Inspiring examples of good practice complete with the contact details of those who are making the difference! Please share your examples of community engagement with us.

Woodlands for Ladies – Colchester

Woodlands have links to their local senior schools; they have 2 or 3 students who come into Woodlands over a 12 week period, every week. These students are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award. The students spend time with the residents undertaking various activities that will relate to their award. This has proved to be very successful and has been in place for the last 3 years and Julie expects it carry on for the foreseeable future.

Julie Wells, Care Home Manager

Loughton Hall – Loughton

Since 2012 Loughton Hall residents have been having monthly Art Classes. 6 residents have moved on to using oils and canvas and the culmination of this has been that their art work has been displayed as part of the Loughton festival. Loughton Hall, have links to their local library where the residents’ art work is displayed for the community to see.

Ronna Gummer, Care Home Manager

Down Hall Residential Home - Southminster

Down Hall have a Monthly Luncheon Club visiting the Home. This started after Down Hall placed an advert in the local village shop inviting local people to use the vacant space they had at the front of the Care Home. The hope was that, this would increase the opportunities for residents to engage with the community. 18 months on, and a number of Club members are visiting weekly to help residents with activities, and several residents have joined the luncheon club.

Karen Johnson, Care Home Manager

Woodbury Care home – Laindon

Woodbury Care home works in partnership with TRANSITIONS Essex, who come into their care home on a regular basis to teach art to the residents. Amanda, the artist, works as a tutor, guiding and helping residents with their art work. The residents’ work is going to be displayed in an art gallery in the home. The best piece of art work will be chosen by TRANSITINS and displayed in a shop in Harlow.

Mel Oliver, Care Home Manager

Broomhills Care Home - Rochford

Broomhills care home have created a good relationship with their local Boat yard i.e. Sutton Wharf. The owner; Peter Carter has donated a boat and other materials to enable the home to create a Nautical theme in their garden. They have built such a great relationship that his staff that the boat yard regularly bring items over to the home and place in them in the garden for residents to enjoy.

Leigh’anne Cowling, Care Home Manager

Elizabeth House Care Home – Benfleet

Elizabeth House has built links with all the different churches in their local community, and every week, faith groups from all denominations come to pray with those residents who have requested this spiritual uplift. Residents also enjoy music from the Salvation Army who regularly visits the home. One of the visitors to the home takes part in Scottish Dancing, and now residents and staff enjoy regular Scottish Dancing.

Joanne Kemp, Care Home Manager

Oakdale Care Home - Benfleet

Oakdale has formed strong bonds with their local college i.e. Seevic College Hadleigh who come into the home regularly, bringing young and old together. Seevic students interact with the residents, learning from them as they record life histories. Oakdale also have links with St John’s, their local primary school. The children from year 2 come into the home and enjoy gardening and other activities with the residents.

Melaine Rickett, Care Home Manager

Windle Court – Castle Point Rochford

Windle Courtran an advertisement in their local magazine for volunteers and have been extremely successful in recruiting them. One of the volunteers runs a book club every week, another runs an art & craft club on a weekly basis. They have such good links with their local community that their local garden centre donated £400.00 along with some plants and shrubs to the home’s gardening club.

Laura Glyde, Care Home Manager

Silverpoint Court – Rochford

Silverpoint Courthasestablished good links with their local school, but it has proved difficult for the school children to get to the care home, so the residents have decided to make regular visits to spend time with the children in their school environment. Residents at Silverpoint Court also enjoy weekly visits from St Nicholas Parish Choir.

Raj Chahal, Care Home Manager

Swan Residential Care Home – Castle Point

Residents from Swan Residential Care Home welcome local people into their home by having Open Coffee Mornings on a regular weekly basis. This hospitality is returned by the local community as residents are invited to attend the local Wednesday Club. This club was formed by a group of people from the local village with the sole intention of bringing villagers of all ages together to share coffee and conversation – a great opportunity for residents to hear local news and enjoy the company and companionship of the wider village community.

Joyce Banning, Care Home Manager

Gifford House, Basildon

Hearing that the Essex and Suffolk Water Board were offering grants for community projects, Gifford House approached them and were delighted when they received funding for some Raised Flowerbeds which will allow residents to tend to the garden with without having to bend down. Essex and Suffolk Water Board not only provided the funding for the flowers, they also provided the work force. Residents are delighted.

Sue Hutchinson, Care Home Manager

Milton Lodge, Colchester

Residents from Milton Lodge enjoy a regular monthly Tea Party with the primary school children from St John’s C of E school. The children love the opportunity to serve their guests tea and cakes and benefit from the ‘living history’ lessons their visitors provide as they reminisce and recall their own school days. Residents take great pleasure in the company of the youngsters and enjoy the opportunity of going back to school.

Trudi Snee, Care Home Manager

Glengariff Care Home, Clacton

HELPING HANDS is a group of volunteers from Glengariff’s local parish church who enjoy engaging with residents from the home. The volunteers take pleasure in reading, playing cards and socialising with residents as well as helping with the garden fete and assisting some of the residents in getting to Church. The local WI club have their regular meetings at Glengariff’s and enjoy using the grounds of Home to hold their garden party.

Janet Lloyd, Care Home Manager

Delamer House, Walton on the Naze

Delamer offer a facility to the local community they call ‘Care for Christmas’. Local people are invited to nominate an older person living in the community, usually someone who would be without family of visitors over the 3 day Christmas period, to come and enjoy the facilities of the Home over the festive season. If Delamer has a spare bed, the older person is welcome to stay free of charge. Delamer residents enjoy access to weekly church services and Nuns from the local Convent come and socialise with residents on a regular basis.

Julie Curtis, Care Home Manager

Loughton Hall – Loughton

E17 is a local Theatre Group that visits Loughton Hall and gives performances, free of charge, to residents and staff. Loughton Hall also welcomes talented volunteers who go into the Home twice a week to play the keyboard for residents. The ‘arts’ theme continues in the Home as some residents enjoy working alongside a local artist who visits once a week – the residents’ artwork is then displayed in the local library.

Ronna Gummer, Care Home Manager

Heron Court – Shenfield

Shenfield school choir regularly come and sing for residents at Heron Court, and residents from the Home have been invited to Shenfield school to take part in their morning assembilies. Many residents from the Home also enjoy the church services given by the local clergy who visit regularly.

Debbie Doyle, Care Home Manager

Seven Arches – Brentwood

Brentwood junior school visit Seven Arches every Friday to talk with residents and to read to them. Residents are invited to the school to enjoy tea with the children; the event is so popular that it is recorded in the ‘Schools Book’ a very important record for the school similar to a diary of events.

Ramil Camargo, Care Home Manager

Oaklands - Laindon

Oaklands opens their doors to the local community by having a free Coffee Morning once every two months. They transform their dining area into a cafe style room where the residents and local community get together for chats. This event brings together young and old as everyone is welcome.

Obafemi Shoyombo, Care Home Manager

Tara Residential Home – Brentwood

Tara Residential Home has made friends with their neighbours, several of whom come into the Home bringing home grown fruit and vegetables for residents to enjoy. The neighbours stop and chat and recently invited residents to join in with a street party. The local Church supports residents in the Home by organising taxis to take them to church services and other church events that might interest them.

Sookarry Chandanee

The Squirrels – Brentwood

Residents from The Squirrels have the opportunity to experiment with flower arranging thanks to the help of their local florist and Marks & Spencer. When flowers are reaching their ‘sell by’ date but have plenty of life left in them, they are offered to the Home and residents work with the florist to create and enjoy some masterpieces.

Robert Eagleton, Care Home Manager