Local community champion, Charlene Frodsham, from Wigan, has joined the team at the Belong Wigan care village in Platt Bridge, taking up the post of experience coordinator and working alongside residents and colleagues to provide a creative programme of meaningful occupation via events, one-to-one and group activities.

Speaking about Charlene’s appointment, Gill Menguy, general manager at Belong Wigan, said: “Fostering a vibrant community is a vital part of Belong’s ethos and we are delighted to have Charlene on board. She has already brought great energy and positivity to the post, bringing a wealth of experience and new ideas to the team, and helping us to extend the opportunities available to our customers.”

Initially from a customer service background, Charlene’s enthusiasm and cheerful nature prompted her to take on the role of community champion for the supermarket brand Asda. It was here that her talent shone as she organised community challenges and fundraising activities for local groups and charities, including those which provide dementia care and support for adults with learning disabilities. When donating board games to Belong, she was ‘blown away’ by their set-up, which far exceeded her expectations of a typical care provider. Upon learning about the vacancy of experience coordinator, Charlene was excited to apply, feeling this was an opportunity that she couldn’t let pass by.

The wide range of activities available to village residents and local people has always been a stand-out feature of Belong, contributing to wellbeing, choice and independence for its customers. The team has continued its residents’ programme throughout the pandemic, taking precautions to ensure all activities are Covid-secure while helping to keep everyone engaged and positive. As restrictions ease, Belong is hoping to safely resume its Experience Day Programme, where sessions, including arts and crafts, music and fitness, will be extended to the wider community.

Taking a leading role in both these programmes, Charlene is looking forward to getting to know the residents and providing activities to inspire and delight them. She said: “All I want from the role is to make residents happy. I love seeing that sparkle in their eyes. Those little things that make people smile add up and will help support their wellbeing longer term.”