Northfleet Care Home Residents Enjoy Fireworks Fun

Bonfire Night went off with a bang at Dene Holm Residential Care Home in Northfleet, where residents and their loved ones were treated to a firework display in their garden.

Gathered on the decking and wrapped up warm with plenty of blankets and scarves, residents and their guests enjoyed a spectacular firework display, complete with plenty of sparklers. Those who preferred to stay in the warm, watched from the dining room, still enjoying the stunning show.

After the dazzling display, everyone warmed up with some traditional Bonfire Night fare, including hot dogs, chilli on jacket potatoes and delicious warming homemade pumpkin soup.

Christine Hutchinson, General Manager of Dene Holm said: “The fireworks party was great fun and it was wonderful that so many family and friends could join us for the occasion. Some staff members brought their families in too, which was lovely.

“Most of our residents would be unable, or find it difficult, to go out and watch a local display, so it’s really special that they can watch one from the comfort of their home, inside through the window if they want! Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to the Christmas festivities now starting.”

Festive Fete Raises Funds for Residents

Residents of Rosewell House Extra Care Housing Scheme in Tonbridge hosted their annual Christmas Fete on Saturday 16th November, inviting family and friends to get into the seasonal spirit.

With Christmas creeping up on us, residents of the Tudeley Lane scheme invited their friends and family to get ahead on some early Christmas shopping at their festive fete.

Housed in the restaurant, shoppers were invited to browse a variety of stalls, including a tombola, bottle stall, clothes stall and some lovely handmade Christmas cards. There was also a raffle with some beautiful festive hampers up for grabs. After they had shopped until they dropped, guests warmed up with a cuppa.

In total, the fete raised £240, which the residents hope to contribute to a group outing in the summer.

Jackie Little, Housing Officer at Rosewell House said: “Our first Christmas fete last year was a real success, so we decided to make it an annual event.

“The residents had great fun running the event, together with the support of the housing staff and the success of the event is a real testimony of how our community here has really developed, how they support each other and work together.”

Somerset Care welcomes new Board members

Somerset Care is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Non Executive Directors to the Board. Welcoming Emma Glynn and Professor Elizabeth Robb OBE to the team provides renewed insight and perspective, critical to the ongoing development of our future strategy.

This also signals a passing of the baton, as Roger Davies will be stepping down after 3 years of service. We would like to place on record, our thanks to Roger, for his role in driving this crucial phase of our plans.

Emma Glynn is a Chartered Surveyor and Director within a market leading healthcare team at property consultancy, JLL. She has specialised in the Healthcare real estate sector for over 12 years.



Professor Robb is a Registered Nurse and Midwife and retains current registration in both. She holds an honours degree in Management and a Masters Degree in Nursing. Elizabeth was awarded an OBE for Services to Nursing and Midwifery in June 2015.

We are very pleased to have their knowledge and expertise as Board members as we move forward with the future plans for Somerset Care.

Making wishes come true at Northbourne Court

Northbourne Court care home in Sidcup has recently introduced a new initiative for residents at the home called ‘Make a Wish’.
Residents are asked about the things they are interested in and encouraged to make a wish for something they would really like to do. The wish is then included to the wish list that staff help the resident to fulfil.

One example is resident Bridget who is such an animal lover that she wished for a cuddle with different fluffy animals. Staff at the home set off straight away to fulfil the wish by contacting an animal company called ‘Wild Science’ and asked whether they could help make it happen.

That very afternoon Bridget and other residents were given an opportunity to meet, pat and chat with five different animals – a Rabbit, Hamster, Guinea pig, Gerbil and a Chinchilla! The visit was a great success!

Another wish was recently granted when Renee, who has a love for fish and chips, wished she could re-visit one for her favourite fish and chip restaurants. Northbourne Court often serves the popular fish dish but in Renee’s eyes nothing quite beats visiting your favourite fish and chip shop for a chippy tea! Staff at Northbourne Court booked a table at the restaurant and arranged for Brenda, Renee’s sister to join them. Renee enjoyed the walk down Bexleyheath High Street with her sister and reminisced about the times she used to visit Bexleyheath with her family. Since this visit each time we have a chat with Renee she always talks about her dining experience with a big smile on her face.

Well done to Northbourne Court who continue to make
wishes comes true and support our vision by providing
communities where everyone has a vibrant and fulfilling life.

Belong scoops national care award

Not-for-profit care village operator, Belong, has won the Best Residential Care Accolade at the prestigious LaingBuisson Awards 2019, which recognise the industry’s finest examples of best practice and excellence.

Belong’s innovative provision of care and customer-centric focus saw it honoured in the ‘smaller organisation’ category for its village household model and sector-leading dementia care. Other pioneering features include its approach to exercise and investment in technology and training, all of which have helped ensure high quality ratings for its services.

The judging panel praised Belong at the ceremony, saying: “The continued growth of Belong is a positive sign of the innovative and internationally recognised model. The connection with community is strong and the work on LGBT communities shows understanding of how community needs are changing.”

Tracey Stakes, Chief Executive of the organisation, has commented on the success: “We are thrilled to have won the Best Residential Care Award. It is a true testament of our team’s tireless efforts to providing specialist care in all our vibrant villages. It is a tribute to their commitment to creating a sense of community, and supporting individuals to lead active lives and realise their aspirations.”  

Belong operates seven state-of-the-art villages across the North West, in Macclesfield, Warrington, Wigan, Crewe, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Didsbury and Atherton, three of which are rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.

The awards ceremony took place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge, in London.


Alzheimer's Society Ambassador Russell Grant Opens Fundraising Christmas Fayre at A Care Home in Potters Bar

Mayfair Lodge in Potters Bar were delighted when British astrologer and media personality Russell Grant arrived to open the homes fundraising Christmas Fayre event on Sunday 17th November 2019.

 The Christmas Fayre had been organised by the homes own charity ‘Mayfair Lodge Fundraising Friends’. The group of volunteers work incredibly hard in organising fundraising events throughout the year and are hoping to raise enough funds for the home to purchase their own mini-bus. Yesterday’s event alone raised a fantastic £2245.

Russell Grant captured guests attention when speaking so passionately about his Nan whom had lived with dementia for a number of years. He was in fact his Nan’s carer and so expressed the sadness of how she went from being such a wonderful strong woman to eventually being unable to communicate or swallow. Russell is now an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, he said: “I came up with my own mantra that says; Who takes care of the carer. You are all such wonderful people and if it wasn’t for places like Mayfair Lodge and it’s staff where would people go……… they also make a good cup of tea”, he jested.  “I wouldn’t want to go back to the nineties when my mother went to the Doctor with my Nan and was told that her mother was just getting old.”

Russell went on to speak about the election commenting: “With an election coming up, if your voting you must make sure that you check out the candidate that you want to vote for is going to sort out social care in this Country because otherwise it is just going to fall on just a few people and not everybody can come into wonderful places like this….”.

Mayfair Lodge is managed by not for profit care provider Quantum Care and is home to 62 elderly residents. Home Manager Jackie Makwangwala said: “I feel very lucky to not only have a team of passionate staff but also a determine group of fundraisers for whom I am so grateful for the endless hours they put in. The Mayfair Lodge Fundraising Friends charity group is led by relatives of our residents. We really are just like one big family here with the same goal. Our residents are at the heart of all we do.”

“It will make such a big difference for our residents when we are able to buy our own mini-bus. Having the freedom and choice to go out would give our residents so much more independence and will deliver significant benefits to overall wellbeing. A trip to the shops or to sit in a park in the summer months can break up the day. I know we still have some way to go to reach the £20k target but now over half way there, I feel determine as ever now that we can do this.”  

Remembrance Afternoon Tea for local charity

To commemorate Remembrance Day, Squire’s Garden Centre in Long Ditton held a special Afternoon Tea for some of the residents of Royal Star & Garter on Thursday 7th November. The residents were given delicious sandwiches, scones, cakes and tea in Squire’s Cafe Bar, which is a great place for the local community, and friends and family, to meet and enjoy.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving and compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. Squire’s in Long Ditton support the charity by putting on events, and raising awareness and money for them.

Their next fundraiser for the charity is Santa’s Grotto, where £1 from every ticket will be donated to Royal Star & Garter. Santa’s Grotto at Squire’s is open every weekend from 23rd November, plus 23rd and 24th December, and tickets cost £6 per child, which includes a beautiful wrapped gift. There’s no need to book, simply turn up on the day.

The HICA Group Announce Expansion with the Acquisition of New Care Home in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire

Yorkshire-based ‘not for profit’ Care Company, the HICA Group have announced further growth, with the acquisition of Cranwell Court Residential Care Home on Cambridge Road in Grimsby. The home which is rated as ‘Good’ by CQC, has been purchased from the Longhurst Group and will add a further 56 Registered beds to the Group’s portfolio.

Founded in 1992, the HICA Group has been a lead provider of care and support services in the Humberside area and further afield including Staffordshire and Lancashire. The company are passionate in their their belief that all people deserve the best quality of life, which sits at the heart of the every-day provision.

The HICA Group delivers award-winning care through its care homes, domiciliary care services, extra care provision and retirement villages located across East Yorkshire, North and North-East Lincolnshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire.

The company headquarters are in Hull and Cranwell Court will form an integral part of their North East Lincolnshire hub of care facilities, joining their existing ‘outstanding’ rated care home, The Anchorage and their ‘good rated domiciliary care business in the town. This acquisition will also take the Group’s total number of registered care facilities to twenty two alongside its wider service delivery.

Terry Peel, Chief Executive Officer of the HICA Group said:

“We are extremely pleased to have acquired Cranwell Court and have it join the HICA Family. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to our new service users and their loved ones, alongside the dedicated staff members.

We have been working closely with the Longhurst Group for a number of months to ensure we achieve a smooth service user-led transfer of services.

We are impressed with the Longhurst Group along with their local management and care team. Longhurst Group have incredibly high standards and are clearly passionate about the care and support of service users and their loved ones. We will work closely with all staff to continue the excellent work that’s already been done.”

Cranwell Court provides individualised, service user-led care and support for older vulnerable adults including those living with dementia.


Greensleeves Care CEO chairs Sydney conference

Greensleeves Care chief executive, Paul Newman, has chaired the fourth international meeting of the international standards committee (ISO) on Ageing Societies in Sydney, Australia.

The event ran from 11 to 15 November and brought together leading experts from industry, government and academia across 37 countries. In addition to leading the UK delegation, Newman is a technical expert in the field of dementia-inclusion and chaired the main plenary session.

The dual focus of the meeting was to develop global standards in two key areas: dementia-inclusive communities and age-inclusive workforces. The conference also considered an update on a new international standard aimed at creating carer-inclusive and accommodating employers and organisations.

Newman said: “As a result of increased life expectancy, ageing societies have emerged in many countries.

While this presents a number of challenges, such as increased pressure on health and social care systems, there are likely to be opportunities that will allow people to effectively manage their long term care and live a high quality of life independently from traditional care settings for a sustained period.

Innovation is needed to drive these changes. The new standards we are setting will provide a way of setting out the principles for delivering the new products, services and solutions that will meet the future needs of our ageing societies in a new environment. “

On Wednesday 27 November 2019, Newman has been invited by The Aged Care Industry Information Technology Council (ACIITC) to represent the UK at the launch of a new mentoring programme by Federal Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, the Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck.

Brunelcare lead the way with mindfulness

Brunelcare, a Bristol based charity providing housing, care and support for older people in the South West for over 75 years, is set to open mindfulness sessions to the wider care sector. Karolina Nowadczyk, Team Leader and Mindfulness Counsellor at Brunelcare, wowed the audience with her passion for mindfulness in care when appearing as a guest speaker at the Care and Support West meeting last month.

Having a great response from other care centre managers from outside Brunelcare, the charity are running three pilot sessions, all taking place at Brunelcare’s Deerhurst Care Home, located in Soundwell, to spread the importance of mindfulness in care.

Karolina said “I’m very much looking forward to the pilot sessions as I’m passionate about people looking after themselves when looking after others. If the sessions go well and are a success we would love to rule them out across Brunelcare on a permanent basis for the wider care sector and soon to the public to attend.”

The sessions will focus on recognising and understanding the signs of stress in the workplace and how stress responses can be harmful to your body affecting your day-to-day work. The sessions will practice mindfulness techniques to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety and will teach evidence-based ways of improving general mental health.

Karolina has already ran two sessions at the beginning of November with the third session taking place on 25th November, 9am – 12pm. Each session can host up to eight people. The sessions cost just £50 for the three hour session and refreshments will be provided on the day alongside free onsite parking.

Karolina has worked for Brunelcare for 12 years and has trained to become a Counsellor, obtaining a level 4 qualification in Humanistic Counselling and level 5 in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.