Company News, Birchmere House, Solihull, West Midlands

Kind-hearted Kerry Wins The Daily Sparkle CQC Competition

The Daily Sparkle recently ran a competition to answer ‘How to prepare for a CQC inspection as an Activity Coordinator?’. Birchmere House Care Home’s Well-being Co-ordinator Kerry Counihan entered, detailing the importance of individual, person-centred projects. Her examples clearly impressed the judges, as Kerry has been announced as a winner of the competition!

Birchmere House Care Home Well-being Coordinator Wins Competition The Daily Sparkle

The Daily Sparkle is a reminiscence newspaper, published 365 days a year, covering a range of topics from the past to the present. It is read and enjoyed by a wide range of people, including the elderly and those living with dementia, and helps staff and residents start a conversation by providing topics of common interests. Each month they run a competition for their subscribers, where the winners receive a monetary boost to their activity fund.

Kerry’s entry impressed the judges with her examples of person-centred projects and activities, which “demonstrated the need to consider the interest of individuals in the home – including those who don’t like to go out or be in the crowds”. Her specific and practical solutions included some great examples of how she had focussed on researching a resident’s history and honing in on their past likes, loves and interests to improve their well-being.

In one example, Kerry explained how one resident would be upset and worried after visiting her husband, who lives with dementia, in the care home next door. After taking the time to walk around the garden together, Kerry was impressed with the resident’s knowledge of plants and gardening – and had importantly helped to calm the resident so that she was laughing away with Kerry. Later that day Kerry did some digging herself and found out that the resident had previously been a landscape gardener. By complete coincidence, a patch of land outside the resident’s room had not yet been planted. Taking the initiative, Kerry worked with the resident to come up with a new plot design. Kerry then came in her day off to help make the resident’s plans a reality with digging and weeding, joined by a community member. After six hours of hard work, a beautiful garden area was created. Following their success, Kerry spoke with the resident at length, explaining that Birchmere House could really use her advice and guidance on the gardens. She named the resident the new Birchmere House Garden Champion, presenting her with a framed certificate too. Now, instead of getting anxious about her husband, the resident strolls around the garden areas with her notebook making lists for the gardeners to action, giving her a role, a job and an everyday purpose. By taking this approach, Kerry highlighted the impact of these person-centred projects.

Kerry has been working in the care industry for over ten years as a Well-being Coordinator and truly loves her job. Although she has only recently joined Avery, she is loving every minute. Kerry said “If I can improve a resident’s well-being and make a difference to their everyday lives, that is truly priceless. I think it is really important for people to know that being in a care home environment can be a wonderful experience. We laugh, we chat, we love, we support, we comfort, we confide in each other – residents, families and staff. We are one big family at Birchmere House. Every single day is a memorable one and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else. I am proud of what I do and who I work for.”

Kerry isn’t stopping there either! She is treating her residents with the prize money from the competition by taking them to The Core Theatre in Solihull to watch a ballet performance of Beauty & The Beast.

Well done on being a winner of The Daily Sparkle competition Kerry! Your enthusiasm and creativity are much appreciated by everyone at our home!


Earlier this year, our home shined in our latest CQC report, where we were rated as ‘Good in All Categories’. You can also find out more about what life is like at our beautiful home by looking at our Facebook page.

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