Hayley Massey is a Wellbeing and Inclusion Assistant at Sanctuary Retirement Living’s Jubilee Court in March, Cambridgeshire.
Hayley takes a holistic approach to supporting residents’ physical and mental wellbeing. A key part of her role involves encouraging residents to get to know their neighbours, build strong connections with each other and make new friends, through activities and social events. Residents may have their own apartments within the service, but Hayley helps them to feel part of the Jubilee Court community.
Pre-lockdown, Hayley liaised with residents to plan daytrips, visits from entertainers and varied activity sessions. For anyone who preferred socialising in smaller groups, she also organised one-to-one time where she would pop in for a chat, a cuppa or do a crossword together, giving them the contact they needed and the chance for Hayley to check their wellbeing. She also created scrapbooks, so that residents who couldn’t attend activities remained connected to Jubilee Court life.
The ‘inclusion’ part of Hayley’s role means that she also works hard to keep residents feeling connected to their local area and the community outside of Jubilee Court. Before lockdown, she organised regular visits from a local mum-and-baby group, so residents could form links across the generations. Hayley also worked with residents to donate gifts to local children in return, in partnership with the local Family Centre. With her support, residents also raised £500 for their chosen air ambulance charity.
When residents began shielding, her usual calendar of social activities became very restricted. To maintain the personal connection with residents, she worked with her Jubilee Court colleagues to make sure every resident had a regular wellbeing call. She also supported residents to use the service’s new iPad to keep in touch with loved ones.
To try and keep residents feeling engaged and connected, Hayley regularly posted printed activities, craft packs and mental health information through residents’ doors. This gave residents something active and fun to do, and helped keep their minds off their worries.
As shielding continued, Hayley became concerned that residents were at risk of becoming isolated and losing their connections. To try and prevent this, she organised for residents to participate in the Postcards of Kindness project, as well as another letter-writing campaign run by Young People Of The Year (YOPEY). She also asked the local Brownie group to send in colourful artwork to brighten up the communal areas and show residents that people were thinking of them.
These projects were a great success. One resident even created a sock bunny using instructions from a pen-pal, with support from Hayley and the team to source materials – she was over the moon to see her story shared in a national newspaper too!
Hayley said: “I love working at Jubilee Court; the days are filled with fun and laughter. I feel that if I make at least one resident happy before the end of the day, then I’m happy too. I I00% love coming in every day.”