Puzzles, pampering and a lockdown party

02 Jul 2020

We’ve all needed a little help at times to get through lockdown - and it's come in a variety of forms.

We’ve made new friends who have donated Easter eggs, puzzle booksmobile phones and new clothes to some of our supported living customers, while our care workers were boosted by surprise deliveries of anything from hand cream to cup cakes.

At our senior living schemes, staff piled ‘em high to keep residents stocked up on their favourite groceries and entertained many who were missing family visits with pamper packages, gardening clubs or Father’s Day mini golf, where they designed, created and played the course themselves.

There was plenty of food, music, talks and films to mark other big occasions, like Eid, Easter, Windrush Day and VE Day. And there was no chance that lockdown would stop Protheroe House in Tottenham hosting a party for resident Imogene’s 102nd birthday. The residents came out on their balconies, family members stood apart in the garden below, Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday rang out from the speakers and everybody danced along – especially Imogene.

Sew far, so good

Elsewhere, individuals have stepped up to help others. Like Isle of Dogs resident Maium Miah Takukdar who orchestrated the delivery of more than 2,000 meals during lockdown to 150+ elderly neighbours, cut off from their relatives and usual support.

While another resident got out her sewing machine and turned cotton sheets into laundry bags for NHS scrubs in response to a television appeal.

Technology has helped keep us working and socialising throughout lockdown, while enabling us to deliver services in new ways.

Our youth clubs closed, but young residents have been making marble runs, robots and collages at our virtual arts and craft sessions.

School’s been out for most, but we’ve been giving some of our younger Tower Hamlets residents free tutoring sessions online at a time when they most need it.

And when the art workshops closed at our Arlingon hostel, creativity didn’t stop. Regulars from homeless schemes across Camden have carried on creating and sharing their work at weekly, artist-led online sessions run by SPACE studios.

Virtually speaking

Crucially, our community safety team has continued to give support, advice and referrals to those who need it via phone, video and email, rather than face-to-face.

And one-to-one, group and peer support sessions have carried on for those accessing Inspired Westminster – our personality disorder services that help people develop life management skills.

Despite all the gloom, there have been opportunities to smile together. We won’t forget the time our frontline carers in Bedfordshire were joined by the local fire brigades at the weekly clap to show mutual appreciation.

And we don’t readily pass up the chance to be a bit silly. What do you do when you’re sent fancy socks as a thank you from the families of loved ones in your care? Well the team at our Baycroft Great Baddow carehome decided to put on a show.