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Lilian Faithfull Care scoops two wins at the Gloucestershire Care Providers Association awards event

Lilian Faithfull Care are delighted that volunteer Dave Hardy, won ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and the charity’s Physio team won ‘Innovation of the Year’ at this year’s Gloucestershire Care Providers Association (GCPA) awards event.

The GCPA awards celebrate the very best who work in the independent care sector in the county and the event was held on Friday 29 September at the Hatherley Manor.

The Volunteer of the Year Award category was, ‘a volunteer that has shown amazing dedication and passion for their role, contributing to the effective running of a care setting out of the kindness of their hearts.’ 

Dave Hardy is a worthy winner as he is an amazingly dedicated and passionate volunteer at Royal Court care home in Cheltenham.

Dave is registered blind, and his sight is partial, but this doesn’t stop him helping others. In fact he says he gets so much of from it himself. Dave shared with us that he was in a low place personally before he volunteered, and helping Royal Court care home gives him a great sense of purpose.

David has been volunteering for 6 years for at least two days a week. Dave used to work at Royal Court many years ago as a Support Worker, when it was a sheltered accommodation home. This was where he first met his wife Doreen, who accompanied Dave to the awards.

Fiona Gillon, Care Home Manager shared, “Dave lives next door to the care home and one day he just came and asked if we would be interested in a volunteer. Dave’s commitment to the care home is outstanding. He provides much needed help to our staff and compassion, companionship and quality of life for our residents. Plus, he has a great sense of humour, telling lots of jokes and putting smiles on residents and staff’s faces.”

Here’s a typical day for Dave… He arrives greeting everyone with his friendly face. He’s a very independent volunteer and in the morning he finds out which residents he can befriend, which might need extra company and goes off to visit them. He takes people to the home’s hair salon and sits with them chewing the cud. At lunch time he sits with the staff and shares his funny jokes – which always guarantees a smile. In the afternoon Dave then visits residents in Royal Court’s dementia care wing, spending time doing activities with them – inside and out.

Dave helps with activities, often coming up with ideas for opportunities and activities that residents might like to get involved in.

He is a true ambassador for the care sector, especially Lilian Faithfull Care, and regularly sings the praises of Royal Court’s care across his vast community network, sporting connections and on his local radio station.

Fiona summed it up with, “It’s a delight to have Dave visit and we really appreciate his long standing contribution to our care home and our charity. Every home deserves a Dave!”

The team at Royal Court care home were delighted to attend the event with Dave and his wife Doreen. They were all ecstatic for Dave when he was announced the winner and enjoyed celebrating with him.

The Innovation in Social Care Award category was, ‘for an individual or a team who has shown that thinking outside the box can increase better outcomes for clients. The award winner will be one whose entry clearly shows a new idea, device or process that has had far reaching benefits for clients.’

Lilian Faithfull Care Physiotherapist team won the award!

The charity have a team of excellent professional physiotherapists – Martin, Kate and Sana who support their six care homes’ residents across Cheltenham and Stroud.

The team are always thinking of new ideas, processes and projects to enhance the care of our care home residents. They have a host of expertise, instigate brilliant projects and often assist with important University projects and mentoring students.

Here’s two examples of positive projects they’ve delivered for the benefit of our residents and future people. 

University research projects

Our physiotherapy team has been approached by the Bristol Robotics Laboratory to help Master students connect with care home residents and their carers. The students were interested in their opinions about walking aids, to better understand elderly people’s needs and the limits of what they call “traditional” walking aids.

The residents and the carers were offered the opportunity to be interviewed and complete questionnaires. Ultimately this information will be used to inform the development of new assistive technologies to support elderly people living with disabilities, improve their mobility and reduce their risk of falling.

Physiotherapist Martin commented, “I believe it is a great opportunity for us to be involved in research and potentially be among the first to test the prototypes of these “modern” walking aids.”

Faithfull House’s new gym

The word gym and care home aren’t often said in the same sentence. But at Lilian Faithfull Care nothing is impossible!

Here’s a shining example – creating our very own first care home gym in the Regency building of Faithfull House in Suffolk Square Cheltenham.

The idea was born this year by our Physio Martin, for the benefit of the residents and their physiotherapy. Martin carefully selected suitable equipment and planned to make it happen at this care home where he is based.

Faithfull House are delighted to have this new gym room with rehabilitation steps, treadmill, recumbent exercise bike and a gym ladder.

The equipment gives multiple health benefits to residents, including rehabilitation from surgery and falls, increasing mobility, improving strength and building confidence and overall physical well-being.

Residents are already enjoying time in it with supervision and support from our trained staff, and are reaping the benefits.

Faithfull House resident Irene is delighted with the new facilities, “It is quite remarkable to have access to this equipment, living in a care home. I hope to maintain the mobility I have, and maybe improve as well. One thing for sure, it makes me feel good doing it.”

Our Physio Martin, the brilliant instigator of the project, commented, “Having a gym is a unique opportunity for our residents to keep fit and optimise their functional abilities. Beyond the multiple health benefits, it gives the residents new goals to focus on, which motivates them even more. It is never too late to build strength, and the residents can start feeling the difference just a few weeks after using the gym.”

Martin attended the awards event on behalf of the team and proudly received the trophy and certificate to take back to them.

The charity are very proud of all their nominations and congratulate the fantastic winners.


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