Birchwood Grange Care Home staff manager nurse team banner hero
Company News, Birchwood Grange, Harrow, Greater London

Birchwood Grange – Our Home of the Quarter

Birchwood Grange is a large 150-bedroom home in Harrow that has been transformed in the four years since it transferred to Avery Healthcare and Home Manager Mark Bird was appointed. Mark had previously worked for the NHS in emergency care and was the UK’s first male matron, so came well equipped to manage a clinical team and work in a challenging situation.

Birchwood Grange Care Home staff manager nurse team gardens

Today, it’s clear as you walk into Birchwood Grange, with its colourful decorations and homely atmosphere, that it is no ordinary care home. Mark has developed diversity, creativity and a strong community so well that ranks the home within the Top 20 in London – no mean feat when there are over 1,400 homes in the region!

In February 2017 the home achieved Brent borough’s first Outstanding in CQC’s Care category and is heralded as ‘best practice’ by the Council. Mark has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the Great British Care Awards 2019 after winning Home Care Registered Manager for the London region in 2018.

There are many reasons for the stunning success at Birchwood Grange, more than we have space for, so Avery Chief Operating Officer Sharon Winfield has highlighted three aspects that make it stand out.

Local Leadership

In September, Mark was elected as Chair for the Enhanced Health in Care Homes Steering Group Forum, representing 66 homes in the Brent area. Mark holds monthly meetings with the homes, the Commission and a panel of clinical experts to review specific concerns, challenges and learn best practice insights. He meets Local Authority and Clinical Commissioning Officers quarterly, outlining his findings and proposing plans for progress.

Community Links


Birchwood Grange Care Home Community Local Diversity Mayor Companionship Residents Staff

Birchwood has amazing community links and 160 registered volunteers. Helen Abbott, Well-being Co-ordinator explains: “We have active projects with many local organisations that encourage residents to make friends both inside and outside the home.” Helen is a Board member of the Community Committee of Preston Manor School and coordinates work experience in the home for up to 30 young people per week. The children are keen to pursue careers in the health sector and offer help with singing, mobility, playing cards and games with the residents.


For the last three years, CEWA, a charity run by young Asian professionals, visit the home with their family members. Young doctors, dentists and lawyers come along to support with activities and socialise, with strong bonds formed between the families and residents.

The Brent Council branch of NCS Kids also works in partnership with Birchwood Grange and sends groups of children for a three-day “confidence boost”. For two days the children join supervised activities and ‘give back’ on the third day by creating an event of their own.

ULC & Brent Loneliness and Technology
2018 saw Birchwood Grange supporting a new seven-week pilot project for Brent Council, seeking to establish whether technology can support a solution to loneliness. They provided electronic tablets and tutoring to residents who started experimenting with Skype calls to distant relatives, enjoying online art and using reading and gaming applications.

Opening Doors
A major success factor for the home is Mark’s clear philosophy of embracing diversity and encouraging inclusion. Mark and Helen recently attended Pride in Care London 2018, regarding the health and well-being of older LGBT+ people. Helen subsequently attended an LGBT training programme on how to provide support and now offers guidance to other staff.



Birchwood Grange Care Home Caravan interior exterior british fireplace

The home also has a Dementia Caravan in its garden! Upcycled by the maintenance team and staff in under three weeks, the caravan offers a place for residents to relax, with plenty of memorabilia to bring back holiday memories and a relaxing blue theme reminiscent of the seaside.


Birchwood Grange continues to plan more for their residents to enjoy; at the heart of this home are the genuine relationships between residents, staff, supporters and its local community. A truly unique, outstanding care home.

Article by Helen Bates, Marketing Executive, for Welcome Home Issue 8.

Related stories

Dementia Action Week 2022: Dementia Podcasts UK – Avery

To mark day six of Dementia Action Week 2022, we’re putting the spotlight on our free five-episode series of podcasts...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: SENSES Tool – Avery

As part of Dementia Action Week 2022, we’re introducing the Avery SENSES tool, a framework which has been created to...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: Dementia Seminar – Avery

If you couldn’t attend our first online dementia seminar to mark Dementia Action Week 2022, don’t worry. There’s another chance...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: Our Dementia Team – Avery

We couldn’t go through Dementia Action Week 2022 without mentioning the incredible team behind Avery’s dementia care. Jo Crossland, our...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: Cutlery-free Dining – Avery

For Dementia Action Week Day 3, we’re recognising and highlighting the importance of treating people living with dementia with dignity and respect...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: Dementia Webinar – Avery

We’re here to tell you it’s not too late to sign-up for our free dementia webinar. As part of our...

Read More

Dementia Action Week 2022: Free Dementia Guide – Avery

Dementia Action Week 2022 – Our Free Downloadable Dementia Guide Across Dementia Action Week 2022, we’re going to be raising...

Read More

Raising Awareness in Dementia Action Week 2022 – Avery

Following the success of last year’s events, we’re preparing for Dementia Action Week 2022. Throughout the week we’ll be running...

Read More

Ron the Builder

Moving into a care home doesn’t mean leaving your life and hobbies behind. Residents are always encouraged to participate in...

Read More

Avery Talk Newsletter May Issue

Welcome to the May issue of Avery Talk, our round-up of all that has happened across our homes during the...

Read More