Emma’s update – May 2020

Catch up with our updates and events this month, including an inspiring Cycling challenge…

Hello everyone

We are now in May, and I continue to be highly impressed by how you are all pulling together during this challenging time. As well as the incredible day-to-day work that staff are doing to help the people we support, something that really stands out is the creativity of the services, offering innovative, engaging activities to keep people inspired.  Here are a few examples:

Because of restricted travel due to the current situation, the people at Holmesdale decided to create an alternative ‘holiday’ – they wanted to get fit and give back at the same time. They chose Paris as a holiday destination idea and researched how many miles it would take to cycle there. They are challenging themselves to cycle the equivalent of this distance on cycling tracks, within 2 weeks, whilst aiming to raise money for the NHS. Once they have completed their cycling challenge, they will create a Paris theme in their garden – as if they have arrived there!

Holmesdale’s cycling challenge

The people we support at Glencourt love McDonald’s and were sad they could no longer go. So staff decided to bring McDonald’s to Glencourt instead. As well as preparing the food, they made these amazing McDonalds-style boxes for all the food to go into.

Glencourt’s home-made MacDonalds

Ann-Marie, one of our Regional Managers, decided to make her own ‘mobile’ tuckshop, took in orders from the people we support, and made deliveries to their homes (at a distance). It made everyone’s day!

Ann-Marie’s mobile tuckshop

The people we support at Bower Mount Road have been decorating their outside wall with a fantastic mural, to cheer everyone up. People walking past the house have enjoyed looking at it – it brightens up everyone’s day!

Bower Mount Road’s wall mural

I am loving the weekly ‘My Home’s Got Talent’ show. Last week’s comedy act winner was Sandylee House.  You can watch it here.

This week’s theme is Bake off – I am looking forward to seeing submissions of all the delicious creations you have produced in the kitchen, and I am sure you will enjoy eating them too!

It is great news that COVID-19 testing is now available for staff who are symptomatic or are self-isolating. You can book online to be tested at your nearest test centre, a mobile testing location or request a home testing kit to be delivered to a home address.  You should book yourself or your household member as soon as you or they become symptomatic – visit: https://self-referral.test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk/. Please notify your manager that you are getting tested and of the outcome of your test when you receive it. If you have any further queries please contact: louise.ridger@achievetogether.co.uk or paige.saunders@achievetogether.co.uk.

Employee Assistance Programme

I would also like to remind you of our Employee Assistance Programme, where you can talk to a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited counsellor at any time, about anything troubling you emotionally, or affecting your mental wellbeing.  This is especially useful at this current time, although this service is always available to you. There is also a website, with all sorts of online resources, from practical advice to emotional wellbeing:

Free and confidential counselling service and helpline:  0808 168 2143
Website: www.carefirst-lifestyle.co.uk
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In addition to thanking our front line staff, I would also like to say a big thank you to all our central office staff, who have been very busy keeping work systems going behind the scenes. It is wonderful to see the comradery and everyone pulling together in their teams. Thank you, I appreciate all the work you are doing!

Finally, this week we have a long weekend to look forward to! This year, unusually, the May bank holiday is on Friday 8th.  It has been moved from the usual Monday to a Friday, to coincide with commemorating VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) which took place on 8th May 1945.  I hope the weather will be good, and that you all enjoy the long weekend.

Please do continue sharing your stories, inspiring us with your activities, and let us know how you are getting on.

Thank you everyone, for your incredible care and dedication.

Best wishes to you all and stay well,