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Company News, Birchmere House

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At Avery, we encourage all of our residents to lead a full and active lifestyle by taking part in a range of activities to help maintain physical well-being and cognitive processes. To support independence and mobility, each of our homes has its own minibus for frequent excursions including church socials, museums tours, historical sights, city tours, cafés, theatre and shopping trips and of course the odd pub lunch – much to the delight of many residents!

Navigating and exploring a museum, having conversations with new people, and seeing new sights flexes both mental muscles to keep the brain active and engaged as well as benefit the body with the physical activity that accompanies a trip. For those residents with restricted mobility, day trips can be particularly beneficial, and with all of our minibuses fully equipped to accommodate passengers with wheelchairs.

Many of our care homes rack up the miles in their minibuses. Cliftonville Care Home in Northamptonshire, for example, take residents on summer picnics, archery lessons, canal boat rides, the theatre, football matches and even to watch a member of staff undertake a charity skydive!

Our dedicated Well-being teams work closely with residents to gather ideas, requests and suggestions for trips, making them person-centred and relevant to our resident’s interests and often childhood memories.

minibus outing residents flowers excursion smiles

Kerry Counihan, Well-being & Activities Co-ordinator at Birchmere House says: “Mystery Tours are the most popular trip with our residents. Once a month we go on ‘Dave’s Mystery Tour’ (Dave is our minibus driver). The minibus is always full and it’s an exciting adventure that causes quite a stir during the lead up with residents trying to guess where are we going but we never divulge!

It’s a joy to see the sense of happiness and contentment that is achieved through regular outings and residents living their lives as they wish.”

Whether it’s a scenic drive, a full day of adventure or a simple trip to the shops, minibus trips provide residents with the feeling of normality and freedom. Resident Dorothy Pritchett at Birchmere House says: “I really look forward to seeing the minibus programme and all of the wonderful trips that have been organised. We recently went on a tour of Edgbaston where I grew up. I saw so many places that brought back wonderful memories for me. It was lovely being able to point out the buildings I knew, churches, parks and schools. Although the area has changed so much, many of the buildings hadn’t. These trips give me something to wake up for, they give me a purpose and we are all very excited about the summer and all of the amazing trips planned.”

Article by Angela Bailey, Marketing Executive, for Welcome Home Issue 9.