Sowing seeds of hope!

As part of the Easter celebrations service users across all sites have taken part in planting sunflowers in their homes gardens. This will form part of a competition across sites to see which home can grow the tallest sunflower. Additionally there have been several garden parties, Easter egg hunts and lots more outdoor activities making the best of the amazing weather that we have been having and giving the service users a safe opportunity to get out and about whilst still under the lockdown.

Other activities have included creating a McDonalds themed dinner after a few of the service users mentioned that they would like to go. Due to lockdown we couldn’t, so the teams took this as an opportunity to make an activity with the service users and helped them make their very own home-made McDonalds meals! 

We always say that we are immensely proud of the teams we have and the amazing work and dedication they show, but in light of the challenges that we all face during this hard time words struggle to describe the immense feeling of pride that we have to work with such amazing teams and service users!

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Rising to the challenge

In these challenging times we’ve been taking the governments advice around social distancing to protect our service users and teams health as much as possible. to try and minimise the impact on everyone’s lives we’re trying to keep a sense of normality for all service users as much as possible, whilst working around the challenges that we all face as a society with things such as shortages in the shops and not being able to get out to do the normal day to day activities that are intrinsic parts of what we all do.

Instead we have set up alternatives within the homes such as setting up a tuck shop to get the service users to still take part in buying their weekly treats, changing the weekly menus to accommodate the changes with food items being available within shops and doing outside activities in the homes garden areas to ensure that everyone still gets the chance to get some fresh air daily and the chance to walk in the outdoors. 

To say that we are proud our all our staff would be an understatement!  The selfless approach that they have all taken to ensure that we maintain as much a sense of normality as possible in for all service users in these unprecedented times goes far beyond what would be expected – we’re lucky and proud to work with you all! 

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Our message in response to Covid-19

As the Covid-19 situation continues to evolve, we have been continuously monitoring the official advice and responding accordingly. We have acted quickly and decisively to manage the potential impact of the virus, in line with guidance from the Government, and our local authority partners. We have implemented enhanced infection control protocols across all our homes to ensure the safety of all service users and staff. Providing updates and issuing instructions based on official Government advice, backed up by the Chief Medical Officer, avoiding hearsay, rhetoric and opinion. 

In addition to this we have replaced physical meetings with skype and telephone conferences to ensure we continue to provide business as usual whilst also safeguarding all service users and staff by eliminating all non-essential visits, greatly reducing the risk of introducing the virus into the homes.  Any essential visitors have been asked and observed by staff to carry out enhanced infection control protocols during their visits. 

In addition to this we have produced specific Covid-19 Risk Assessments for all our service users, which highlight any additional vulnerability that they may have due to underlying health conditions so that staff are clear about how to best keep them safe and what to do if they show any symptoms. 

Whilst contact with family and friends is an integral part of our service, individual service managers have been asked to review access to their homes to mitigate the risks for everyone, including staff and how cross infection may impact on our ability to maintain safe staffing levels. For this reason, the general consensus at the moment is to restrict access as much as possible whilst we develop a greater clarity on this fast-developing situation, in the best interest of everyone.

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Chinese new year!

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, service users at Ashby House had two activity packed days’ worth of celebrations. The first day all the staff and service users spent the day preparing costumes for the evening and cooking a wide variety of Chinese themed food for a meal for all. The idea behind cooking the food with the service users was to ensure that all the service users were engaged in the preparation of the meal rather than just getting a takeaway, whilst make sure that the food formed part of the healthy meal plans that we use. 

After a nights full of laughter and fun the following day staff and service users caught the train into Birmingham city’s China Town district and spent the day being part of all the celebrations. Getting the chance to see all the shows, costumes, and sampling more of the authentic food that was on offer. 

A great couple of days that were enjoyed by all!

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Breakfast with Santa

As part of the Christmas spirit all service users at our homes had the special opportunity to meet Santa Clause and have breakfast with him in the run up to Christmas day. The morning was hosted at the Riverside Hotel and service users and staff alike had a great morning with Santa who gave out Christmas presents to everyone there. 

This was a hugely successful morning for every one of the service users, some of which can find social occasions difficult, yet really enjoyed themselves achieving some of their goals. 

It was a great way to get all the service users from the different homes together to have a joint activity and really positive to see the great interaction between everyone there.

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