Emma’s July update and Wheel of Engagement competition

Read here for Emma’s July update

Hello everybody

To start this month’s update I would like to thank all staff again, for the wonderful work you’ve been doing around the clock. I am very proud to be part of such a caring, committed organisation.

We recently held our Wheel of Engagement competition – which has been a great success! Achieve together homes were invited to submit evidence of how they have been supporting people in different areas of the Wheel of Engagement, during lockdown.  We received 35 wonderful submissions where staff demonstrated care, dedication, creativity and sometimes even bravery in making sure that the lives of people we support continued to be fulfilling and meaningful.

The judges, who consisted of members of the Executive Team and members of Campaign 4 Change, were blown away by the amazing submissions, and had a very hard time picking the winners. It was decided that all homes who applied for the competition would receive brand new Fat Face clothing for the people they support. The judges chose one winning home in each Area of Achieve together, who will receive a £30 Amazon voucher to be spent together as a home.

The winners are as follows:    Area 1: Victoria House,  Area 2: 290 Dyke Road,  Area 4: Cerrig Cornel,  Area 5: Holmesdale,  Area 6: Hersham Gardens,  Area 7: 283 Dyke Road,  Area 8: Highdowns

The judges also chose an overall Wheel of Engagement ‘champion’ who will receive a trophy made by Clare and Davina who live at Two Wells.  The champion is: 290 Dyke Road!

290 Dyke road support wonderful people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, however this doesn’t stop them leading fulfilling and meaningful lives with amazing staff support. The staff team submitted video and photo evidence of people being involved in household chores, making choices, video calls, sensory activities, indoor activities which replicated people’s regular activities in the community and even paid employment. The creativity of 290 Dyke Road staff has no limits – staff tried to explain the importance of keeping safe from Coronavirus through a music video they created and involved people they support: https://vimeo.com/413614915

A parent of a person living at 290 Dyke Road wrote: “The continued dedication and care towards my son and his friends has not gone unrecognised by myself and my family. This selfless act has brought me to tears, of joy and concern, for the carers. These angels have made sure that I am kept in contact with my son, via Skype and WhatsApp, using video calls, and keep me up-to-date with reassurances of how they are taking every precaution to keep the house safe. I feel very humble and grateful in the face of such dedication. Thank you each and every one of you!”

Holmesdale came a very close 2nd place. The people living at Holmesdale have been supported to do many incredible things, the most inspiring of which was biking 225 miles in total and raising £1422.39 for the NHS. In addition, staff supported people and their families to create a music video of “One Call Away” signed in Makaton: https://vimeo.com/417112046

Victoria House and Highdowns shared 3rd place.  Staff at Victoria House bravely supported people through the loss of one of their housemates, which was a very difficult time for both the staff and the people. They also supported a person to speak to her mum and sister for the first time in 2 years. The people at Highdowns were supported to hatch and care for little ducklings and chicks. In addition, staff supported people to get in touch with their favourite football clubs as they were unable to watch football during lockdown. As a result one person received a signed poster from Liverpool Football Club and another person got surprised with a lovely video message from his favourite team.
The full list of submissions is included at the end of this blog.

We have been enjoying some wonderful weather recently, and so many homes have been making the most of this opportunity to get outside and enjoy some gardening. Here are a few stories from around Achieve together, below:


Homeleigh have been making some ‘fun’ decorated face masks. This had a positive effect on the people we support by lightening the mood at such a tense time, as well as reminding them about the importance of staying safe around others whilst at home, and in the community:

A variety of activities have continued around the organisation, including the popular weekly Mindfulness meditations for staff, as well as information about weekly live-streamed events.

The final My Home’s Got Talent competition ‘Fitness week’ winner was Catherine House, who shared their fun exercise-dance routine with us – reminding us that fitness is not only crucial for our bodies, but also for our mental health. We’ve had some amazing contributions to this competition over the last few months – thank you everyone for participating!   I am now looking forward to the new, upcoming ‘Simple Summer Menu Challenge’, where winning menu submissions will get a chance to film their cooking, for a final cookery show style video.

In June, Achieve together also celebrated the ‘Pride’ festival.  It was wonderful to see how everyone participated in, learning more about, and celebrating inclusivity and equality of the LGBT community. Here is a link to the Pride video we produced called ‘What does Pride mean to you?’, and here a few of the parties, events and celebrations that were held around our services:

Grenville House


Meesons Lodge

We also enjoyed participating in ‘Poems in a Pandemic’ – a poem and art competition for frontline social care and support staff.  We saw some wonderful poems and artwork which reflected individual experiences of delivering care in this crisis. Sebastian from Ivers wrote a wonderful poem about Lockdown, highlighting how important it is for everyone to help and support each other through good communication. This was a lovely opportunity to capture some biographical reports from our frontline staff and share their contributions.

Finally, our fantastic new intranet is now live, with a fresh style which is easy and clear to navigate.  You can find a whole host of information on there, from department details, upcoming events, information on the staff notice board and key documents. You can also access our other sites on there, including eLFY, My Achieve together Gateway and SharePoint.

Wishing you all a lovely July, and continued appreciation for doing so well during this challenging time.


Submissions for the Wheel of Engagement competition

All submissions were fantastic, and we would like to thank everyone else who applied:
Magnolia Crescent, Tamarisk House, Meesons Lodge, Bower Mount Road, Hedera House, Bradwell House, Eastbourne Road, Hillview, Oaklodge, 3 The Droveway, Sheringham House, Caradoc, Uplands, Glencourt, Ty Newydd, Cedars, Cwm Hyfryd, Heathdene, Pen Y Hill, Beech Trees, Perryn Rd, Clareville, Gordon Avenue, Reddown, Avenue Road, Harbour, Apple Tree House and Clinton Lodge.
Keep your eyes peeled for the next Wheel of Engagement competition!