We pride ourselves, not just being in the community, but being an integral part of it. With 14 homes across all four corners of the North East, we've constantly got things going on.
We can't cover off every news story, but we'll post the highlights that hopefull show you, just how varied, interesting and rewarding life at a Wellburn home is. For our residents and our staff.
Fantasy film is made from small individual pots of colour. We used fine wire and made shapes in the form of flowers, which you dip in and out of the pot of colour, which dries within approximately 6 minutes and the effects are colours like stained glass. Our residents at Ryton Towers Care Home had a fun time making these and got to be as creative as they wished, it is a very therapeutic and calming activity and works well as a one to one activity too. Joanne, our Lead Activities Coordinator has been working with a freelance artist, Claire Ford from We engAGE, who is also involved with Equal Arts and Joanne has been working with them for many years now, they have also given us some amazing activities to share too. This is a great activity and the flowers really are beautiful to look at and brighten up our Home. Make sure you keep an eye out around the Home for them.
All of our Homes celebrated Dementia Awareness Day and on Monday 16th May we had a visit from Josh Benson who is currently starring in the West End as part of Gary Barlow's Show. We had a sing song with our very own Ian Donaghy playing guitar and everyone sang along to popular tunes everyone knew. We also had a go at singing on the radio microphone with others joining in. Josh went around the room performing close up magic tricks and he wowed us with his magic leaving many residents exasperated as too how he managed to do the tricks! Everyone enjoyed the magic tricks and he went around the room to show everyone leaving no-one out! Towards the end of the magic session Ian picked up his guitar once again and we finished off with another sing song. We also had a lovely buffet tea, then dropped down the big screen so we could watch a movie, where the residents decided they wanted to watch Dad's Army the movie again, then we watched High Society to top the day off nicely.
Nightingale Hall had a fab Art Competition on 9th May with a mixture of guests including local district nurses, mental health professional teams, occupational therapists and Arthaus Gallery Manager, Jade Stimpson and Art Consultant, Catherine Down, but most of all residents and their families. Ryton Towers was also in attendance to join in for an afternoon of creativity and cakes.
Inspiration for art for the event came from two of MacKenzie Thorpe’s limited edition prints, which were Sweetheart of Mine and Dance in Love, which were donated by the Arthus Gallery to Nightingale Hall for the day. Our residents and guests had to try and copy the MacKenzie Thorpe pictures which we all had great fun in doing in order to win the competition.
Nightingale Hall Manager, Michael Campling “The MacKenzie Thorpe art competition at Nightingale Hall, is not only a celebration of Dementia Awareness Week, but also a great way to show that anyone can be involved in creating art at some level”.
Jade Stimpson, Arthaus Gallery Manager “Here at Arthaus, we are passionate about both raising awareness of dementia and encouraging the use of art as a tool for residents to continue thriving and enjoying their day to day lives. That is why our partnership with Nightingale Hall is so important and we will continue to support them in this wonderful endeavour”.
The winner will have their entry framed and put into the Arthaus Gallery window. To see all the amazing artwork, Authaus are having an art exhibition day where all the artwork will be on display. Stay tuned to see who won...
Wellburn Care were proud to be part of such a great charity and were even more excited that we had fun fundraising by dressing up in Superhero costumes for the day. We donned our capes in partnership with Metro Radios fundraising event for Cash for Kids, where they fundraise all year round for children in the North East who need extra support and everything raised helps the children who live in our local communities and Wellburn Care will continue its support with helping this great charity throughout the year, so stay tuned for future events…. Wellburn House were real superheroes of the day, a lady and gentleman lost their way and a very kind lady guided them to Wellburn house, where the lovely staff made them welcome with fish and chips and cheesecake for pudding, until they returned home with full tummies and a smile on their faces, and ours. For more information on the Superhero Day visit https://planetradio.co.uk/metro/charity/events/superhero-day-metro/
The famous scarecrow festival is held every May Bank Holiday weekend in Haxby and Wigginton where people are invited to make and display a scarecrow in their garden / field and lots of people from all around show up to follow the trail and it is all aimed at raising funds for different charities. Sarah Fearn, Activities Coordinator and our residents at Rosevale have made their very own Boxtroll Scarecrow out of cardboard, which we think looks fab.
Saint George’s Day is the feast day of Saint George which is celebrated on the 23rd April every year. The traditional custom was to celebrate Saint George’s Day by wearing a red rose in your lapel. Nowadays we adorn the Cross flag, Morris dancing and serving traditional English food. We asked St Catherine’s how they celebrated Saint George’s Day by having an arts and crafts day where our residents created flags improvising with straws and coloured paper and decorated the home all in flags. We also baked a sponge cake and iced it with fondant icing making a white base with a red cross.
On the 21st and 22nd April a small group from Glenholme House took part in the Creative Age Exhibition through Washington Art Centre, which is a group designed for people living with the early stages of dementia, where they work with various mediums including printmaking, painting, sculpture and 3D installations. This project has been organised in collaboration with Equal Arts and is funded by Arts Council England. Our residents took part in flower making to put on a sculpture of Penshaw Hill Monument using film paint, which dries thinly, showing the colour through the light. Mary and Ellen took great pride in making the flowers using fine wire looped and dipped into special "film paint" which dries thinly giving an appearance similar to stained glass. On the Saturday we went through and made our prints some of which went on display and some we brought home, this was created by putting various objects onto a "light machine" which works very similar to a photograph after the light had passed over it you are left with a piece of paper which when exposed to water brings up the image you created. Our resident, Mary also had a go at animation, making an elephant ride a pig! The two days were fantastic fun, doing things we never thought we would do. Keep your eye out for our flowers and prints displayed at Washington Arts Centre and to view part of Mary’s animation visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgg_Vi6uNMU
Tea, the aromatic beverage using an evergreen shrub native to Asia was originated in Southwest China where it was used as a medicinal drink, but nowadays it is a widespread popular drink, where there are many different versions around, whether it be Black, Green, Breakfast, Earl Grey or Herbal Teas, there are many different infusions and blends and there has also been a debate over many years on whether you put the milk in the teacup first or after. To celebrate National Tea Day Glenholme House tasted lots of different tea, Mint Green Tea, Earl Grey, Red Berries, Chamomile and Lemon Green Tea. We asked Glenholme House residents how they make the perfect cup of tea:
Mary McKenzie said “warm the teapot with hot water, then empty the water, add your tea and boiling water, let the tea ‘mask’ for five minutes, put your milk in the cup then add your tea”
Lillian Wilson said “put teabag in cup, add boiling water, then milk and sugar if required”
Joan Dobson said “water first, then add teabag, leave to ‘mash’ for five minutes then add milk and sugar”
Mash and mask were terms used in Sunderland to describe the infusion of the tea.
We recently took part in a recruitment fair held at the Assembly Hall in Newcastle which was a great success and we held a Smile Competition, where candidates held one of our smiles on a stick to enter our competition to win £100 in cash.
Congratulations to Liam Snowdon who won our Smile Competition. To check out all the other smiles visit our Facebook or Twitter page @WellburnCare. Liam we are loving your smile!
Our very own Ian Donaghy has devised a lovely short film, featuring children from Carr Junior School, raising dementia awareness in our community. To view the video visit https://youtu.be/KWGr0UpIaJc
Creative Minds visited our home Nightingale Hall to carry out an art session and Lesley kindly wrote the following life story of our residentJoyce Cheverton. Please visit our Facebook page to see her amazing creative artwork.
“We encounter so many fantastic residents with incredible life stories like 97 year old Joyce Cheverton, a resident at Nightingale Hall Care Home Richmond, North Yorkshire. She's an inspirational Artist and still creating wonderful artwork today! Here is some of her amazing artwork and life story.
Born in Harrow in 1920, Joyce showed remarkable artistic talent from an early age, producing saleable oil paintings while still at primary school. She studied for three years at Harrow College of Art and stayed for a further year as a tutor.
During the war years she taught art at the girls convent school in Willesden. When the sirens went she took her class to Willesden underground station which served as an air raid shelter. Joyce's shelter sketches are some of her most poignant works.
Joyce met and later married David Cheverton, a young RAF officer, in a class of RAF officers she was instructing in the art of camouflage. David became an architect after the war and later a vicar. Joyce supported his ministry with her art.
Throughout her life Joyce was prolific in many forms of art - oils, water colours, posters, engravings, Lino cuts, wood block printing from blocks she carved herself, book illustration and cover design. She painted a huge four wall mural for a London cafe and designed a lounge for a Cunard liner. David and Joyce retired to a bungalow he designed in Preston-under-Scar. Their son Mark and his wife Lottie founded an Art College in Leith which flourishes to this day.”
To find out more about Creative Minds, visit their website www.creativemindsan.co.uk
We are at the Job Fair at the Assembly Rooms today and we are asking visitors to guess how many M&M's are in our jar. The closest wins £200 in cash. For a chance to win, visit our Facebook or Twitter page @wellburncare
Wellburn Care held a Cuppa, Cake and Company afternoon at York City Screen cinema to bring the community together. Friends of Wellburn brought in an array of home baking for our guests.
All guests came to see the #deardementia exhibition at the cinema and get to know one another on Silver Screen Thursday.
"The Dear Dementia campaign to raise dementia awareness has had everyone talking and has raised awareness with staff and visitors alike. We strive to make the City Screen a safe, welcoming place for our older community & those living with dementia to enjoy films." said Cath Sharp Associate Manager at the City Screen.
Guests included social groups such JNJ Classic Soul club (retired Nestle workers turned DJs who now run charity music nights for lovers of soul music ), families living with dementia, shoppers, business people and those living alone who all enjoyed the friendly welcoming atmosphere.
The exhibition, featuring beautiful photographs of residents from Grimston Court and Rosevale homes and has coincided with Disney's Beauty and the Beast, so the exhibition has been enjoyed by thousands.
"This exhibition explains exactly what it was like with Dad" said one guest.
"What a wonderful way of educating people" said another.
The event went down, so well people were asking if we'd be doing this again. Sarah Fearn brought a group of ladies from Rosevale who enjoyed the stunning views of the River Ouse from our penthouse location.
Wellburn are committed to bring our communities together and get people talking to combat loneliness.
Part of the fight against dementia, is raising awareness. So when Wellburn approached Forrest Outdoor Media to see if they’d be interested in a collaborative advertising campaign, their Managing Director, Marc Keenan was more than happy to get involved.
Working with the ad company, we developed a series of large scale billboard ads, with thought provoking messages and striking images.
The ads were specifically designed to be simple but powerful, and the goal was to grab the public’s attention, inviting them to share what they were seeing on social media. Location was also key, with the first ad taking advantage of one of the top prime ad locations in the North East, just outside the Centre for Life.
Wellburn’s Rachel Beckett explains the approach, “Our aim with our interactive #deardementia campaign, is to help remove the stigma surrounding dementia, raise awareness and to start a conversation off. Without Forrest Media’s invaluable support and prime placements of the ads, we’d have struggled to generate the same impact the campaign has already had.”
Marc Keenan added “We’re learning more and more about this condition, which is affecting so many and we were only too happy to lend our support to such an important cause.”
The aim is to reach hundreds of thousands of people in the coming year, with ads appearing in prime footfall locations in Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Keep your eye out for our ads and please, get involved and interact.
The Big Knit campaign has been running since 2003 and has raised a whopping £1.7 million for Age UK. Equally important, it has helped raise awareness for the fantastic work Age UK do.
For every little hat knitted and sold on an Innocent Smoothie drink, 25p is donated to Age UK.
We are very excited to have been involved for the first time and are thrilled to say that our residents and staff, knitting a whopping 905 funky little hats. The hats will go on official sale in October this year, so don’t forget to show your support for a wonderful cause, by purchasing Innocent Smoothies wearing one of the handmade hats.
A massive thank you and a huge well done to all who took part. We will be knitting more little hats for next year and if you would like to get involved, visit www.thebigknit.co.uk
It was an honour to have Mayor of Gateshead Allison Ilderton-Thompson visit us at Eighton Lodge where herself and Jim, her driver, enjoyed the hospitality in our new coffee lounge.
“They are the best scones I’ve tasted! What’s in them?” is a common review of Christine, our cooks scones with orange zest. They are delicious!
Jim, Protector of the Chains, had visited in the past but barely recognised Eighton Lodge after its dramatic transformation. They both commented on the woodland walk walls to stimulate conversations, how light the home was and adored the beautiful photography throughout the lounges by Paul Stevenson of local landmarks presented in his unique vivid style.
“You could almost walk into that picture and the one with the bees and the flowers is breath-taking.” exclaimed the Mayor.
Allison has a keen interest in all things community hailing from Dunston and was impressed with the home’s strong links with Trevor and all at the Life Centre at Teams, local sheltered accommodation and the Alzheimer’s Society. She also commented on the Wellburn Dear Dementia campaign she had seen in Newcastle.
This wasn’t a whistle-stop visit as they both took time to enjoy long one to one conversations with many of the residents for well over an hour.
There are plans to involve the community more in the future and for Eighton Lodge to be involved in a Dementia Awareness gallery at Gateshead Council Head Office in the coming months.
The Mayor left realising that VIP treatment is our default setting at Eighton Lodge and that the door will always be open to our friends in the local community.
Staff and residents are celebrating following the announcement that Garden House received a ‘Good’ rating from the Care Quality Commission.
Inspectors made two visits in November and December and reported that ‘Care plans were in place which detailed the care and support people needed to remain safe whilst having control and making choices about how they lived their lives. Each person had a care file which also included guidelines to make sure staff supported people in a way they preferred.’ and ‘People were supported to maintain healthy balanced diets. Food was home cooked using fresh ingredients and people said that they enjoyed it. Food options reflected people’s likes, dislikes and dietary requirements.’ The Inspector added ‘People were supported to access healthcare appointments as and when required and staff followed GP and District Nurses advice when supporting people with ongoing care needs.’
The Inspectors observed ‘positive interactions between staff and people throughout the inspection. This showed us that people felt comfortable with staff supporting them.’. The premises were found to be clean and well maintained. Medicines were managed safely, securely stored, correctly recorded and only administered by staff that were training to give medicines.
A person said, "It's very homely here. Always warm in the house and in my room". Another person told us, "I feel safe here at Garden House. If I need anything I just need to ask". A relative said, "My loved one is very safe, (name) warm and comfortable". Another relative told us, "My loved one is safe here, I know that she's settled. It's piece of mind. This is the best home I feel for her".
A person told us, "Staff are caring, no concerns. We get the support we ask for". This person went onto say, "The best thing here is the way we are looked after". Another person said, "We are supported by lovely staff who are very caring". Another person referred to the staff as 'wonderful'.
They also reported that ‘"There are lots of activities and trips out. It's nice to get out and do different things". People told us they could choose to take part in activities or not. A relative told us, "They go to the extreme at Garden House. They organise summer, Christmas and Easter parties which include egg hunts for the grandchildren. Families are always welcome". We found that activities were linked to people's likes and dislikes’.
To see more details in the Inspection Report, see Garden House's page.
For the past couple of months Ryton Towers have been trialling out a range of products from the company Active Minds. Activity Coordinator, Joanne had previously used their products in her previous job, so she couldn’t wait to use them again with the residents, knowing they would enjoy them. The box she has at the moment includes aqua paints, chatterbox cards, magnetic jigsaws and giant jigsaws. These make wonderful activities for residents and help encourage group interaction as well as improving coordination, memory and confidence.
Active Minds has recently given Joanne another box to trial, which was the scentscapes box. Designed specifically for people with mid to late stage dementia. It involves listening to the soundscape whilst smelling the scents. This is used to evoke memories and is a brilliant activity for people with dementia.
It has been a huge hit with the residents and they have thoroughly enjoyed using the scentscapes box. Find out more about Active Minds, simply click here
Last year we introduced our very first ‘Deck the Halls’ competition, across all of our homes, with each home being asked to festively decorate their home, with the best entrants winning a range of prizes. The competition proved such a success with residents and staff that we decided to hold the competition again and we had another great year throughout all of our 14 homes.
A huge well done to the winning home, Heatherdale in Northumberland with their innovative and festively decorated home with Santa’s grotto. They won £250 cash to add to their Residents Fund and they will be keeping the engraved ‘Deck the Halls’ trophy until next year.
Our runners up were Ryton Towers in Gateshead and St George’s in Washington. They each won £50 cash to add to their Residents Fund.
Well done to all of our homes and Merry Christmas.
Across all of our homes, we’ve been paying a respectful remembrance to our fallen heroes, in many different ways. The residents and staff at Ryton Towers, put together the most beautiful and touching remembrance display in the home.
Using two mannequins as a base, they dressed one in full RAF uniform and the other in a dress. A dress with a different though. Formed purely out of poppies, which were individually made, with the help of the residents and staff members. The idea was the brainchild of both Joanne Stewart, our Activity Co-ordinator at Ryton Towers and our home manager Donna McKenna.
The final work was displayed in the main entrance, so that every visitor would get the chance to see it. A massive well done everyone at Ryton Towers and to all involved in the project across all of our homes. They did a fantastic job in making such an important day, with respect expressed in their own individual ways.
For more news and info about all of our
homes, on a daily basis, follow us on