Plenty of pats for visiting pony

17 May 2019

Resident of Holy Cross meeting with mini pony and it's handler

Residents at our Holy Cross nursing home in Sunderland have enjoyed a visit from a very special guest, Glory, a miniature petting pony.

Glory spent time meeting with residents in our home's spacious activity room and even visited some of our residents in the comfort of their own rooms.

Ponies are gentle and affectionate and are known to offer therapeutic benefits to older people. They are intuitive and respond to the emotions of the people around them, too. They certainly helped to spread lots of smiles during their visit

An added bonus was the wealth of childhood stories shared, with resident, Joseph, telling a story about the first time his daughter rode a horse and how nervous his wife had been at the time. For Catherine, her special memories came from talking about a photograph of her grandfather on a horse during WW1.

"All in all, it was a wonderful day," said our home's Activities Co-ordinator, Vicky.

Visit brings back musical memories

2 May 2019

Playing musical bingo

Students from Sacred Heart School in Fenham, brought out the musical side of our St Catherine's nursing home residents with their latest visit.

Our residents take part in various activities with the students and have enjoyed everything from pamper sessions to topical discussions. This time, however, there was plenty of fun to be had with a few games of musical bingo.

A cross between 'name that tune' and regular bingo, tunes like 'The Wedding March'; Danny Boy; Any Old Iron and Daisy, Daisy had our residents singing along as they tried to guess the song title and cross it off their bingo card.

And, with everyone taking part so enthusiastically, there were prizes for everyone at the end of the games.

A great way to mark St George's Day

25 April 2019

Our Holy Cross residents watching singer Christine Rosemond

Residents at our two nursing homes have been brushing up on their patriotism with a look at some very typically English themes.

With St George's Day following hot on the heels of the Easter celebrations, our residents at Holy Cross in Sunderland were ready to just sit back and relax with some musical entertainment from Christine Rosemond.

With popular songs such as Roll out the Barrel, There's Always be an England and This Little Light of Mine on the musical menu, however, no-one could resist enjoying a singalong.

Meanwhile, residents at our St Catherine's nursing home in Newcastle enjoyed a pub quiz all about England, complete with their tipple of choice.

"There were a few tricky quiz questions," said Relationship Manager, Nicola, who ran the quiz, "but, true to form, our residents' wisdom really put me in my place!"

A cracking Easter was had by all

23 April 2019

A busy and colourful Easter

Easter weekend has been packed with special events and activities across our services.

Residents living in our nursing homes in Sunderland and Newcastle attended Mass in the homes' own chapels and, as Lent was at an end, chocolate was much in evidence again.

Erin, nine-year-old granddaughter of our nursing homes manager, Julie, spread lots of smiles with her delivery of hand-made Easter chicks to our Holy Cross nursing home and some of our enterprising residents even used them to decorate their prize-winning Easter bonnets.

It was also a time for giving, and we'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has donated Easter eggs to the children in our care.

Colourful chocolate eggs have been arriving at our Alan Shearer Centre over the last week or so and Centre members, Thomas, Kevin, Nora, Sofia and Marcus had their pick of the treats when Budget Taxis manager, John Robinson delivered a clutch of chocolate eggs when they were visiting the Centre.

More eggs arrived with Nikki and her daughter Ellen who delivered another batch on behalf of Rook Matthews Estate Agents.

Our grateful thanks also go to Nuffield Health. Each donation has helped to make sure there are plenty of Easter eggs to go round.

Relationship Manager, Nicola Milne said, "I'm amazed at the generosity of our supporters and all the children were so happy to receive their surprise gifts."

Bright bonnets bring out creative talents

16 April 2019

Our creative team making their bonnets

Residents, at our St Catherine's nursing home in Newcastle got stuck into making some of the most striking seasonal headgear.

With a bulging craft box to hand, plain raffia hats were gradually transformed into unique Easter bonnets using a selection of decorative eggs, chicks, flowers and ribbons.

During the craft session, staff, volunteers and Young Ambassador for our nursing homes, Autumn, all helped to perfect our residents' creativity until each bonnet was fashioned to perfection.

The bonnets are now being kept in a safe place until Saturday when our residents will wear them in their very own Easter bonnet parade.

Parish community shares in our Lenten lunch

9 April 2019

Some of the guests at our Lenten lunch

Parish community shares in our Lenten lunch

Residents living in our St Catherine's Nursing Home have hosted a Lenten lunch for local parishioners.

Regular and new visitors from St Robert's Church in Fenham first attended a prayer group with our residents in St Catherine's chapel, which was led by Special Minister and regular volunteer, Imelda.

Everyone then gathered together in one of St Catherine's pleasant dining rooms to relax and chat over a lunch of homemade soup and a roll, followed by fresh fruit.

Relationship Manager, Nicola Milne, who organised the lunch, said, "As always, it was wonderful to welcome parishioners from St Robert's to St Catherine's. Our Lenten Lunch was a perfect opportunity to rekindle friendships new and old, and to share our Lenten journey.”

Springtime's the muse for Holy Cross residents

14 March 2019

Residents enjoying spring crafts

Residents at our Holy Cross nursing home in Sunderland have enjoyed welcoming springtime with a colourful arts and crafts session.

Supported by the home's activates co-ordinator, Vicky, and one of our residents' visiting relatives, there were some very pretty floral scenes created using a variety of materials in a range of textures and colours.

Their crafts used lots of inspiration and some much needed tea and cake followed.

One of our creative residents, Violet, was delighted with her picture, “I can't wait to show my family”, she said.

Violet's picture now has pride of place in her room, so everyone who visits – including her family – will be able to admire her creative talents.

Brownie points for our Holy Cross residents

8 February 2019

Holy Cross residents baking

Mouths were watering at Holy Cross when the delicious smell of baking filled our Sunderland nursing home.

Any activities to do with cooking are always popular with the home's residents, so they couldn't wait to roll up their sleeves and show their inner Delia Smiths.

This time it was hazelnut and chocolate brownies on the menu, with long-standing resident, Michael, showing the ladies he was no slouch when it came to baking.

Activities Co-ordinator, Vicky Hurst, said, “Smiles and beautiful aromas filled the room all afternoon and the brownies were ready for sharing at tea time with lashings of cream!”

Supporting Dignity Action Day

4 February 2019

Some of the Dignity Day events across our services

Dignity Action Day is an annual opportunity for our care workers to celebrate people's rights to dignity and provide a memorable day for people who use our care services.

We have marked the day in various ways, every year since it began back in 2010 and this year our carers organised a variety of entertainment and craft sessions to raise awareness of the issue.

Both our nursing homes, St Catherine's in Newcastle and Holy Cross in Sunderland, invited residents and their families to get together with staff for a Digni-Tea. There were singalongs, refreshments and raffles before everyone wrote messages about what dignity means to them on leaves which they attached to Dignity Trees.

At our Parkhead Resource Centre in Ashington for adults with learning disabilities, members created a mural, literally spelling out what dignity meant to them. Words such as empathy, individuality and self-worth all featured.

Our Alan Shearer Activity Centre held a “Catch up and Cuppa Day” where members could grab a muffin and a cuppa and join in a discussion with staff about the importance of dignity and ways it can be promoted.

One of the principal values underpinning the work of our charity is "Recognition of the inherent dignity of each person" - something that is paramount in the training of all our care staff.

Celebrating the Bard of Ayrshire

28 January 2019

Some of our Burns Day celebrations

The lasting legacy of the Scottish Bard, Robbie Burns, was marked in style when a traditional afternoon tea get-together swapped dainty cakes for hearty haggis.

Each month, residents from our St Catherine's Nursing Home enjoy a chat and afternoon tea with staff from our charity's head office, but when January's gathering fell on January 25 there simply had to be a celebration of all things Scottish.

The famous Address to a Haggis was followed by a serving of the delicacy – both traditional and vegetarian – accompanied by neeps and tatties (of course!) and a wee dram of whisky. In keeping with the Scottish theme, the menu also featured shortbread and raspberries, although the usual selection of favourite cream cakes were an absolute must, too.

Our Parkhead Resource Centre in Ashington took a slightly different take on the Burns celebrations with tossing the 'caber', which proved to be highly popular. Fortunately, the caber in question was hand made using cardboard, but just as much fun.