All posts by Pamela Johnston

July Newsletter

Our latest newsletter for July is here featuring news and events at both The Grove and Castle Farm. Read about the visit from a very cute pirate and musical happenings as well as upcoming events for the month of July.

Our latest newsletter for July is here featuring news and events at both The Grove and Castle Farm. Read about the visit from a very cute pirate and musical happenings as well as upcoming events for the month of July.

Volunteering with Abbeyfield

Lynda has been running craft and quiz sessions at Castle Farm and the Grove for over a year now.  The sessions are really popular and have become ‘craft and crack’ as well as craft and quiz sessions – a good opportunity for the residents to meet and socialise. ‘When I first started volunteering at Abbeyfield … Continue reading Volunteering with Abbeyfield

Lynda has been running craft and quiz sessions at Castle Farm and the Grove for over a year now.  The sessions are really popular and have become ‘craft and crack’ as well as craft and quiz sessions – a good opportunity for the residents to meet and socialise.

‘When I first started volunteering at Abbeyfield I asked what people would want. The residents said they wouldn’t mind doing some crafts.  And so, because I used to be a Girl Guide, I brought the crafts along and adapted the activities for older people.

What I like volunteering at Abbeyfield is the mix of people.  I was used to doing volunteering with children, so it took me a while to get used to older people and also people with a bit of memory loss.  You get to adapt, and then once you get to know how people’s minds are working and how people are mobility wise you can adapt a craft and it works out ok. 

 The advice I would give to people who are thinking about volunteering is – think about what you have to offer, think about how what you can offer can be adapted for older people, and don’t be put off by coming out of your own comfort zone. My comfort zone was children, and I’ve come out of that comfort zone big time! It’s been a challenge for me, but it least it now means I can work with young, old and different abilities. Come out your comfort zone and challenge yourself!’.

Volunteer Annabel’s Story

Annabel had been volunteering for us at Castle Farm for the last few months.  She started by helping to run the monthly Beetle Drive sessions, and she also now comes in to visit two of our residents one evening a week. Annabel enjoys just having a chat and getting to know the residents better: “It’s … Continue reading Volunteer Annabel’s Story

Annabel had been volunteering for us at Castle Farm for the last few months.  She started by helping to run the monthly Beetle Drive sessions, and she also now comes in to visit two of our residents one evening a week.

Annabel enjoys just having a chat and getting to know the residents better: “It’s a really nice thing to do because people can get lonely sometimes so it’s nice to have a visitor.”

Volunteering at Abbeyfield has helped Annabel improve her confidence; “ It’s is a really good opportunity to increase my confidence as I can be quite shy sometimes.  It’s quite interesting having the opportunity to talk to people that I would not normally have the opportunity to talk to. It’s very interesting talking to older people.”

Annabel would definitely recommend volunteering to other young people: “I would say definitely sign up to volunteering as it is really benefits you, even if it’s just for a small amount of time, you can make a really big difference too.”

“Everyone at Abbeyfield is really warm and welcoming and it’s a really nice place.  And the residents are very nice too!”

 

Trip to the Palace

The 22nd May 2018 was a red-letter day for Anne Smith who is a member of our Grove House Committee. Anne received an invitation to celebrate Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales’s, 70th Birthday at Buckingham Palace. Along with members of other organisations of which he is a patron, Anne spent an unforgettable afternoon attending … Continue reading Trip to the Palace

The 22nd May 2018 was a red-letter day for Anne Smith who is a member of our Grove House Committee. Anne received an invitation to celebrate Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales’s, 70th Birthday at Buckingham Palace. Along with members of other organisations of which he is a patron, Anne spent an unforgettable afternoon attending a Royal Garden Party. To make it even more of an occasion, it was Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’s, first official engagement since her marriage to Prince Harry. ‘It was such a surprise and honour to be invited’ says Anne, who has volunteered with Abbeyfield since Oct 2000.

As well as sitting on The Grove House Committee, Anne is a regular visitor to the home, spending time with our residents whether joining in activities or, just as importantly, having a cup of tea and a chat.

National Volunteers Week

To mark National Volunteers Week 2017, we thought we’d profile just a couple of our wonderful volunteers here at Abbeyfield Newcastle. Paula has been with us as a volunteer since earlier this year, and she runs our Film Club at The Grove where residents can come and watch a film, enjoy some refreshments, and have … Continue reading National Volunteers Week

To mark National Volunteers Week 2017, we thought we’d profile just a couple of our wonderful volunteers here at Abbeyfield Newcastle.

Paula has been with us as a volunteer since earlier this year, and she runs our Film Club at The Grove where residents can come and watch a film, enjoy some refreshments, and have a film post-show discussion.

“I answered your advert looking for Volunteer for Film Club” says Paula, “and, to be honest, I think the ad really made the difference as it wasn’t something that I would have thought about doing, but the role really appealed to me.”  When Paula was little she would often visit older people’s homes with her mum who is a care nurse, and she used to love meeting older people and hearing their life stories.  “The residents are really fascinating” she says, “I love hearing their stories, that’s really important.”

Paula is a film academic who is excited about sharing the cinema experience with our residents, and how it can be both mentally stimulating and enjoyable.  She’s looking forward to working with residents as they begin to programme for the film club themselves, trying out new films including the classics, but also short films and documentaries.  The film club volunteer role came at a real turning point for Paula: “It’s a two-way process: as the residents get something out of it I very much get something out of it too.”

Wilf has been with us as a volunteer since earlier this year, and he helps out in the garden at The Grove. He helps Helios our gardener with keeping our garden in shape, mowing the lawing, watering the plants and making compost.

“It’s lovely here” says Wilf, “the people are really nice and I enjoy talking to older people and their stories. They’ve lived their lives and you can learn a lot from them.”

Wilf started volunteering just to get out of the house. “I enjoy helping people and I would like to work in care.  When you come here the residents are interested in life.”

Watch this space for more volunteering at Abbeyfield Newcastle stories at both The Grove and Castle Farm.

 

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Last week 25 residents, staff and volunteers from our three homes took a trip to Beamish  Open Air Museum. The trip coincided with Dementia Awareness Week and Abbeyfield had arranged with the museum to exhibit Abbeyfield residents’ Golden Moments art work and bunting. In advance of the trip residents had taken part in a project, … Continue reading A Trip Down Memory Lane

Abbeyfield newcastle care residents visit Beamish

Last week 25 residents, staff and volunteers from our three homes took a trip to Beamish  Open Air Museum. The trip coincided with Dementia Awareness Week and Abbeyfield had arranged with the museum to exhibit Abbeyfield residents’ Golden Moments art work and bunting.

In advance of the trip residents had taken part in a project, making bunting from images and items from the past ranging from knitting patterns to pieces of material. The bunting brought back many happy memories and provided an opportunity share these with others. Once completed, the bunting was then used to decorate the School House where it was displayed along the length of the corridor.   One classroom was turned into a gallery displaying residents Golden Moments art works and Grove resident Mrs Spoor provided two of her paintings. Abbeyfield residents are very talented.

Individual picnics were supplied by The Grove chef and were enjoyed at long tables reminiscent of a school dinner hall. Although, some couldn’t resist the fish and chips eaten out of newspaper.

After lunch we headed off to the Band Hall where we enjoyed a sing-a-long with children from Ryhope Primary school.  Enjoying old classics like ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ and ‘Pack up your troubles’, providing accompaniment with drums, tambourines and maracas!

Despite a little rain a we all had a lovely day out that we just didn’t want to end, though even that became fun for some of us by taking the vintage bus or the tram to our own coach while others enjoying a leisurely stroll.

As we arrived home to Abbeyfield there was a feeling of satisfied weariness all round, a lovely day having been had by all!

Halloween Spookiness

Residents and staff at our Grove Care Home enjoyed a ghostly evening to celebrate Halloween. As the sun went down the home took on an eerie atmosphere.  The lights were dimmed and ghosts appeared, with a little help from our resident witches. A few hours later, as day broke, all was calm again except for the faint … Continue reading Halloween Spookiness

Halloween party with care home residents and staff
Residents and staff at our Grove Care Home enjoyed a ghostly evening to celebrate Halloween. As the sun went down the home took on an eerie atmosphere.  The lights were dimmed and ghosts appeared, with a little help from our resident witches. A few hours later, as day broke, all was calm again except for the faint sound of a witches cackle……..

Abbeyfield Newsletter Issue 2

Keep up to date with what is happening across Abbeyfield Newcastle with our latest newsletter.  Our October edition is available here. If you want to receive it via e-mail please ask to be added to our mailing list via p.johnston@abbeyfieldnewcastle.org.uk

Abbeyfield Newcastle newsletter issue 2

Keep up to date with what is happening across Abbeyfield Newcastle with our latest newsletter.  Our October edition is available here. If you want to receive it via e-mail please ask to be added to our mailing list via p.johnston@abbeyfieldnewcastle.org.uk

A Trip to the Weeping Window at Woodhorn

A group of residents from our Castle Farm and Grove houses enjoyed a trip to see the Weeping Window at Woodhorn Museum. The iconic sculpture of red, ceramic poppies which were first seen at the Tower of London last year to mark the centenary since the outbreak of WWI is now on a UK tour. … Continue reading A Trip to the Weeping Window at Woodhorn

A group of residents from our Castle Farm and Grove houses enjoyed a trip to see the Weeping Window at Woodhorn Museum.

The Grove residents at Woodhorn

The iconic sculpture of red, ceramic poppies which were first seen at the Tower of London last year to mark the centenary since the outbreak of WWI is now on a UK tour. When we heard they were coming to Northumberland we jumped at the chance of taking our residents to see them.

By far one of our most popular outings to date, 15 residents signed up to come with us and not even the wet weather could dampen the breath-taking beauty of the sculptures.

For some, it provided a chance to remember people they had known who had been involved in the great wars and for others an opportunity to see something first hand that had captivated audiences form around the world.

We also went to see the permanent exhibition which depicts life amongst the mining community in Ashington in the mid 20th Century, which evoked lots of memories amongst some of our residents and certainly gave way to some good discussion.

Needless to say, we found time to visit the café…… no trip out would be complete without a nice cup of tea!

The poppies will be at Woodhorn until the 1st November 2015 before heading off to another location before finally being gifted to the Imperial War Museum.

 

 

 

A Summer Party to Celebrate Life at Abbeyfield

Residents, friends and family from our three houses got together for our annual summer party and, although breezy, thankfully the weather was on our side. It was a great opportunity for old friends to catch up over a refreshing fruit punch and for the important people in our residents’ lives to get together and celebrate … Continue reading A Summer Party to Celebrate Life at Abbeyfield

Old Friends

Residents, friends and family from our three houses got together for our annual summer party and, although breezy, thankfully the weather was on our side.

Catch up

It was a great opportunity for old friends to catch up over a refreshing fruit punch and for the important people in our residents’ lives to get together and celebrate the Abbeyfield way of life.

The musical entertainment was provided by the Attic Band in our lounge whilst everyone enjoyed the lovely cocktails followed by a delicious afternoon tea baked by our talented chefs.

Long service Award

As part of our afternoon celebration John Connelly our CEO, together with Vee Wilkinson one of our volunteer Executive Committee members, presented a Long Service Award to Kath Brown. As many of you know Kath is the manager of our Grove house but you may not know she has been with us for 30 years – doesn’t time fly Kath!

We are so fortunate at Abbeyfield Newcastle for having such a committed team of staff and volunteers who go the extra mile to make a real difference to the lives of our residents.