14 Nov 16

Brook House Honours Remembrance Day

This year Brook House in Cambridge embarked on a project in honour of Remembrance Day where every resident plus relatives and friends were encouraged to paint ‘a poppy with pride’ on a pebble or stone.

The stones were then placed in the entrance way to the home and made a tribute to honour all service men, women and others who dedicate or who have dedicated their lives to the service of our country.

On Friday 11th September, Brook House received a visit from the local nursery who were invited to paint a poppy and place their pebbles alongside our residents’. Everyone joined in for the two minutes silence.

8 Nov 16

Charity donates specialist medical devices to CPFT patients

Patients are set to benefit from specialist medical devices worth more than £10,000 which have been donated to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Fundraisers No Gain No Pain UK have handed over seven syringe drivers which will be used by CPFT’s community nurses to help patients receiving end-of-life care living in Whittlesey, Eye, Stanground, and Thorney and one syringe driver for the Wansford area.

The charity has also presented the Trust with more than 70 hand-made cloth bags which patients can use to carry the syringe drivers which cost more than £1,300 each.

The presentation took place at the Aliwal Manor Care Centre in Whittlesey. Many of the people at the care home receive help and support from CPFT’s community nurses.

Syringe drivers are small portable machines which are used by patients who are receiving care in their own homes. The machines, which can operate up to 24 hours-a-day, inject medicines into patients if they find swallowing tablets difficult or if they need medication while they are sleeping.

Eileen Nixon, team area manager for CPFT, which provides community health and mental health services, said: “We are very thankful for the latest donation from No Gain No Pain UK. Syringe drivers are really important to patients and to have extra ones available to our nurses is really welcome. This wonderful donation will benefit many patients in the community.”

Earlier this year, No Gain No Pain UK donated four syringe drivers to CPFT. The organisation is run by Louise Nicholls, her husband Lee, and their friend, Samantha Carter, who began raising money to buy syringe drivers in 2015 following the death of Louise’s father, David Jarrett, from cancer.

Louise said: “My dad was a businessman in Whittlesey who was fit and strong. He was always very active. But in the last few days of his life, he had difficulty getting a syringe driver immediately. He had to wait 24 hours, which may not seem long, but when someone you love is in pain, one minute is 60 seconds too long. So after his death we knew we wanted to do something to help others in a similar position.”

No Gain No Pain UK are planning more fundraising activities. For more information visit the website: http://ngnpuk.weebly.com or via the organisation’s Facebook page.

8 Nov 16

102 reasons to smile

It was a very happy birthday and many happy returns to 102-year-old Margaret Kruschina on Sunday.

Margaret is a resident of the Aliwal Manor Care Centre in Whittlesey, and on Sunday she was joined by daughter Naomi Phillips and granddaughter Elizabeth Phillips to celebrate the special occasion.

4 Nov 16

Royal greeting to centenarian

Ivy celebrates 100th with card from Queen

A proud centenarian from Dovercourt was delighted to receive a card from the Queen on her landmark birthday.

Ivy Greenhalgh, of Lime Court residential home, in Lime Avenue, celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her close family.

Ivy was born on October 25, 1916, and has lived in Dovercourt all her life.

She was educated at Bathside School and Main Road School, and worked at Smiths Greengrocers, in High Stree, Dovercourt up until the time she married.

Ivy married her husband Bill, who worked at the Dovercourt Yeast Factory, in 1935 and the pair made their home in King George’s Avenue, Dovercourt.

The couple had one daughter, Gill, who lives in Bristol and visits regularly with her husband Mick.

The sprightly pensioner has many hobbies including knitting, embroidery, sewing and cooking.

Sarah Meachen, activities co-ordinator at Lime Court residential home, said Ivy was always “joking and smiling.”

“She was particularly proud to receive her card from the Queen,” she added.

Ivy said: “I had a lovely day. I had family visit all the way from Denmarl and it was lovely to see so many.

“I don’t have any secrets to a long life.

“But I know I have enjoyed my life very much.”

25 Oct 16

Excelcare with Unilever Chef of the Year

The head chef Anthony Tilley from Castlemead has been named the winner of Excelcare Chef of the Year 2016.
With 2nd place going to Drew Quy, Chef of The Willows Care Centre.

Both Anthony and Drew work within the Milton Keynes Region of Excelcare and took part in the challenge at Unilever’s Headquarters in Surrey along with contestants from 2 other Homes in the group. The finalists included Daniel Stevens from Ashlyn care centre and Orica Mkandawire from Castlebar.

Anthony, along with his fellow competitors, were tasked with producing a 2 course meal, in 90 minutes, suitable for residents in a care home. They were all presented with a mystery box of ingredients on the day and had little time to devise their menu. All participants were judged by Angela Bruce Sandwith and Martin Allen from Excel Careholdings along with the Executive Head Chef from Unilever.

The judges based their decisions on originality, presentation, flavour and safe working practices.

Anthony’s winning menu consisted of Chicken Ballantine with Spaghetti Vegetables and Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Served with a Cheesy Sauce. Dessert was Caramelised Eves Pudding accompanied with a Rich Toffee Sauce.

Anthony was presented with a Mini iPad whilst the other contestants received Hampers, courtesy of Unilever.

18 Oct 16

Brook House takes part in Operation Christmas Child

This year, Brook House, with the help of residents, relatives and staff worked alongside the Samaritans Purse to be involved with Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child’s aim is that every child worldwide receives a shoebox filled with Christmas presents and unconditional love, based on need, regardless of their background and religion.

Brook House packed 8 boxes in total and there really are some special gifts inside.

5 Oct 16

London Celebrates International Older People’s Day

International Older Peoples Day on the 1st October celebrated the achievements and contributions that older people make to society, and as part of the London Region’s celebration of this day, the region came together to take part in the walk for health.

Peartree Care Centre became the hub of activity as people living in Castlebar, Park Avenue and Peatree, their relatives and staff members met for a cup of tea before setting off (banner in hand) to march through Sydenham.

Flags were flying, people were waving and horns were beeping as people showed their support along the way.

After a picnic lunch in Home Park, Sydenham, Excelcare physiotherapist Sabeel led the group in some outdoor fun and games, including a volleyball tournament and the Octago exercise session.

The Octago programme works on developing the person’s strength and balance, thereby increasing confidence and their ability to carry out everyday activities.

It’s not just about living longer, but living a longer, healthier and happier life.


21 Sep 16

Homes Retain Beacon Status

The recently held Gold Standard Framework (GSF) Accreditation Meeting in Birmingham proved a time to celebrate for several London Excelcare Homes.

Queens Oak Care Centre, Limetree Care Centre and Windmill Lodge Care Centre all retained their beacon status (the highest award in the GSF program) for the third time.

The Gold Standard Framework is a systematic, evidence based approach to optimising care for all patients approaching the end of life and improves the quality, coordination and organisation of care leading to better patient outcomes in line with their needs and preferences.

All three homes will now become GSF Ambassadors and as such have been invited to the House of Commons in October.

19 Sep 16

Salute to unsung heroes in a challenging environment

I am a resident at Stanley Wilson Lodge care home in Saffron Walden where I have lived since 2011, the first three years with my wife of 72 years Agnes whom I sadly lost two years ago.

As a care home resident and retired newspaper man I take an interest in the coverage of care homes in the media. Unfortunately, the news does tend to be on the negative side – sometimes this is justified but very often not.

What seems largely unreported are the unsung heroes, namely the carers, and almost completely unreported, the fact that on occasion carers are struggling to cope with difficulties similar to those of the residents in their care.

I am very lucky with the fantastic care my wife and I have received and it would be almost impossible to single out any particular individual.

But there are two people who, although they have not cared for me personally, I think deserve a mention for their courage.

Coral King and Nicky Curtan both joined Stanley Wilson at the same time in 2010.

Both were well liked by residents and staff alike for the care and compassion with which they approached their jobs. Unfortunately, they both became unwell and could not continue working. In each case they soldiered on full-time (12-hour shifts) and then part-time long beyond the point at which they really should have stopped.

Additionally, Nicky was also persevering with a part-time degree course in person-centred counselling.

From everyone I have spoken to, it is clear that they carried on working as long as they did largely because of their concerns for the residents in their care – true professionals both!,/p>

It would be very easy to dismiss their stories as just being part of everyday life but that would be to ignore the fact that we are talking about two individuals working in a stressful and challenging environment where media criticism, rather than praise is the norm.

In my view they both illustrate the point that it is too easy to view carers simply by reference to the title without thinking about what it really means.

As a postscript I am delighted to be able to say that Nicky recently graduated with a BA (Hons) and Coral has asked me to add that she would like to thank the consultants at Addenbrookes along with family and friends for all their support while having to deal with bone cancer.

– Stanley Bennett (almost 94)
Saffron Walden

19 Sep 16

Hunters Down Awarded Silver Gilt at Huntingdon in Bloom

For the past two years, Hunters Down in Cambridge has taken part in the Anglia in Bloom competition. Hunters Down’s gardens are part of the Huntingdon in Bloom catchment area, with Activity Coordinators, volunteers, helpers and residents all worked hard planting and maintaining beautiful hardens all year round.

This year, Hunters Down was nominated for a special award and was invited to attend the award ceremony which was held in Yarmouth. Whilst last year Hunters Down was awarded Silver, the home went one better this year winning a Silver Gilt. Hunters Down received a certificate in recognition for its nomination. This is a huge achievement for Hunters Down to receive from Anglia Bloom.