Nobody could have foreseen the globally historic events of 2020 and the devastating crisis which would cast a dark shadow across the social care sector in the United Kingdom.
Throughout the year labelled Covid-19, Orchard House Care Home has striven to maintain as much normality as possibly in the daily lives of the residents they care for.
“I love working at Orchard House because we have some amazing staff that are caring and passionate about the residents. The residents are well looked after, happy and smiley. There is great teamwork and bonds between staff and residents, and I couldn’t be prouder of them!” ~ Deputy Manager Sarah Watson
They have come together as a team to do all they can to support residents and their loved ones maintain relationships as well as support them both physically and emotionally through the person-centred and meaningful care that the devoted Orchard House team provide.
No-one could forget the images of the nation coming together every Thursday to ‘clap for carers’ in support of social care and the NHS. This was replicated at Orchard House when, every week, staff, the local community and supporters would clap the team from outside of the home. Emotions were certainly high when the local Fire Brigade arrived on the final Thursday to share their support and applause with residents and staff at the front of the building.
In June, the residents organised a surprise Thank You party for team in gratitude of the dedication shown by all of the staff during the first lockdown.
The residents were eager to also show their appreciation and wrote their own special messages for staff: “They are always very cheerful in the morning. They bring me lovely cooked breakfasts. The word carer doesn’t come in to it, they are my family!” wrote Heather, and Tony was keen that the carers were rewarded, “The carers are brilliant; nothing is too much trouble.”
Another highlight of the year was the celebration of events to mark what would have been the 2020 Olympics.
~ “I’ve taken part in the games and we’ve really enjoyed cheering everyone on” ~. Evelyn
The Nursing and Residential Dementia Home in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, really got in to the spirit of the Olympic themed campaigns by holding their own alternative Opening Ceremony and sporting events, “It was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed taking part in the games. It was even better that I won a trophy”. Tony – Orchard House Resident
August also included a Fun Day where residents and staff alike raised over £2,000 for the Maternity Bereavement Suite at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn.
In September, residents showcased their artistic flair in support of National Day of Arts in Care Homes Day by holding an Autumnal themed art exhibition. The creative vibe continued on in to October for their Spooktacular Halloween activities.
Towards the end of the year, they opened their new visiting facilities which enable residents and their loved ones to spend time together, safely and in comfort.
~ “The new visiting facility is really welcoming and comfortable for us to visit our loved ones”. Relative of Orchard House resident. ~
To say a final goodbye to 2020, the team put on a glamourous cocktail party for New Year’s Eve with some traditional games whilst dressed in their best to celebrate the new year and see off the back of 2020!
Starting the New Year off with a bit of good old rock n roll, the home is celebrating Elvis Presley’s Birthday with a themed day of music and activities.
Another exciting event to look forward to in January is the 30th Anniversary of RCH Care Homes. The anniversary will be celebrated throughout January with various activities and events to mark this momentous occasion.
“Throughout the pandemic, everyone has gone above and beyond to ensure the residents at Orchard remained safe. Both our residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed the events and activities that were put on during 2020. Sport, music, the arts and culture were used to create opportunities for joyful moments, laughter, reminiscence and a sense of family community during what has been such dark times for so many. The sense of community we have here amongst not only the residents, but also their loved ones and our team is such a crucial and important part of what makes Orchard House a home. It is this spirt that has gotten us through 2020 and we are determined to make 2021 a year of togetherness with our families and our community at its heart.”