From celebrating milestone birthdays and cultural events to catering for a wide range of interests and hobbies that our residents enjoy; activities calendars have never played such a vital role for our residents at Whitgift Care than during lockdown.

To show commitment and dedication to providing the right level of engaging activities, Whitgift House Activities Organiser, Angela, has completed her NVQ Level 2 in Supporting Activity Provision in Social Care. Here, she talks about why it was so important to obtain this valuable accolade:

“During my NVQ, I realised even more how important activities are for our residents and how they have an enormous impact on their mental well-being and empowering them to make their own decisions which can build self-esteem.  Even just a simple smile and saying, “hello, how are you?”, can make a big difference to residents’ wellbeing.

The NVQ took around 5 months to complete and included taking four modules: Understanding Activity Provision in Social Care, Understanding the Benefits of Engaging Activities, Understanding the Delivery of Activities, and finally, Dementia Awareness. For the last module, I had not realised that there are over one-hundred types of dementia. I learnt that with people who have dementia it is best to talk clearly and slowly so they can understand, and do not give them too many choices as they can get confused.  Be patient, have empathy and go along with what they would like to do.

I find that the residents enjoy the activities the most where they can interact with each other such as an afternoon cream tea or live entertainment. Before lockdown, they particularly enjoyed a picnic lunch at Croydon Minster’s lunchtime recital, as well as a trip out to Zippos Circus.  The activity that gets the most laughs or groans is my singing, although I do not think I sound that bad!

During lockdown, we have taken much time to visit residents who mostly spend time in their rooms. One resident has a poetry book which has a poem for everyday of the year that she enjoys listening too. We have also learned sign language and have signed to a song. We recently bought a photo booth which I cannot wait to try out with the residents!

Since completing the NVQ, it has really helped me in planning and executing the activity programme and has led me to create an evaluation process where residents can provide feedback on a written form so I can plan activities accordingly. It has been so worthwhile that my activities colleague, Ann, is now about to embark on studying for the NVQ.”

About Whitgift Care

Whitgift Care Homes: The Whitgift Almshouses, Whitgift House and Wilhelmina House, are happy, thriving and secure communities where staff are on hand 24 hours a day to provide the highest standards of care. Within Whitgift Care, we like to call ourselves a family where our core values of respect, dignity and privacy are our priority.

To find out more about Whitgift Care and our homes, click here to visit the website.