Q & A with our Brand Ambassador Sherrie Hewson
Avery Healthcare recently caught up with its Ambassador, stage and TV actress Sherrie Hewson, to ask her about her two years in her role as a figurehead and supporter of the care home group.
What drew you to Avery in the first instance?
I was drawn to Avery firstly because I’m so passionate about care as we get older, as ‘ there but for the grace of God go all of us’, so when I first met people at an Avery home, I was taken aback by the love and commitment of the staff and the happiness of the residents.
What were your previous experiences of other care homes like?
Not good. My grandmother was in shared a room in a converted house, with a shared bathroom; she sat in a circle of chairs with the other residents in the lounge, with television the only source of interest. My Father had a slightly better time, with his own room, but had to walk down a corridor to the toilet; it was also very clinical, but the staff did what they could under the circumstances.
If you were in a care home, what would you value the most?
I would value my freedom. Accepting the need to be there, I’d also need to see a garden and life outside. I’d want music and joy, staff that are my friends, and visitors would be so welcome. All of these factors I’ve found in Avery care homes.
What do you think keeps our residents young?
Fun! Whenever I’m in an Avery home they all want to dance, sing and chat about everything. Communicating all the time, remembering the good times, and laughing a lot. Avery staff are the best at that, they never stop, and this constant connection combats loneliness.
What do you think our residents value the most?
I believe they value the dedication of the staff and appreciate how lucky they are to have the staff they can call friends. Any fear inside that most feel is helped by the love and consideration I have witnessed from every home I have visited. Second to that, they all love the food in Avery!
What do you think of our approach to well-being?
I have respect for the way Avery staff handle the well-being of all the residents, sometimes in difficult situations, but their confidence instils trust and calm. Every resident is different, with specific needs, and Avery is so unique as they treat each person as special and important.
What do you think sets Avery homes apart?
I believe Avery is very different from other care home providers. The clue is in the title, Care With A Difference. Not an old people’s home, not a place to go and be forgotten, not a place where age is a problem. Walking into Avery homes is the beginning of the journey, greeted by smiling, welcoming staff, who all want to be there. That says it all. I have seen such love and care when someone has needed just a cuddle, a chat, or a moment. We’re all going to get older, and this is the best care we could all wish for.
What do you think of the standard of the Avery culinary offering?
I’m always impressed by the chefs at Avery; every day, they produce top restaurant standard food. I used to own a restaurant in London, and I would have loved to have had one of Avery’s chefs! To deliver the amount of food they do every single day and at such high standards from spotlessly clean kitchens is incredible – they all deserve awards! I try to resist all the goodies whenever I visit, but I can’t!
What impression have the Avery staff given you?
I cannot praise them enough. I say it every time I visit, and I get quite emotional, because I wish my Grandma and Dad could have had that kind of care, and because I’ve witnessed such dedication and love from every single one of the members of staff. Avery, as a company, must be very proud of what they have achieved in the care sector. Homes that are second to none and a safe and happy environment for all. That’s why I’m very proud to be Avery’s ambassador.
Do residents have a role to play in the wider community?
I believe they have a very important part to play. They impart knowledge to the youngsters who love to visit, which I’ve seen first-hand in every home. I love that most residents go out on trips which enhances their lives, talking to people and carrying the Avery joy with them. Their experiences of life are so precious, and their memories are to be shared and cherished.
In light of your experiences, how would you select a care home for someone you loved?
I would want one exactly like Avery – caring, kind and considerate. There’s always lots to do, such as the cinemas, the hairdressers and the exercise classes. The food is amazing, so I’d need to exercise! You shouldn’t feel like you’re in a home, but more a community, where you’re still active and importantly that there’s a future. You need fun, music and a joyous atmosphere, where you can still enjoy life to the full. That’s what Avery offers, and I’d look for.
What has touched you personally on your journey around Avery?
I have been touched by every visit to an Avery home; the care is extraordinary, and really does move me to tears. The staff are always upbeat, and we laugh a lot and have such fun. I see every member of staff in the home on each visit, so no one is missed out, to bring a laugh to their hard and often stressful lives. I thank them all for being so lovely and for all the fun we have. In these difficult times, I’m thinking of you all and sending you my love till I can see you all again!