Made with Care Week 5: Our teams are...

Guinness Care News Article - 10 March 2022
Made with Care Week 5:  Our teams are #MadeWithCare

It’s Week 5 of our Made with Care series, where we are helping guide people to their perfect role in care and support.

Working in care and support is so much more than delivering personal care. Every day is different! From organising wellbeing activities and educational courses for customers, to providing emergency food parcels in times of need – the work our teams do is truly invaluable.

At Guinness, we have a Health and Wellbeing fund which helps support tens of activities throughout the year – enabling customers to live independently and do the things they love. In this article, we look at the past year to showcase a few of the special moments our teams have shared and shine a light on some of their achievements.

 

Keeping our customers healthy and trying new things

From knitting and dancing to pedal-power fitness events – the range of activities our teams get involved in is huge.

Knitting for charity brings joy to customers up and down the country, who regularly knit for various causes such as homeless charities, plus – customers have even knitted small blankets for Bath Cats and Dogs Home and baby hedgehog beds for the Littlest Wildlife Hotel in Cornwall! Hearts were truly warmed when 93-year-old Bett knitted 163 hats in support of a campaign for Age UK. The team said they’ve never seen her smile so much!

June 2021 saw Phoenix Court residents and care teams exercising by Pedal Power, thanks to Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership’s ‘Love to Pedal Scheme’, whilst October 2021 marked the beginnings of their 6-week ballet course courtesy of Sue McGovern and the Silver Swans! Vanessa, Guinness Care Independent Living Advisor said:

“The benefit to our customers’ physical and mental health has been wonderful to see. We haven’t looked back!”

 

Boosting spirits!

Our teams work hard to bring communities together and create connections. From a beautiful Winter Carol Service held with the Territorial Army at Avondown House, to quiz nights held at The Grange – there really is something for everyone.

Throughout the pandemic, our talented teams in Cinderford were out showcasing their best moves with socially distanced dancing for residents to enjoy and take part in (fully equipped with brightly coloured banners and wearing their favourite panto outfits!). In normal times, the team would be busy taking part in local fundraisers complete with gamescake, and raffles; testing their trivia in much loved quiz nights between customers and colleagues (we’ve heard the customers always win!); and even performing annual pantos and sing-a-longs.

Talent doesn’t stop at dancing though. When they said 'music can be the best form of magic' - they weren't wrong! Over at our Supported Living service (which supports adults with learning disabilities to live independently), two residents worked with Guinness Care colleagues to record an emotional rendition of 'What a Wonderful World'.

Back in August 2021, as restrictions started to ease, our teams thought of ways to bring people back together – and at our Sheffield Foyer (open to young people who have been affected by homelessness), teams held an outdoor celebration with music and a vaccine hub to help keep residents safe.

Competition is a firm favourite across Guinness too – our annual Winter Wonderland competition in December brings communities together to decorate their homes and gardens in a festive display. 17 of our schemes took part this year – with a huge 52 entries! Plus, back in January our Good Neighbour Awards lifted spirits, with residents nominating their neighbours for being a… ‘Good Neighbour!’. 10 awards were handed out, bringing smiles to everyone!

 

Setting up emergency food supplies

Our teams have worked tirelessly over the course of the pandemic to ensure customers are safe and healthy – and an important part of this was ensuring that customers had access to the vital supplies they needed. Teams set up dry food hubs around the country for those unable to get essential shopping and delivered food packages to those customers who couldn’t access a local hub.

At other times of need, you will see colleagues creating emergency food parcels, or delivering goodies to customer’s doors off their trolley of treats! Our relationship with Trussel Trust means teams are regulars at pulling together to donate to local foodbanks.

 

Bringing people together

Guinness colleagues are regulars at bringing people together and creating connections.

A key service which our teams have been championing since lockdown 2020 is our PenPals+ project. Over the last year, tens of customers have been regularly writing, video calling, phone calling, texting or emailing each other, thanks to Guinness Care’s support.

Intergenerational projects bring customers and local schoolchildren together from across Guinness to improve wellbeing – plus, they’re incredibly rewarding! Debbie Carter, Extra Care Manager at Avondown House said:

‘For the last few years, we have had a partnership with the Blossoms Nursery. Before lockdown the children would walk to Avondown and spend a few hours doing activities with residents, including drawing, modelling and puzzles. There would be songs at the end with residents joining in with the waving of various scarfs and feathers.’

More recently, the Songs and Smiles music group, run by the Together Project, come along to provide sessions with the aim of building relationships between children under four, their parents and older residents at Guinness Care. With isolation lasting so long during the pandemic, customers and colleagues said the activities are just what they needed to feel connected again.

 

Getting outdoors

Our teams love to get their hands muddy by planting everything from carrots and tomatoes to peanut plants in hopes to bring communities together and boost wellbeing! Every year in August, along with many other mini gardening projects, our schemes celebrate National Allotment Week packed with exciting activities.

Back in June 2021 residents at our Extra Care scheme in Anderton Place launched a Gardening Club in a new polytunnel built by local volunteers, and our relationship with Goodgym provides some fun volunteering days out for staff and customers alike! Over at Bramley Barn (our day service working alongside Bicton College), the team have been running a variety of activities which promote independence through work-based activities, in a dynamic outdoor environment – such as working with animals, gardening projects and production.

Over at our Extra Care scheme in Bristol, the team had a similar thought of what better way to celebrate than to throw a courtyard garden party, where customers and colleagues got an opportunity to decorate plant pots in the sunshine! Megan, Guinness Care Administrator said:

“The food was prepared, the flowers were ready and waiting to be potted, and the ‘1960’s Party’ playlist was on. We had enough plant pots for each tenant that attended to decorate two pots each, and some left over for us staff! We had a lot of laughs, found out we had some secret artists amongst us, and recalled memories of loved ones and fun adventures. Everyone had fun, got creative and got to have that all important time to be social after so long stuck inside their flats. Now we just have to think of some way to top this next time!”.

 

This is not all! Follow us on Facebook to get more of an insight into what our teams get up to...

 

A career in care and support is a complex and incredibly rewarding journey, with a real opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life. It doesn’t matter if you have no previous experience - if you’re passionate about helping others, you’re our perfect candidate.

Get involved in the campaign which is running until March:

Like us Facebook: @GuinnessCare

Follow us on Twitter: @GuinnessCare

Take a look at our vacancies here: Guinness Care Careers

The #MadeWithCare campaign is run by Department of Health and Social Care - DHSC

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