24 Jan 17

Dignity Action Day

Wednesday 1st February 2017 will be Dignity Action Day, which is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people who use care services.

Below is what just some of our homes are doing for the day;

Lime Court
Lime Court will have Live Entertainment with singer Louise Stuckey at 2pm. Later, there will be a visit by local youth charity group Teen Talk donating a Hamper to the home at 3.30pm

Stanley Wilson
Will be having a tea party and a singer’s quiz. During the day there will be a tree with leaves for staff and residents to fill in throughout the day, saying what dignity means to them.

Will be holding afternoon tea


Winifred Dell
Will be holding an open day with tea and cake, whilst also creating a dignity tree.

11 Jan 17

Excelcare’s First Outstanding Home

The staff at Castlebar Care Centre, are celebrating after receiving an overall ‘Outstanding’ in their latest inspection report by the Care Quality Commission.

The inspection took place unannounced over two-days in October 2016. As well as an overall ‘Outstanding’ rating; the home received ‘Outstanding’ for Caring and Responsive. The home’s services were rated ‘good’ for effectiveness, well-led and safety

Castlebar Care Centre caters for people living with dementia who also need nursing care, and for those people who have medical conditions which need nursing involvement. The home is also Gold Standard Framework Accredited, so is able to offer a high level of palliative and end of life care. Some people who live in the home, are living with dementia but do not yet need nursing care

It is a 59 bedded mansion house, set in beautiful grounds on Sydenham Hill in South East London. The home enjoys a magnificent setting with panoramic views over the Capital.

The CQC report stated:

The service provided care to people that was outstanding.
People and their relatives were complimentary about the care and support they received. Care delivered was person centred and demonstrated that people mattered. Staff supported people with effective and coordinated care and support. People’s lives were celebrated and staff showed respect for privacy while promoting their dignity. Staff showed they knew people’s needs well. The registered provider, registered manager and staff were caring, compassionate and empathetic to people who lived and died at the service.

The service responsiveness to people using the service was outstanding.

Staff used social activities in a creative way that helped people explore and develop new interests and hobbies.

Care delivered used evidence based research outcomes to improve the lives of people. Diversity was celebrated and welcomed for all people living in the service. People and their relatives were involved in the assessment and reviews of their care. People were able to make a complaint about the quality of care and support they received.

All relatives we spoke with spoke highly and complimentary of the care, the service and staff. One relative told us “[my relative] would be nowhere else. I have visited a few homes that were supposed to provide the best care. Nothing is like this home.” Another relative said “It’s wonderful here.”


3 Jan 17

Florence celebrates her 103rd birthday

There were 103 reasons to cheer for Florence Fraser as she toasted reaching an incredible birthday with a tot of whisky.

Florence, a resident at the Aliwal Manor Care Centre in Whittlesey, was joined by staff members Jeni Watkins, Carol Lyon, Vicky English and Nicole Moore to celebrate with some birthday cake.

30 Dec 16

Going The Extra Mile at Christmas

Paula Clarke, a member of staff at Longfield Care Home in Maldon, Essex really went the extra mile this Christmas.

Paula, in her own time, managed to hand-sew stockings for every resident. With materials bought out of her own money, she spent countless hours stitching the stockings and stuffed toys. The stockings had personalised buttons with the resident’s initials sewn on, and the stockings were put on the Christmas Tress within each of the home’s units, for every resident to enjoy on Christmas Day.

Gina Copsey, Home Manager, wanted to put on record what a fantastic effort she has put in to making all our residents feel special.

28 Nov 16

Animal Therapy in Peartree Care Centre

Many of us may know how pets help us get through life. Whether trained or not, owning and caring for pets, provides therapy and has proven health benefits.

Why animal therapy?

  • Most therapy animals are used for similar reasons. In schools and hospitals they provide cheer and companionship
  • Provide comfort and relaxation
  • Animals can help people with learning disabilities as well as those with anger management and behavioural difficulties.

On 8th November, we were lucky to have the opportunity to have some reptiles from Zoolab come visit us at Peartree Care Centre. Our people, staff and visitors loved it and cannot wait for the next time!

28 Nov 16

Festive Fundraising for Brook House

The Housekeeping Department at Homerton College are currently supporting the Brook House Comfort Fund, by setting up a stall selling handmade crafts including cards and gifts.

The stall set up by two ladies; Donna and Freda supports the Comfort Fund which is used for extra trips and outings to a variety of places of interest to the residents.

The stall opened on the 21st November and will be open for two weeks, provided they don’t sell out before.

The residents and staff appreciate the support from Homerton College and value the friendship.

28 Nov 16

Hunters Down attends RAF Wyton’s Christmas Lunch

On Wednesday 23rd November, 8 residents from Hunters Down were invited to RAF Wyton’s Christmas Lunch.

Leaving Hunters Down, Huntingdon at 11.30 am residents were smartly dressed and getting into the Christmas cheer.

On arrival, the residents were welcomed by the RAF Wyton Brass Band playing Christmas tunes. Once everybody had arrived and was seated, the residents were served a traditional Christmas dinner with red and white whine. While eating, many of the RAF staff sang Christmas songs to their audience.

Following lunch, Children from the local school came and sang Christmas songs. Then coffee and mince pies made the rounds. A free raffle followed where 4 of the residents won a cuddly toy, mulled wine, bath set and some talc.

A DJ then played a variety of music where everybody joined in with singing and dancing, finishing off with some bingo games.

Transported arrived at 4pm, when the residents went back home feeling full, merry and ‘christmasy’.

28 Nov 16

Windmill take part in The Challenge

In the UK, diversity is increasing with the proportion of the population aged under 18 or over 60 is expected to grow rapidly, increasing the average distance in age between citizens. This makes it critical that people come together to build stronger connections between one another and between communities. ‘The Challenge’ aims to achieve this.

The challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society. They work on a local level to bring together people from all ages, ethnicities and walks of life, connecting communities and building trust. Windmill had four visits from different groups of young people from the challenge over the past few months.

23 Nov 16

Aliwal Raises for Children in Need

Aliwal Manor in Whittlesey, Peterborough raised £35 with their staff wearing pyjamas for Children in Need.

21 Nov 16

Ivy celebrates 100 years with a family gathering

Care home resident more than happy on birthday

A woman born during the First World War celebrated her 100th birthday this week.

Mother-of-four Ivy Edmonston became a centenarian on Monday and family joined her at Ashlyn Care Centre, Vicarage Wood, Harlow, to wish her many happy returns.

Her daughter Pauline Varcoe, 77 said: “She was quite pleased to turn 100.

“We were teasing her about it in the weeks leading up.

“We were saying ‘you’re going to be 99’, but she said, ‘no I am going to be 100’.

“She was pleased to reach it.”

Mrs Edmonston is the oldest of four children and had three brothers, all of whom have now sadly passed away.

She spent much of her early life in North London and worked for Walthamstow company JB’s as a furniture polisher.

This was where she met her second husband John and the pair got married in 1950 and move to Harlow on Christamas Eve in 1956, when the town was in its infancy.

Mrs Varcoe, of Northbrooks, Harlow is the oldest child. Mrs Edmonston has two sons George, 72 and Tony, 65, as well as second daughter Julie Rigarlasord, 73.

Before she married John she raised the younger three children on her own for three years before the pair had Tony.

She also has five grandchildren Susan, Ray, Dawn, Andrew and Karen.

She also has six great grandchildren.

John, who passed away 21 years ago, was a soldier in the Second World War and was injured in battle.

Mrs Varcoe said her secret to long life is down to her work ethic and healthy diet.

“She has always been a hard worked,” added Mrs Varcoe.

“She eats very well and she would always go to the town all her life.

“She had a friend and they used to go away on holiday together.”

She added: “She is brilliant and would do anything for anyone.”

Ashlyn Care Centre has been Mrs Edmonston’s home for the past two years but she previously lived in Little Grove Field, The Stow and Northbrooks, Harlow.

In Harlow she worked for several years for the Dorstel Press, working in the print department.

Her 100th birthday saw her receive a card from the Queen while some of her family members came to visit on Friday.

Harlow Council chairman Edna Stevens also attended to express her best wishes.

On Sunday she was taken out to Canons Brook Golf Club, Elizabeth Way, Harlow for another knees up.

Mrs Varcoe continued: “She loved every minute of it and it was a brilliant day.

“I would like to thank Ashlyn staff for all the care they give to mum.”

Ashlyn offers accommodation for 60 people and can offer dementia care for 27 of those.