17 Feb 15

Valentines Day at Sherrell House

Saturday 14th February was a special day for the 5 couples currently residing at Sherrell House. The couples had a lovely valentine’s day dinner and entertainment with waitress service.

The Menu was full of surprises including Rosina and Albery who first met at a fish and chip shop, had their fish and chips in Newspaper photocopied from the 1900’s. Other couples joined in the fun and celebration and gave each other cards and roses with their served champagne and wine.

16 Feb 15

Fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care

A local lady Louise, who is a personal friend of the chairman Osman Ertosun and the Ertosun family, sadly lost her Mum to cancer and is trying to give something back to the wonderful charity that looked after her Mum – Marie Curie Cancer Care

Each year Marie Curie holds the Great Daffodil Appeal which has been raising awareness and funds since 1986.

Louise is holding a Fundraising Pamper and Coffee Morning at The Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst on Wednesday 18th March and has asked for our help to sell raffle tickets.

We have £200 worth to sell and hope we can call on your continued fundraising support by purchasing some tickets from reception. Please email charlotte.barrett@excelcareholdings.com to purchase your tickets or pop by reception!

The raffle tickets cost £2.50 each or 5 tickets for £10.

The draw will take place on Wednesday 18th March at the Fundraising Pamper and Coffee Morning; should any of the tickets we sell be drawn they will contact you directly as the raffle tickets sold will hold your contact details on them.

They are working on more prizes, but so far they have a 3 course lunch for 2 with a bottle of wine at the award winning Cinnamon Kitchen, Devonshire Square; various pamper treatments and vouchers and much more!

Last year, the Great Daffodil Appeal raised £8.26 million, funding 413,000 hours of nursing care. That was a great result. But sadly, every five minutes in the UK someone dies without the care they need at the end of their life. By buying a raffle ticket, you will be helping Marie Curie Nurses for more people living with a terminal illness, so they can spend time with the people they love.

Thank you for your support.

9 Feb 15

Onesie Day at Sherrell House

Sherrell House in Chigwell, Essex decided to show just how fun and like home the place can be, by hosting their very own Onesie catwalk show.
The event judged by residents, staff and relatives brought laughter to all the residents, whilst also raising money for the resident’s amenities.

5 Feb 15

Namaste Care

An approach called Namaste Care is being used in some care homes to provide stimulating, comforting and person-centre care for people with very advanced dementia.

Park Avenue Care Centre in South London has been using the structured programme, which was developed in the US, for over two years.

Namaste involves one-to-one care during daily sessions in a comfortable, communal space with gentle stimulation of the senses.

Namaste brings people together to create a warm and positive environment as a person approaches the end of their life.

Staff say that Namaste allows them to change how they work without spending money on expensive resources.

Jargon, with its tendency to confuse and over-complicate, has a deservedly poor reputation. So it was with mixed feelings that I approached Park Avenue Care Centre in Bromley, South London on a quest to discover the meaning of ‘Namaste Care’.

Mid-morning and the lounge curtains have been drawn, the lights dimmed. A nature DVD plays on the TV, soft music replacing the commentary. From a sensory lamp in one corner of the room, undulating waves of light add to the sense of peace and calm all around. Do I detect the faintest hint of lavender in the air?

Residents with advanced dementia sit around the room in comfy, amply-cushioned armchairs. A trolley, laden with goodies, stands centre stage. Hand towels, face cream, hair care products and at least half a dozen named toiletry bags containing residents’ personal items compete for space with food and drink – water and orange slices, ice lollies and chocolate, yoghurt and biscuits.

A couple of people doze. Others chat quietly. Three care workers are present, each closely involved with someone. One is lovingly styling a lady’s hair. Another, seated on a stool so as to be close, is deep in conversation with a lady whose drink she holds between sips. A gentleman, completely at ease, watches as a male care worker massages his hands with gentle stroking movements.

Honoured Guests
Bindu Cyriac, the Deputy Manager, tells me that Namaste (pronounced na-mas-the) is a Hindu term that can be translated as ‘to honour the spirit within’. Many of her predominantly South Asian colleagues will have known the word long before arriving at this comfortable 51-bedded care home for frail older people, many with advanced dementia.

‘We were using some of these techniques before Joyce Simard, the Namaste Care programme’s American founder, visited us in 2001’, says Bindu. ‘The following year we were invited to take part in a research project, adopting the structured programme in full.’

Under the stewardship of the home’s Manager, Arlette Beebeejaun, they have not looked back. Their work attracts professional interest from far and wide.

In a nutshell, Namaste seeks to engage people with very advanced dementia through sensory input, soothing and calming through sound, touch, smell and taste. Delivered systematically, these care techniques take place daily, for a set time in a dedicated communal space.
Pampering for a purpose, you might say. Some of the benefits are immediately obvious to this casual observer – the one-to-one care and attention and that sense of peace and calm are particularly striking. But Bindu claims more for it than that.

Multiple Benefits
‘People with advanced dementia and approaching death can still experience comfort and pleasure. Namaste brings people together, enhancing the lives of all concerned, including our care workers and relatives – they find the approach rewarding. It gives them things they can do.’

The clinical benefts, says Bindu, are also significant. Residents take more fluids, helping to maintain good skin and decrease urinary tract infections. Circulation is improved by massage and gentle exercise. Person-centred care makes assessment of pain much easier. The homes use less antipsychotic medication since the programme was introduced.

For Mary Crosby, Pastoral Assistant at nearby St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Parish Church, Namaste ‘nurtures a caring attitude in the staff’ and ‘a warm and welcoming atmosphere for visitors.’

Susan, daughter of Lilly, is grateful ‘for the quality of time it gives us’. With calmness all around, the hand massage Susan administers and which her mum so enjoys speaks for itself.

Comfort and dignity
Would Namaste be too costly and resource intensive for some settings? Bindu says the outlay on materials is minimal, and that it’s more about changing the way things are done.

A day’s training is usually enough to equip staff with all they need, and there’s no odenying it puts the onus on them to be tactile, attentive and compassionate. Why should we except or accept anything less for vulnerable people approaching the end of their lives?

Park Avenue’s excellent work shows that care for the frail elderly can improve through advances made in other settings, such as the multisensory rooms found in all good special schools or the holistic care provided by the best hospices.

I leave hugely encouraged. Namaste isn’t empty jargon, it’s a beautiful word, with the dementia-friendly promise of comfort, pleasure and a dignified death.

4 Feb 15

World Cancer Research Day – Wednesday 4th February 2015

Wednesday 4th February 2015 is World Cancer Day by Cancer Research UK. Excelcare’s Head Office helped with the fundraising efforts by purchasing bands and participating in a Dress Down Day. The homes are also doing their part with the following:



  • Peartree – Tied pink balloons on the railings outside, inviting people to come in to buy cakes and a cup of tea. They even collected £35 from staff who did not turn up wearing something pink. They managed to raise over £200 in total.

Supporting People

  • Hermitage Road – Held a cake sale afternoon, raising £105 in the process.


29 Jan 15

Spoons, songs and poems as ‘S Factor’ comes to care home

Residents view for title in front of ‘brutal judge’

It might be a far cry from Wembley Stadium, but the competition was just as fierce as the X Factor final when Sherrell House Care Centre hosted its very own S Factor contest on Friday.

Elderly performers from the Bayfield Court Care Centre in Chingford and Winifred Dell House in Brentwood travelled to the home in Fencepiece Road, Chigwell, to battle it out with residents from Sherrell House.

Acts pulled out all the stops to impress judges; staff member Jenny Peat, relative Pat Parish and 81-year-old resident Maurice Featherman – whose “brutal” put-downs earned him the nickname Simon in honour of his TV counterpart Cowell.

Organiser and host Lee-Ann Kingwell said: “It was a lovely – everybody enjoyed it.

“We were all calling Maurice ‘Simon’ – he was brutal in some place.”

Contestants – residents, staff and relatives – showed off their skills including singing, dancing, poetry reading and even a performance on the spoons from 86-year-old Sherrell House resident Len Fisher.

But despite not being on home turf, Bayfield singer Penny was chosen as the winner by the three judges, with Winifredd Dells’ Tom coming second and third prize going to spoon-player Len.

The winner was awarded a £25 voucher and Thornton’s chocolate trophy.

“All the residents were mixing together and enjoying it” added Lee-Ann

26 Jan 15

Excelcare fundraising in support of Cancer Research UK

Excelcare is calling on its entire staff at Head Office and across the regions, homes, branches and units to help support the worthy cause of Cancer Research UK on World Cancer Day, Wednesday 4th February ,which is when the entire nation will come together to unite in the fight against cancer.

Many of us have had family and friends affected by cancer and know the importance of raising as much money and awareness as possible. Staff will be able to support Cancer Research UK by purchasing one of 50 Unity Bands from Head Office priced at £2.
These Unity Bands, purchased and donated by Sam Manning, once bought again by staff for £2, will gain an added value, as company Chairman, Osman Ertosun has pledged to add an extra £1 for every one of these Unity Bands bought. This means that each Unity Band from Head Office will have eventually have raised £5 for Cancer Research UK.

A further means of raising additional funds will be for staff to meet a competitive challenge. Every home, branch and unit is encouraged to send a group photo of all the staff with their bands visible (bought from Head Office or elsewhere).
For every staff member visibly wearing their band in the photos, Ozzie has agreed to donate an extra £1. There will even be a special prize for the home, branch or unit that has the most staff wearing the band.

Head Office will also be holding a Dress Down Day (in return for a £1 donation), with a special prize given to anyone prepared to dress Whacky and Funny and wave at traffic for 10 minutes. There will also be a raffle priced at £1 per entry. To enter, please see Charlotte on reception, with your name and payment before Tuesday 3rd February. The draw will take place on the 4th February 2015.
Our united fund raising efforts will help Cancer Research UK bring forward the day when cancer will be beaten

22 Jan 15

Letter from Her Majesty

Over the Christmas period, Limetree Care Centre in Lambeth, London ran a Christmas card making competition. The winning card, together with a photo of the winner and a letter were sent to the Queen.

Much to the delight of residents and staff, a reply was received on Tuesday from the Lady-in-Waiting on behalf of the Queen at Sandringham House. The letter stating that “The Queen greatly appreciated your thought for her and the Royal family at this time”, “was interestested to learn about the Limetree Care Centre” and “sends her very good wishes to you, and to all the staff and residents at the Centre” left the staff flying full of emotions.

John, a resident and the competition winner was especially overjoyed, especially requesting to have the letter enlarged and put into a frame, which of course will be done. He even joked that he should collect money from the staff for making them known to The Queen! But this should probably have been expected from someone who signed the card with “From John, the Patron of Denmark Hill”

Please see below the card and response.

Card & Letter sent to The Queen

Response from Sandringham House

30 Dec 14

Thank You from Help For Heroes

Click here to view

24 Dec 14

Excelcare’s £600 donation

Excelcare has raised £600 at Head Office, with the proceeds going to two very worthwhile causes.

Ruby Laura Young
“As with more than half of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma, the cancer had spread throughout Ruby’s body by the time she was diagnosed, making her condition one of the most difficult kinds of childhood cancer to treat.

The family are fundraising for the NCCA UK to help Ruby, and other children like her, should she need to follow an expensive treatment path. With a high risk neuroblastoma diagnosis, the probability of relapse is high. Through Ruby’s Journey, the NCCA UK can ensure that every possible avenue for treatment is open to her.”

View more at Ruby’s Just Giving Page

Frankie Rose
“Frankie-Rose was diagnosed with brain and spinal tumours on the 4th August 2014 just 10 weeks ago.

She had endured 10 weeks of brutal chemotherapy, she has lost 9 kg, her hair but most importantly her spirit. Despite this the tumour has tripled in size. We were today advised that she needs radiotherapy immediately.

The treatment is only available in the USA and although available on the NHS protocol means that funding/paperwork takes at least 8 weeks to produce and time is not on our side. So this is not an option for us.

The only way to save our baby with a 100% guarantee that the cancer will not return is by raising £160k in the next few weeks. ”

View more at Frankie’s GoFundMe Page