meet clients and staff alike, thank you to all of you who have made me so welcome.
Across the company we continue to develop our online presence, the new website is in the final stages of completion and our social media status has extended, on Twitter: we now have 1,180 followers – an increase of 7% on last month and on Facebook: our page has 510 ‘likes’ – an increase of 25% since last month.
I hope that the weather holds for while longer so that those of you planning a break can enjoy a rest from work in the sun – rest and relaxation, keeping a good work life balance is important in ensuring that when we do all return to the “day job” after a break, we feel refreshed and energised.
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”.