Hawthorns Care Home, Aldridge – Our Home of the Quarter
Hawthorns Care Home in Aldridge, West Midlands, is passionate about utilising every inch of space in their fabulous home. Under new Home Manager, Kate Gilligan, the home is blossoming this spring with fresh new initiatives, including a resident-led shop, a new volunteering programme and revitalising their rooftop garden. With so much going on, it’s no surprise as to why they have been nominated as Home of the Quarter!
Are You Being Served?
A trip out to the shops is a popular activity for residents, but those less mobile and unable to join in missed the chance to browse and purchase their own items. So, when an opportunity arose to develop a room into something new, everyone decided it would make a great shop. It’s a non-profit making project run by the residents themselves, with all funds used to purchase new stock as well as craft materials for resident-led activities.
Resident Brenda Castle had the idea of launching a line of jewellery and scarves, proving extremely popular. Brenda, who worked in retail for many years and operates the shop 3 days per week said, “I love it! The shop has been a lifeline and makes me feel useful. I’m looking forward to selling seasonal items such as Mother’s Day cards and Easter eggs.”
The Hawthorns shop offers a feeling of ownership, engagement and enterprise. Resident, Bob Walker, is no stranger to how books are balanced and said: “I volunteer because it’s an important resident service. Staff also pop in for a bar of chocolate from time to time, as well as visiting health professionals, to pick up tissues and mints for their travels.”
Lending a Hand
The home also recently launched a new Volunteer Programme, offering local people of all ages, skill sets and experiences to work alongside staff and support some key roles within a care home environment.
These volunteering roles give a chance to create genuine connections and are now at the heart of the home. One volunteer, student Alex Brackett, often plays pool or table tennis with resident Ernst Aris. Ernst said “Alex is a great lad, I put him through his paces when he tries to beat me at table tennis. It keeps me motivated and mobile”. Volunteers Karen Hough, a resident’s family member, and Norma Reynolds, local Aldridge WI member, also lend a hand volunteering for the resident shop. Customer Services Manager, Michelle Barron, said: “We are delighted with the success of our Volunteer Programme so far and look forward to engaging more people from the community to help deliver not just the service that the shop provides but other activities and key roles around the home”.
Relaxing in the Sun
The home possesses a stunning rooftop garden, which is a real sun trap and offers views across the adjoining Aldridge Croft. Following a bout of winter weather, Home Manager Kate decided to rejuvenate the space and is keen to transform it into a haven of relaxation, entertainment and enjoyment.
This summer will see additional features to this unique space, with a bar area and even a pizza oven. Another exciting change to the garden will be the introduction of a raised vegetable plot for residents. Phase One is already well underway, with residents and staff tidying up the space and sanding down benches ready for repainting.
There are many exciting changes to look forward to at the home and we’re excited to see what they’re planning next!
Article by Angela Bailey, Marketing Executive, for Welcome Home Issue 9.