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Regional awards success for handyman Dave

Dave Middleditch, much-loved handyman at our Grovelands care home in Yeovil, is celebrating being shortlisted for a South West Care Home Award.

Having joined the Grovelands team during the height of the pandemic in July 2020, Dave quickly became popular with colleagues and residents alike, as he turned his hand to everything from carrying out essential repairs to crafting activities boards to provide mental stimulation and entertainment for our residents who live with dementia.

Whilst his engineering background gave him a sound knowledge for the practical aspects of his role, it is the positive effect that Dave has on the wellbeing of residents and colleagues which prompted the Grovelands team to nominate him for this award.

A new career and a positive influence

Grovelands Manager, Karen Cheshire, says:

“Dave quickly adapted from a background of engineering to a care home environment which was completely new territory for him. He had no idea what to expect and immersed himself into his new role during testing times when Coronavirus was peaking and we were all so uncertain about the effects the virus would have.

Dave settled in quickly and learned new communication skills and an understanding of dementia. He spends much of his time in our PETALS dementia care wing carrying out essential repairs. He works extremely hard to help personalise resident’s rooms by assembling shelving, hanging pictures and moving furniture – all whilst engaging with dignity and maintaining a calming influence on all those around him.

He was asked if he could help create an activity board to support one particular resident who was living with advanced dementia. Over night Dave created a fantastic wooden ‘fidget board’ tray with fixed light switches, locks and a lights which helped to occupy the resident and made a real difference to his wellbeing.

A vital part of our Care Home community, Dave connects so well with our residents without even realising the positive effect this has on their well being. He takes part in our theme days by dressing in costumes and at the Christmas concert he sang for our residents – something he has never done in his life, which made it all the more a special contribution. During Storm Eunice, Dave was seen springing into action saving our greenhouse and resident’s garden pots from destruction!

Dave is so unassuming and has no idea just how highly regarded he is by our residents and the entire staff team.”

About the awards

The South West Care Home Awards celebrate care homes and care professionals who have demonstrated outstanding practice in the face of what has been an incredibly challenging couple of years. Winners are due to be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Monday 14th March.

Good luck, Dave!

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