Woodlarks Centre Newsletter
Insight into life at The Woodlarks Centre after all Covid restrictions have been lifted.
Message from Woodlarks.
“Our thanks to everyone who has helped and supported Woodlarks during the Covid-19 outbreak. Pre-Covid, we would regularly send out newsletters/emails which would update you on any achievements or activities Woodlarks has carried out over the month and we wish to start them again in a more regular way and updated as you can see.. We hope you will enjoy reading these newsletters that raise awareness of Woodlarks’ services and show how we always aim to provide the highest quality care.”
Throughout the covid-19 epidemic, Woodlarks were able to remain covid free among its residents. Though after restrictions were lifted, we were hit with a covid outbreak in March 2022. Woodlarks handled the situation by continuing daily testing among our residents and following guidelines from the covid outbreak team. We talked with the outbreak team regularly and held staff meetings whenever there was a change in regulations to ensure we maintained the highest quality care possible for our residents. Woodlarks recovered from the outbreak within 2 weeks. During those 2 weeks, we had to isolate our residents so that no vulnerable residents were exposed and those with Covid did not spread it. During their isolation, the activities team would take arts and crafts, colouring, and puzzles to residents’ rooms so that they could continue doing activities. The day centre also continued the morning and afternoon coffee breaks by taking the drinks to residents’ rooms. Both before and after the outbreak our staff worked hard to make sure that all our residents were safe from Covid and gave the necessary support when they tested positive
In 2022 more and more restrictions were lifted and by the 30th of August it was no longer mandatory for care homes to do weekly testing however all of our staff must have 2 LFT boxes at their homes at all times so if they do display symptoms they can test themselves prior to attending at work. (mandatory by law).
Another policy woodlarks have lifted is our mask policy. After a request from the residents and a risk assessment it was decided that staff and visitors would be no longer required to wear masks . This did not apply when carrying out personal care. The new policy was put in place on October 10th. Staff were required to sign the risk assessment so that they are aware of any threats not wearing masks will bring. After all staff took off their masks it was a very emotional day for our residents as this was the first time in over a year that they saw our staff’s faces and got to see the people they talked to every day. For many of our residents, it was the first time they saw another person’s face outside their fellow residents, since the lockdown began. I don’t know about you but the masks made it difficult to understand what people were saying and clearly smiles were missed.
On June 20th we held a Jubilee party in the front car park. Many residents’ family and friends attended to eat food, take photos and interact with each other. Our activities manager set up a photo frame that guests could stand in and take a photo of themselves and arranged for some singers to come to perform to liven up the party even more. Our caterer made lots of food for everyone to eat that we kept in the POD to ensure that no bugs could get on it. We also asked for cake donations. Thank you so much to everyone who brought a cake along. There was so much cake that it was enjoyed all week.
Leading up to the jubilee residents took part in different types of activities, for example, they all made a section of a mosaic on paper, and once it was all put together, it made a photo of the Queen. Another activity all our residents took part in was they each decorated a square of paper that made a lovely art piece once it was all put together. The activities team also made paper chains to go around the building and worked together to complete the photo frame.
Woodlarks would like to extend our thanks to the Farnham Arts Society who donated £200 to Woodlarks to fund our project of buying a jubilee tree and to use it for any other jubilee-related activities.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters . This year we received a £5000 donation from Bill Meir trust. We also received a donation from an anonymous person which totalled £5000. Going into the new year we plan on using donations to plan outings for our residents as we are no longer bound by Covid there are a lot more opportunities to take the residents somewhere nice and to do activities they will all enjoy.
This year our residents had the opportunity to attend sailability at Frensham Pond. Every Thursday and Saturday 3-4 residents would have the opportunity to go sailing. We made sure that we put residents on a rota so that everyone had the opportunity to try. After Lockdown restrictions were lifted residents were eager to go out and sailability allowed them to see other people and try new experiences. When each resident went for the first time one of day residents is a seasoned sailor at Sailability and was very helpful with helping them settle in and guiding them on what to do. We plan to take them again next year once Sailability season opens again for the spring.
Earlier this year Lady Tindle who is responsible for the charity shop in Downing Street Farnham kindly chose as their charity of the year. Lady Tindle will raise up to £1000 for a charity then donate it and move on to helping the next charity. With their donation, we were able to invest in getting a defibrillator put on the front of the building so that if Woodlarks ever needed it was there. It is also on “the Circuit”. Woodlarks linked our defibrillator to the circuit which is an online platform used by emergency services to locate where the nearest defibrillator is. The circuit will also let us know if the defibrillator has been used and will update us when pads need to be changed.
In October of this year, our new activities team arranged a Halloween party for all residents. Residents had the choice to dress up, and staff would help them purchase costumes if they wanted one. In preparation for Halloween, the day centre made a range of decorations from pumpkins to paper black cats. Activities also took on the task of hanging orange and purple fairy lights in the dining room and putting some handmade ghosts around Woodlarks.
The activities team made gift bags with different types of sweets and chocolate to hand out to the residents. Any extra bags were handed out to residents’ family members that came to the party.
During October one of our residents got the chance to go on holiday. The holiday lasted 5 days and was packed with different types of activities for them to enjoy.
The resident was able to travel down the country and visit Longleat Zoo which has been on their bucket list for quite some time. At Longleat they had the opportunity to see many species of animals, while in the area they also visited the Hawk Sanctuary and Monkey World. Their holiday was packed with many activities the resident had chosen to do and we were happy to accommodate their needs throughout the holiday.
We would also like to thank the staff who took helped out and planned the holiday.
At Christmas time the residents were invited to Woodlarks Campsite and visited the Christmas Grotto. Many residents were eager to go and staff made sure to give all residents the opportunity to attend.
The Grotto was fully decorated and everyone got the opportunity to talk with Santa. Sarah & Nick very generously arranged for each of our residents to have a £10 gift token. We thank the campsite for inviting Woodlarks to visit the grotto and gifting the residents presents on their way back.
Party at Parkside
Two of our residents were able to attend a Christmas party held at Parkside as it was the last day of them being open until the new year. The Party took place in the evening with one of our staff attendedwith them. Both residents seemed to enjoy their last day of term at Parkside in 2022
Woodlarks recently had the opportunity to have some farm animals visit. Everyone had the chance to pet donkey, piglets, sheep and goats taking turns in small groups, so they did not alarm the animals. The animals were all very friendly and some of the residents got the opportunity to feed some of the farm animals as well which they all seem to enjoy.
Woodlarks new friends
This year woodlarks got 2 new rabbits for our residents. The residents got together and decided to name them Cream and Ginger. The residents seem to take on the task of looking after the rabbits very seriously and would ask the activities coordinator what type of food they can eat and how often they would need to be cleaned. They all took on the chance to hold and pet the rabbits. Both rabbits have been vaccinated in October to make sure that they stayed healthy. The residents all seem happy with their new furry friends, and they have been a great addition to the Woodlarks family.
Over the summer of 2022, some of our residents got the chance to take courses at Farnham college. The college stayed in regular contact with us and we hope we can continue the courses in the new year. Some of the courses were cut short due to one of the teachers leaving so we are waiting to hear from them about their replacement. Once they have got a new teacher those courses can start back up again.
In 2022 we held an open coffee morning. We wanted to invite all the Friends, Families and Volunteers to share a small buffet with us. We also used this opportunity to have a min Christmas Fair where we sold items that the residents had made.
At this years Christmas fair we introduced our new card machines which the money to purchase had been kindly donated by the Rotary Club of Farnham Weyside, this allowed visitors and residents to pay by card if they so wished or they were still able to pay by cash.
Leading up to the Christmas fair residents spent a couple weeks creating tea light holders, cards, Christmas decorations and more. The activities team also cooked some gingerbread men to decorate and sell at the fair.
The fair lasted from 11am to 2pm and we were able to raise a total of £463.13 from both card and cash payments. We aim to use this money to invest back into the activity centre by asking resident what activities they would like do going forward in the next residents meeting.
Donations to Ukraine
In 2022 Woodlarks donated some of our spare out of date PPE to Ukraine to help them through these hard times. We hope our donation can help them in any way possible and that we can continue to support however we can.
Woodlarks would also like to extend our thanks to anyone who donated to Woodlarks with items such as a tapestry wall for the residents to have a go at or to residents family members who donated stationery and office chairs. This year we have had many useful donations and we are very thankful to everyone’s help over the year. We hope that in 2023 we can continue to provide our residents with the highest quality care and to provide all of you with these newsletters more frequently.
Thank you, Woodlarks