Here at Gracewell of Sutton Coldfield, we’ve been delighted to launch new partnerships with local healthcare providers, charities and businesses to really connect with the community. As part of my role, I have been establishing these affiliations to not only generate greater awareness of our care home but challenge some of the perceptions people may have about the care sector.
Time for Change
There has long been a stigma associated with care homes – one aspect of my role is changing the discernment that some of the older generation have inherited about life in a residential home. As a thriving, sought after and successful care home, we have been thrilled to launch a very special anti-loneliness initiative to instead deliver a message of optimism and positivity.
Doing our bit to ‘pay it forward,’ we have invited members of the local community to come along to our welcoming home and enjoy some entertainment, a hot chocolate and a slice of cake on us in our bistro. Our main objective has been to combat isolation by helping those who feel lonely to make friends and feel more socially involved.
The initiative has received an amazing reception. It has been greatly supported by contacts and healthcare professionals, and I’ve been proud to include it in discussions about our home with new business clients and prospective new residents and their families.
Everyone who has been involved has recognised the reward you feel when supporting someone who feels socially excluded and making a positive impact to their life – it’s a wonderful feeling. We are now keen to think about what else we can do to further support those who are facing loneliness, so watch this space!
We have also been thrilled to begin supporting Expectations UK. They are a charity who provide a range of services, through a network of staff, partners and agencies, with the ultimate goal of helping homeless people gain back their independence.
Expectations UK are so much more than just providing a bed for the night. They work with Aston Hotel to provide a safe place to stay to people across Birmingham while they get support to move on with their lives.
Although Gracewell of Sutton Coldfield and Expectations UK might not seem like the likeliest of duos, there are so many similarities between us. We both have the same mission: to help our residents live with purpose.
Meeting the lovely residents of Expectations UK has been a pleasure and struck such a deep chord with me that I felt compelled to share their work with the rest of the Gracewell team. Overwhelmingly, every single staff member was touched by their story and wanted to know how they could also help.
In October, Gracewell of Sutton Coldfield celebrated the turn of the seasons by hosting a special Harvest Festival. This includes a ‘non-perishable’ items and dried food drive and saw lots of donations from kind-hearted residents and team members. We talked candidly to everyone at Gracewell about our aim to donate the items to the residents at Aston Hotel and about the work the charity do: and the response blew us away.
As the donation bank grew, we all felt a cheerful optimism in the air. Our residents regularly asked questions and requested updates whilst continuing to show compassion and kindness benefiting a demographic they hadn’t previously crossed paths with. One emotion connected the two of us together and enabled us to strike up this unlikely relationship: compassion.
Compassion and Current Affairs
We know just how naturally compassionate our residents are. We all want to do more to bridge the divide and connect more with those who need it most, irrespective of age, race, gender or circumstances. As a collective, we have made a decision to focus on what we can to change perceptions about homelessness
So far, discussing this topic with our residents has been such a rewarding and eye-opening experience that we will be continuing to work with the charity. We are now concentrating on a shoe box appeal for Christmas, which will allow everyone at Gracewell to donate necessities and gifts to the people Expectations UK supports. Our residents and team members alike are all energised by the initiative and are looking forward to spreading some Christmas cheer to the residents of the Aston Hotel.
As I’m sure you’ll all agree, there have been lots of exciting things happening at Gracewell of Sutton Coldfield as we’ve shown our support to worthwhile causes. We’d like to thank each and every resident and team member who has got involved so far and we really look forward to developing this work over the coming months.