Emma’s update – June 2020

See Emma latest blog which covers exciting activities this month, including our Celebrating Diversity project!


Hello everyone,

As summer draws in, and times are still a little uncertain, I would like to thank our amazing support workers for continuing to run such engaging activities for the people we support – and for keeping everyone’s spirits high.  I am so inspired by how many wonderful stories we’re receiving from around the organisation.

Last week’s ‘My Home’s Got Talent’ theme was a ‘Show us your skills’ competition – congratulations to Danny from Eastbourne Road, who won with his Michael Jackson impersonation.  This week’s theme is ‘Fitness week’ – I look forward to seeing a showcase of fitness and exercise goals, which people have achieved, or are working on, and are happy to share.

As ever, we are never short of inspiring success stories from around our homes. Some of these include:

The people at Acorn House who recently participated in a diversity project, where the focus was on ‘Celebrating everyone’s uniqueness’.  I think it is a wonderful idea, especially as it was Mental Health Awareness Week at the time. It’s a great reminder that everyone has their own set of unique skills, talents and personality, regardless of age, ethnicity or ability – everyone is welcome, and everyone is to be celebrated!

Acorn House’s ‘Celebrating diversity project’

Achieve together was also featured on the radio!  Following Holmesdale’s ‘Bike to Paris Challenge’ where they cycled the equivalent distance to Paris – they were featured on BBC Radio Surrey’s ‘Making a Difference’ programme.  It seems that Holmesdale have achieved national acclaim. You can listen to the interview here.

Holmesdale’s Bike to Paris challenge was mentioned on BBC Radio Surrey

Winston Lodge have been making the most of the sunshine and fresh air, spending lots of time outdoors in nature. They have been visiting Mickey, the miniature Shetland pony, a horse called Big Skye, and some chickens which they named Kellog and Krisp. Connecting with the animals and nature has been wonderfully positive for their general wellbeing, and for keeping active too.

The people at Winston Lodge connecting with nature and animals

Ivan from Highdowns, who is a huge fan of Liverpool Football Club, was over the moon to receive a personally signed certificate by all the team players. He was so happy – it made his week!

Ivan receives a signed certificate from the Liverpool FC team

We recently received the wonderful ‘Good newsletter’ which was produced in collaboration with Campaign 4 Change.  It highlights what people have been getting up to, all over Achieve together, including a range of articles, competitions, artwork and contributions from the people we support. You can see it here.

Good newsletter

Penny Meadow also produced a lovely, inspiring newsletter, which included a colourful collage with photos from everyone at the home. You can see it here.

Penny Meadow newsletter

Other activities which have been taking place include daily Mindfulness meditations for everyone, which is good for mental health, the fun summer selfie competition, and an engaging timetable of livestreams available on social media – including theatre performances, exercises classes to follow, maths lessons and live music.  It’s been great to see everyone so busy with useful and fun activities during this challenging time.


Summer selfie competition

Livestream activities timetable

Now more than ever, we are relying on technology not only for working, but crucially, to keep in touch with loved ones. We have a range of useful information available on our website to help support you with this, including details on how to set up and use Skype and Zoom.  It is called ‘How to keep in touch digitally’. Click here to see it.

I’m pleased that so far, we have around 1,000 people who have signed up for the My Achieve together Gateway Benefits platform – please do sign up if you haven’t already! This is a fantastic benefit, available to permanent staff in services and head office departments, and is the first step towards a fully integrated reward and recognition platform.  My At Gateway offers great discounts; some for things which are useful now – such as Supermarkets, Curry’s/PC World, fuel discounts, food delivery services etc, and some which we can look forward to once normality starts to return – such as days out, cinema tickets and a discount travel service.

Finally, I’d like to highlight how important it is for all staff to still wear PPE in all homes. We know it can be uncomfortable especially as the weather gets warmer, but it is essential to control the spread of infection and to protect staff and the people we support from this awful virus.  No homes should be experiencing PPE shortages – any issues they should escalate immediately to their line manager for resolution.

Please do continue sharing your wonderful stories, inspiring us with your activities, and let us know how you are getting on.  Thank you again for your incredible care and dedication to the people we support.

Best wishes and stay well,