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.

Tree displays New Year resolution reminders

3 January 2019

Residents with their resolutions

Residents at our St Catherine's Nursing Home in Newcastle have created a novel way to remind themselves of their New Year resolutions.

With the help of the home's activities co-ordinator, Sarah, our residents put their resolutions for 2019 onto paper and added a little sparkling glitter to create decorative tags to hang on their special memory tree.

After a busy festive season, a few people promised themselves some time to relax or spend quality time with others, but there were also some who felt it was time to find a new hobby or be more active.

"It was a fun and creative way to capture our residents' New Year resolutions," said Sarah, "and it's now a real talking point for everyone."

Can we take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Getting together for Christmas

19 December 2018

Nursing home visitors

The run up to Christmas has seen some special visitors to our nursing homes in Newcastle and Sunderland.

Residents of St Catherine's in Newcastle welcomed back friends from Churches Together in Fenham for coffee and a catch up. On this, their second visit to the home, parishioners and their Parish Priest, Fr Sean O'Neill, brought lovely hand-crafted gifts and Christmas cards for each resident, which they will receive on Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, there was a surprise visit to Holy Cross home in Sunderland by St Joseph's Nursery School pupils, who sang songs for the residents and invited them to join in with the fun.

The children spent some time chatting to them about Christmas and delivered handmade cards to every resident. In return, the residents gave each child a special Christmas package with a selection box, book, jigsaw and reindeer dust.

Activities Co-ordinator, Vicky Hurst, said, “We had special chocolate milkshakes for the little ones to enjoy when they had finished singing. It was heart-warming to see residents' faces light up at our young visitors.”

Autumn is first Young Ambassador for our nursing homes

14 December 2018

Autumn ready for her first official visit

A ten-year-old school student from Newcastle is delighting residents at our two nursing homes by championing their lives and sharing her spare time with them as she becomes the first person to take on the role of Young Ambassador for our nursing homes.

Autumn, who attends Walbottle Village Primary School, has just carried out her first official visit as Young Ambassador at our Holy Cross home in Sunderland, where she delivered hand-written Christmas cards for every resident and thoroughly enjoyed joining everyone in a cheery festive singalong.

As Young Ambassador, Autumn will pay regular visits to our residents at Holy Cross - and at our Newcastle care home, St Catherine's - helping to bridge the generation gap through conversation, crafts and friendship. She will also act as a positive representative for our residents in her day-to-day links with other young people.

The kindhearted initiative came about after Autumn got in touch to ask how she could help people in our nursing homes on a regular basis.

"I enjoy making things and have helped with crafts and activities in the homes before, which I loved," said Autumn. "I asked if I could do something more regularly and can't believe I'm now their Young Ambassador. I'm really proud and excited."

Registered Manager for our nursing homes, Julie Thompson said, “We feel so privileged that Autumn wants to spend her spare time with us. Her first official visit was a massive hit with everyone and we're already counting the days to her next visit.”

Having a young person regularly visiting their home brings our residents so much pleasure and helps them to keep in touch with the changing world. In turn, Autumn is receiving first-hand knowledge of their experiences and memories from times gone by.

There are already a few projects shaping up involving Autumn and some of our residents, so watch this space!

Sharing the traditional joys of Christmas

10 December 2018

Holy Cross residents enjoying a Christmas outing

Residents at our Holy Cross Nursing home in Sunderland joined residents from five other care homes in the region to give a special welcome to the start of the festive season.

Residents and staff from all six care homes got together for an early Christmas party at The Derwentside Club in Ryhope, where everyone enjoyed a delicious three course lunch with all the festive trimmings.

Our residents were delighted when lunch was followed by two of their favourite musical acts – local singer/songwriter, Christine Rosemond and the ever-popular Mike Memphis with his Elvis repertoire. Both staff and residents had a great time joining in with some of the popular classics and sharing memories.

To round off the afternoon's festivities there were gifts for each and every resident, personally delivered by Santa and Mrs Claus.

"It was a fabulous afternoon with smiles and laughter all round," said our Holy Cross activities co-ordinator, Vicky.

We would like to thank the Community Care Home Group for hosting the party and for involving our residents in regular get-togethers throughout the year.

Sculptures make it a cosy Christmas

5 December 2018

Our residents enjoying their fireplaces

Staff and residents at our nursing homes have created stunning centerpieces as a backdrop for their festive celebrations.

Both Holy Cross in Sunderland and St Catherine's in Newcastle now have their own cosy fireplace sculpture which residents have helped to make from discarded boxes - and a good helping of creativity - with the support of their activities co-ordinators.

The colourful additions to the main activity spaces in each home are already a major talking point, prompting reminiscences about childhood Christmases and coal fires as well as tempting a few of our residents to have festive photos taken next to the hearth.

"People's faces light up as soon as they see the fireplaces," said Julie Thompson, registered manager for our homes. "They each create a lovely, cosy place to hold our Christmas sing-alongs or enjoy warming seasonal drinks and they're certainly adding that feel good factor to our festivities."

Lest we forget

9 November 2018

Poppy making crafts in some of our services

People across our services have been preparing thoughtful tributes to mark Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

Preparing for the weekend of commemoration, St Catherine's Nursing Home residents spent one of their regular craft sessions carefully making beautiful poppies with the help of activity co-ordinator, Sarah. Dozens of the finished poppies were then used to decorate their dignity tree in the home's main entrance.

Meanwhile, residents living in our Holy Cross Nursing Home put their skills to work making a collage of 100 poppies – one for each year since the end of WW1. The collage is now proudly displayed in the home's main lounge.

Adults with learning disabilities at our Parkhead Resource Centre in Ashington paid their respects by making two poppy wreaths for their dining room wall. One features the familiar red poppies, while a distinctive purple one commemorates all the animals that lost their lives in the war.

Since the group doesn't meet on Sunday, they paid their respects early with a two minute silence.