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.
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.”
Somerset Care has donated £1,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), to mark the retirement of one Board member and the emigration to Australia of another.
At the end of 2011 the company said goodbye to Finance Director John Parrott, who retired, and Chief Executive Andrew Larpent, who emigrated to Australia. The two requested donations to the DEC in lieu of gifts, and a total of £1,000 was raised.
The day allows people to show support and promote awareness of heart disease.
The British Heart Foundation advises that heart and circulatory diseases cause more than one in three of all deaths in the UK, accounting for more than 191,000 deaths each year, at an estimated cost of £30 billion to the economy.
National Wear Red Day 2012 will take place on Friday 24th February and you can get involved in several ways. One simple way is to use the Red for Heart Randometer on facebook. This lets you pull a lever and it generates some brilliant fundraising ideas.
To get involved you can email the British Heart Foundation on firstname.lastname@example.org, call them on 0300 330 0645 or visit their website http://www.bhf.org.uk
Dignity Action Day is a chance to raise awareness of the importance of dignity in care.
Critchill Court residential home in Frome celebrated with a Dignity Action Day party, full of activities for the residents, visitors and staff to enjoy. The residents made and decorated cupcakes, listened to a local musician and made bookings for the ‘wash and go’, a make shift car wash for zimmer frames and walking sticks.
As well as the fun activities Jess Symes, Critchill Court’s Dignity Champion and her mother made ribbons which they sold on the day. In total they raised £60 for their dignity fund, which is used to purchase items for the residents.
On Friday 16th December staff from Somerset Care’s Central Office traded their work clothes for Santa outfits in aid of Children’s Hospice South West.
Eleven Santas and two helpers in reindeer head bands walked the route of Blackbrook Business Park and Dean Gate Business Park collecting donations. The group raised £257 on the day and added their own charity bonus ball fund, bringing the total to just over £310.
Shirley Chapman, Operations Manager for Somerset Care at Home and organiser of the event, said, “I’m so pleased with the money we’ve raised for Children’s Hospice South West, and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that donated. A special thank you also needs to go to my colleagues for dressing up and helping with the fundraising.”
Langham Court recently donated a further £600 to the RNLI Bembridge Appeal, which has been set up to raise funds for the new lifeboat station and lifeboat. Langham Court is an exclusive close care development based in the grounds of Inver House residential home in Bembridge. The apartments get their name from the Langham lifeboat, which was in service on the Island between 1922 and 1939. On the apartments completion the Somerset Care Group pledged to donate £200 to the RNLI Bembridge Lifeboat Appeal for every apartment sold.
John Margetson from the RNLI accepted the cheque from the Somerset Care Group’s Deputy Chief Executive John Parrott at a presentation held at Inver House. Speaking about the event, Inver House Manager Joanne Bennett said, “We are really pleased that we can donate this money to the local lifeboat appeal. They are a huge part of the Bembridge community and it is wonderful that we can show them support.”