Community spirit has shone through now, more than ever, across Whitgift Care. Our staff have gone the extra mile to support our residents throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Whether it was keeping morale up through activities, supporting residents to keep in touch with their families remotely or just continuing the high standards of care, staff have displayed tremendous dedication. In turn, our residents have also shown great determination and resilience during the past months.
Keeping in touch
As visitors were prohibited from visiting our homes, Whitgift Care staff arranged regular video calls between residents and their families. We were grateful to the Jagclif Charitable Trust who donated several tablet devices to keep-up with demand. This became a real lifeline for residents and their loved-ones and you can see the importance and the effect of these calls in the photo of our Wilhelmina House resident, Valerie, who enjoyed a special moment with her family (and their dog).
Students at John Whitgift Foundation’s three schools, Old Palace, Trinity and Whitgift used a more established form of communicating with residents when they started a pen pal project. Pupils and residents alike shared a little bit about their lives and their experiences during the lockdown, which was an incredibly rewarding process for all involved.
Activities during lockdown
These past few months have really been extraordinary and so it was even more important to try and keep life as normal as possible. Staff made sure to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions wherever possible, and so we held birthday parties, quizzes and other activities including celebrating VE Day with a day of sing-a-longs and afternoon tea.
While Whitgift Care was closed to visitors, a couple of small four-legged friends were allowed in - two guinea pigs called Laurel and Hardy. These furry distractions were spoilt rotten by residents and staff when they visited Whitgift House.
One of the positives factors of living through lockdown is that our homes became hives of creativity. Residents produced PPE in the form of scrubs for key workers and one resident used the time to write a touching and reflective poem. You can read the poem here. We also took advantage of the sunny weather with staff hosting outdoor dance classes for residents, and for those interested in cultivating their green fingers, staff organised a sunflower growing competition.
The efforts of our Whitgift Care staff were recognised in a recent message of thanks from Martin Corney, Chief Executive of the John Whitgift Foundation. Speaking via video message Martin said: “On behalf of the John Whitgift Foundation Office staff, we would like to thank you for your tireless hard work, and your compassion and dedication during the coronavirus pandemic. We know the past few weeks have not been easy but it is thanks to you that our residents continue to receive exceptional care...Thank you so much for what you have been doing.”
As we begin to ease out of lockdown measures, we would like to thank our staff, our residents, and their families for all the support and understanding over the past few months.
If you are considering care for yourself or a loved one, Whitgift Care is a place you can call home.