16 Mar 15

Give in Celebration!

Dear colleagues

As many of you may know, Ozzie’s will be 21 ‘again’ on 24th April!
Ozzie wishes to use his birthday celebration to do something special by making more tomorrow’s for someone else. He has chosen to raise money for a young girl called Ruby Young. Ruby has stage 4, high risk neuroblastoma – an aggressive childhood cancer and needs to follow an expensive treatment path.

Rather than head off to ‘The Card Factory’ for a card for Ozzie; please use you £1.00 on the link below, this is a Justgiving page that we have set up on Ozzie’s behalf:

Excelcare CEO Birthday Celebration Fundraising for Ruby Young, so she has a tomorrow!

Ozzie will personally double the total we raise. All money raised on this link will go to Ruby at the end of April 2015

Thank you for your support

Regards Sam Manning

At her second birthday party, Ruby happily enjoyed all the excitement and atmosphere. For Ruby’s parents, Victoria and Rob, and her big brother Freddy this was a special day creating family memories.

Not long after Ruby’s birthday party, Victoria and Rob were aware that their daughter’s behaviour had changed. “Ruby became quiet and withdrawn”explains Victoria “Ruby started to refuse food – she was infamous for her huge appetite!”

Other vague symptoms included a wheezy chest. Once Ruby began a course of prescribed allergy medication. This seemed to help, but her appetite was not improving.

Ruby’s hardworking parents were enjoying a rare weekend away when they received a telephone call from Ruby’s anxious Grandparents. The local pharmacist had seen Ruby and thought she looked jaundiced.

“Ruby was clingy, unhappy and vomiting,” says Victoria. Ruby’s parents immediately returned home and took their daughter to the local Accident and Emergency department. By this point Ruby had stopped eating completely. She lost so much weight that a worrying growth in her stomach became visible.

Ruby was quickly transferred to St. George’s hospital where a tumour biopsy was the first planned surgical procedure for Ruby. Her blood pressure was so high that the medical team considered it too dangerous to go ahead. Only when Ruby’s blood pressure was under control did the biopsy take place – the results of which left Ruby’s parents shocked and devastated.

Their 2 year old daughter Ruby had stage 4, high risk neuroblastoma – an aggressive childhood cancer “When we found out about Ruby’s diagnosis we were in complete shock, it all seemed surreal (and still does) and we were absolutely devastated. We couldn’t believe this was happening to our little Ruby,” says Victoria.

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.

“Ruby had a large tumour in her abdomen going up her spine and disease in her bone marrow” says her mother, Victoria. “The tumour was pressing on her internal organs and made her extremely poorly. Her belly was swelling up and pushing on her lungs. She could hardly breathe and needed oxygen.”

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.

Victoria describes Ruby as “a very brave 2-year-old who loves babies, drawing, playing with her brother’s toys and eating cheese!”
Below is a poem written for Ruby by her brother Freddy, 4:

What can we do for Ruby Roo?
The little girl is only two
The poor little honey
Has a tumour in her tummy
Give a penny, give a pound
So a cure can be found.

What can we do for Ruby Roo?
The little girl is only two
Mummy and Daddy they keep crying
To be good I keep trying
Give a penny, give a pound
So a cure can be found.

What can we do for Ruby Roo?
The little girl is only two
I want us to be able to play
But Ruby Roo is sick all day
Give a penny, give a pound
So a cure can be found.

I’m Freddy Robert I’m nearly five,
Please help my sister to survive.

12 Mar 15

Excelcare Homes Light The Way With Beacon Status

Limetree, Peartree, Queens Oak and Windmill; all within London; are only 4 of 25 nationwide homes undergoing assessment for their third accreditation by the Gold Standards Framework. The four homes have been granted Beacon Status, which is the highest award in the Gold Standards Framework program, for end of life care.

London Regional Director Geraldine Finney commented on how these homes are part of a very few who are in line for re-accreditation and how we should celebrate such successes.

12 Mar 15

Excelcare Raises £550 for Marie Curie

Excelcare has managed to raise £550 for Marie Curie, by selling £500 worth of raffle tickets and £50 of Daffodil pins.

Raffle Tickets are £2.50 each or 5 for £10 and can be purchased in advance or pop along in person for a bit of pampering at our Marie Curie Pamper & Coffee Morning Event Weds 18th March 9.00am – Midday at The Beaverwood Club, , Beaverwood Rd, Chislehurst BR7 6HF

Below, Louise Stacey explains the reason behind this fundraising:
“This is my own personal experience and why I raise funds for Marie Curie … A Marie Curie nurse touched my life forever on 28th October 2010 at 10pm, her name was Rose …..my mum was dying and Rose walked into our home and shared one of the worst and most frightening nights of my life, just a few hours later my Mum died. I have never forgotten Rose , she gave me so much strength, helped me not to panic as my Mum was taking her last few breaths meaning I was calm enough to keep holding my Mums hand, telling her not to be scared, that I was there for her and would always love her as she passed away.

More information can be found on the JustGiving page:


12 Mar 15

Sherrell To Raise Money For Dementia UK

A care home is set to take part in a national event to support Dementia UK.

Sherrell House Care Centre in Fencepeince Road, Chigwell, will hold the ‘Time for a Cuppa’ event on Friday (March 13) to help the charity raise money for admiral and specialist dementia nurses.

Last year’s event, which saw residents enjoy tea and cake with family, friends and locals, funded admiral nurse care for more than 1,000 more families.

Manager of Sherrell House Sue Anne Balcombe said: “My Time for a Cuppa event has not only been great fun to organise, but it will also give all attendees the opportunity to catch up over a cup of tea and raise awareness and funds for Dementia UK.

“With more funds, Dementia UK will be able to provide more Admiral Nurses who are a lifeline for many family carers.”

9 Mar 15

Poem For Sherrell House

On Thursday 5th March, a relative visited a loved one at Sherrell House, Chigwell and left a poem an anonymous relative had written about the home.

General Manager Sue Ann Balcombe commented: “It made me smile and cry at the same time, but it’s captured all we do at Sherrell House and it’s brilliantly written”.

The poem is written below:

I’ve come to live in Sherrell House
Because I’m getting old.
I’m glad it’s nice and warm in here
Because I feel the cold.

We are all well treated
And the staff are very kind.
Some of us have funny ways
But they do not seem to mind.

For those of us whose legs have gone
A hoist gives us a ride
And swings us to a wheelchair
If we need to go outside.

The food is very tasty
If we don’t throw it on the floor;
Of course, if that’s what happens
They don’t give us any more.

The other day a man turned up
With pets for us to see.
He took them round to show us
And placed a rabbit on my knee.

I stroked the lovely bunny
And gave him a gentle kiss,
But when the tarantula turned up
I just gave him a miss!

Another time a musician came
Persuading us to sing,
But just as we got going
The fire alarm joined in.

Our bedroom doors stay open
Just in case we fell:
And Dr. Pechan comes to see us
If we’re not feeling well.

He makes is all feel better –
Even if it’s just a cough.
We no longer plan for our escape:
We know when we’re well off!

9 Mar 15

Hunters Down celebrates 104th Birthday

A party was held at Hunters Down Care Home on Saturday 31st January to celebrate Harry Emery’s 104th birthday.

His room was beautifully decorated by the staff. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Huntingdon joined Harry’s family and previous neighbours and friends from Fenstanton.

There were four generations of Harry’s family at the party, including his son John, daughter Margaret, granddaughter Gillian, and two of his great grandchildren, Elizabeth and Reece, as well as Ozzie the dog. His granddaughter Helen greeted him on the telephone from her home in Lancashire.

Remembering Harry’s lifelong interest in football, his great grandsons, Zak and Cyrus created a wonderful birthday card for him. A birthday cake and refreshments were kindly provided by the staff at the home.

9 Mar 15

Huntingdon Regional College Delivers Paintings

Paintings by Huntingdon Regional College were delivered to Hunters Down Care Home in Huntingdon last month.

Pearl Ewing, the home’s activity coordinator said, “Residents gave the students some ideas for the paintings. The students then worked on designs and came into Hunters Down so residents could watch them start their paintings.

Everyone enjoyed this experience with many questions being asked by both parties. Even a sing along was enjoyed while students created their wonderful artwork, which residents will now be able to enjoy every day.”

The paintings completed on canvases supplied by Hunters Down depict celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr, as well as images of animals and landscapes. Louise Simms, a level 2 Art Student, said “I asked my great nan, who is a resident at Hunters Down what images they would like and she suggested Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, so I chose them for my work”.

On their final visit, students took turns to exhibit and talk about their paintings.

5 Mar 15

Pearly queen shakes a leg

A nursing home fell in love with all things East End as a pearly queen opened one of its renamed units.

Sherrell House in Fencepiece Road, Chigwell, welcome the extravagently decorated Doreen Golding to open the Pearly Kings and Queens unit last week.

Doreen danced the Charleston with resident Len Fisher while taking a guided tour of the building.

Residents enjoyed bubbly and a buffet to mark the special occasion.

Sherrell co-ordinator Lee-ann Kingwell said: “It went really well-everyone was really happy to meet the pearly queen, she’s a very nice lady.

“It was really fun – it was as if the real queen visited!”

Lee-ann said of the residents: “I just love working with them because I get on really well with them and I like to think that we brighten up their day.”

27 Feb 15

Excelcare Chefs Cook Up A Delight

On the 10th and 11th February, Excelcare Chefs from Cambridge, Essex, London and Milton Keynes were invited to the Baking Academy at Knorr Kitchen in Leather for a hands-on baking workshop held by Unilever.

The sessions, conducted by an experienced development chef from Unilever were designed to show that baking from scratch takes no more time than convenience bake mixes, whilst also acting as a refresher on baking skills and techniques. Scratch cooking is a key consumer trend providing a reconnection with real, authentic, basic ingredients and the importance of healthy eating.

The Excelcare Chefs were put into groups of two and explored the different fats supplied to the homes, the fat, salt and water content of each of these and their taste and how to rectify any problems should anything go wrong between the theory and practical application. This valuable knowledge was then applied to the creation of cakes, puddings and bakes. Conventional wisdom is that is less costly to make something from scratch than to purchase a ready-made equivalent. To illustrate this, even PG Tips tea bags were drawn into the discussions and how they can contribute to the flavours of tea time cakes.

The Unilever development chef demonstrated how to tempt and delight the taste buds by the use of natural ingredients, including blending fresh mint with granulated sugar. This blend was then dried off in an oven for less than 10 minutes at 180, and then blended again to form crystals, giving the chefs the means to inspire the residents’ eating, through skilful garnishing and additions at baking time. This was replicated back at Sherrell House, Chigwell, Essex, much to the delight of their residents.

The Chef at Sherrell House said “It was a great friendly atmosphere” and “because we deal with residents with dementia, enhancing foods with these flavours is a fantastic idea.”

20 Feb 15

Peartree on World Cancer Day

February 4th was World Cancer day, and staff relatives and people living in Peartree Care Centre marked the day in style.

The home held a cake sale, with the staff and relatives putting in a huge effort to bake different kinds of cakes and biscuits for the occasion. They had flavoured cupcakes, fresh fruit cakes, coconut cakes, banana cake and their very own smashing hit – a delicious rum cake!

The local shop “The Cake Store” donated a beautiful fruit cake covered in fondant icing, deocrated in pink. People paid to guess the weight, with Hilda, currently living at the home, coming the closest and winning. She was delighted and said that it was a perfect gift for her son who would be celebrating his 70th birthday very soon.

Staff, relatives and people living in the home helped to serve cakes and drinks and looked after guests who dropped in on the day to support the cause. The home managed to raise £216 in 3 hours, which was given to the local Cancer Research store.