Our Young Ambassador is still spreading smiles

25 June 2020

Dorothy enjoys a call from Autumn

Although visits from our St Catherine's nursing home Young Ambassador remain on hold for now, it hasn't stopped her finding new ways to keep in touch.

Thanks to the wonders of video calling, eleven-year-old Autumn has still kept up her regular chats with our residents via mobile phone and tablet.

The generations have been bridged with common topics of conversation and, as with her visits in person, Autumn's calls brought ready smiles to the faces of our residents.

“I'm really proud of my role,” said Autumn, “and if I can make everyone I speak to smile, that's a job well done, I think.”

Autumn became Young Ambassador to our St Catherine's nursing home more than a year ago, acting as a positive representative for our older people and our home.

Song recalls special memories

9 June 2020


Our charity ‘Song for the Day' - each one chosen in turn by our one of our services to lift spirits during lockdown - is helping to bring back fond memories for some of our nursing home residents.

Jeanne, who lives in our Holy Cross nursing home in Sunderland, was delighted when she was asked to pick a song for everyone to enjoy and shared the memories it recalled with our home's activities' co-ordinator, Vicky.

“Jeanne chose When I Fall in Love by Nat King Cole because it has such a special place in her heart,” said Vicky. “She thoroughly enjoyed listening to the song again and telling me how her husband used to sing the song to her at night. Sharing that moment of recollection with Jeanne was really touching.”

Many more of our staff and service users around our charity are finding that our ‘Song for the Day' is helping them to recall happy memories that they then enjoy sharing together.

Loving thoughts sent by Royal Mail

14 May 2020

Cards sent from residents

Virtual hugs, a special message and a photo of their loved ones – all contained in a perfect heart - will be winging their way to relatives and friends of residents living in our Holy Cross nursing home in Sunderland.

Our residents were invited to join the home's activities co-ordinator, Vicky, in creating the tokens of affection as part of their regular craft activities and were delighted with the idea.

“Seeing as we can't hug our friends and relatives in person, I thought it would be nice for them to receive a virtual hug in the post,” said Vicky. “It really helps our residents feel they are sharing their affection for the special people in their lives.”

Special video brings colour and cheer

12 May 2020

Shots from the video

Residents and staff at our St Catherine's nursing home in Newcastle have been cheered by a beautiful gift of art, music and poetry sent to them via video.

Made specially for our residents by families and children of City Church Newcastle, the bright and cheerful video features paintings, drawings and photos of local landscapes, as well as a poem about hope. Lasting just over five minutes, the entire video is set to the tune of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Our residents were thrilled to see the video and so moved by the amount of work that must have gone into making it for them. They would like to return the good wishes of everyone at City Church and say a massive thank you each and every person involved.

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, we remember

7 May 2020

VE Day preparations

Although our usual get-togethers aren't possible this VE Day, preparations are well underway around our services to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this remarkable day in our history.

Union Jack bunting and doves of peace have been lovingly created by our nursing home residents; hand-crafted giant poppies adorn the garden wall of our residential home in Alnwick and many other tributes are planned in song and music to mark the special anniversary.

Along with the celebrations, however, there will also be times to reflect on the lives that were given in the fight for our freedom.

We will remember them.

Banner bears special message

5 May 2020

The banner on display

The acts of kindness shown by so many people have been such a comfort to our Holy Cross residents in Sunderland that they have put up a special message outside their home.

With the support of the home's activities' co-ordinator, Vicky, our residents have made a giant ‘Stay Safe' banner to display their own good wishes to visitors and passers-by.

“People have been so kind and thoughtful,” said Vicky. “We've received children's drawings, cakes, toiletries, lots of lovely, positive messages - and more besides. Every gift is so gratefully received and our banner will, hopefully, let everyone know we are thinking of them, too."

Staff share talents to spread some cheer

23 April 2020

Vicky singing to one of our residents

With our Holy Cross nursing home closed to all but essential visitors at the moment, our staff have been coming up with ingenious ways to keep our residents entertained.

To keep spirits bright, our home's activities co-ordinator, Vicky, thought some musical entertainment would be welcomed – and set about becoming a travelling musician.

Armed with her Karaoke machine, Vicky popped into each room to see if there were any special requests residents wanted her to sing. She then delighted each one by giving them their own, personal performance.

The Beatles, Elvis and Abba were among the most popular requests, but Vicky took the varied selections in her stride.

“Obviously I had to sing We Could Be Heroes, too,” said Vicky. “That was for all of our wonderful staff who are doing a fantastic job in these difficult times. I'm so proud to be part of the Holy Cross family.”

And the Holy Cross family are very grateful for you sharing your talents, Vicky.

Gill celebrates 30 years of service with a slice of cake.

23 April 2020

Gill 30 Years of service

Our Director of Compliance, Gill Ennis, today celebrates 30 years of service with St Cuthbert's Care.

Gill started work with the Charity on 23 April 1990 as the Assistant Manager of Lemington Hall, Alnwick. Gill has held various roles within the charity, before becoming the registered Manager of St Catherine's Nursing Home when it was in Sandyford. Since joining the Senior Management Team, Gill's focus has been risk and compliance but she has never lost her passion for elderly care.

“I am genuinely delighted and thrilled to have spent my career with the charity. I love my job, especially now that I am once again the registered manager of St Catherine's” Gill said over her slice of cake. “My grandmother was my inspiration and I used to volunteer with her at Doxford Hall Care Home, was I was only 14 years old. I feel privileged to share my delicious cake, made by Colin, our very own chef, with the residents of St Catherine's.

Here's too many more years Gill, hopefully we will all be able to celebrate with a glass of fizz soon.

School shares joy and hope with their rainbows

17 April 2020

Letter and pictures from the school

Residents at our Holy Cross nursing home in Sunderland were delighted when they received a special message and pictures from their friends at a local primary school.

Richard Avenue Primary School is running a childcare service during the current lockdown and students thought some of the colourful rainbow paintings they'd made would help to cheer up our residents.

The paintings arrived at Holy Cross with a wonderful message which read:

“We have been painting in our childcare at Richard Avenue today and thought we would share these paintings to help spread a little rainbow joy. We hope you are all well and we hope to be able to see you soon. Love from your friends at Richard Avenue Primary School.”

Our residents would like to pass on their grateful thanks to everyone at the school for their kindness and are also looking forward to the time students can visit again.

Meanwhile, their paintings and message are displayed in our home where they are spreading smiles each day.

More reasons to make it a Happy Easter

14 April 2020

Easter around our services

It's been a happy, active Easter around our services with lots of cards being made, special messages being sent and a generous gift of chocolate eggs and grocery essentials received from Morrisons' Blaydon store.

We'd like to thank Susan and Ragen from Morrisons for taking time out to deliver five huge boxes of chocolate eggs and for their kindness in bringing along treats for our care staff as well as some fresh fruit, toiletries and other essentials.

The chocolate eggs and groceries have been shared around our services, helping to spread some welcome Easter cheer.

Meanwhile, our nursing home residents in Sunderland and Newcastle made Easter cards with personalised messages to send to their families. With visits still on hold during the current lock down, their cards are just one of the ways our home is helping to keep everyone in touch.

Young people in our children's residential home in Sunderland have also contributed to the many acts of kindness being shown around our services by making beautiful, hand-crafted cards specially for our nursing home residents.

It's lovely to see all the different ways everyone is finding to support each other and spread some happiness.