As the true extent of the crisis started to emerge and lockdown seemed imminent, we realised how seriously this would impact on many of our Community Outreach service-users. The social, creative, physical and spiritual activities we provide, have helped dramatically reduce social isolation among our users. It had taken great courage for many of our attendees to come along to our sessions, we couldn't just close up shop and leave them stranded, we had to do something.
So, since the start of lockdown, our dedicated Community Outreach team have been producing a weekly newsletter, Activities Remotely, comprising a comprehensive guide of projects, interactive exercises, podcasts, games and much more. It also features advice on how to keep in touch with friends and family, technological support and how to use the most reliable news outlets. In addition, the team provide weekly updates on local shops, restaurants and suppliers offering delivery services.
Some of the feedback we have received includes:
“Wow, that’s amazing. The Community Outreach team have been working hard to keep everyone engaged in activities during this difficult time, brilliant!”
“This is truly brilliant, I am choked. I can see the Community Outreach team (Superstars) have been working really hard to pull this together in such a short space of time. I am sure all users will greatly appreciate this support. Such a varied programme. I will certainly dip into the exercise classes and my sister wants to join in too”.
You can click this link to view the most recent version of Activities Remotely, and please share with anyone that you feel would also benefit.
Clap for our Carers
As is the familiar sight now throughout the land, residents at both our Chapel Court and Combe Park sites, come out on a Thursday night to applaud both the NHS and our carers. It has been heartening to see the banners and flags, specifically thanking St John's.
We would like to share this anecdote which makes us extremely proud - one of our residents is, sadly, suffering from Motor Neuron Disease and, due to his condition, is left unable to speak. Cindy, our Team Leader for the Independent Living Service, and other members of our service, have been visiting him regularly during this difficult time to ensure that he is ok.
On one of Cindy’s visits, she asked whether she could do anything for him and he put his thumbs up to indicate that he was ok and didn’t need anything.
As Cindy began to walk away, the resident stood at his door and started clapping loudly for her, a non-verbal, heartfelt sign of his appreciation of her kindness and hard work.
To support #ClapforCarers and NHS Charities Together - head to: www.nhscharitiestogether.co.uk/
To support our residents during this challenging and potentially isolating time, staff at St John’s have been going the extra mile to make sure that our residents have access to everything they need, such as medicines and food and that no-one feels isolated or lonely.
In addition to our Independent Living Service operating its usual 24-hour care system (in line with government guidance on PPE and social distancing), members of the wider workforce have also been offering their time to volunteer for our residents:
We now have a group of staff who are making regular food-shopping trips, armed with residents' lists and collecting prescriptions.
We have also introduced a befriending service, where staff make daily phone calls to residents who have opted to receive them. Self-isolating shouldn't mean that you have to feel isolated and, given many of our residents do live alone, the daily phone calls provide a conversation, where they may have had no other interaction that day.
The benefits of the befriending phone calls are reciprocal, with the majority of our staff home-working, they too can feel isolated. Many staff have reported feeling happier that they are able to help in such a meaningful way and that they look forward to speaking to their designated residents each day.
Well done, Team St John's!
The BaNES community answers the call for PPE
Although we cannot physically be together as a community, the sense of connection and support for one another has never been stronger. A perfect example of this is the way in which local organisations and businesses have responded to the PPE shortage. Right now, here in Bath & North East Somerset, there are hundreds of people, many of whom are volunteers, working tirelessly to produce the vital PPE that our NHS staff and other frontline care workers desperately need.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in this awesome effort.
- Hayesfield Girls’ School
- Herman Miller
- King Edward’s School (read more here)
- Mitchell Eley Gould Architects
- Monkton Combe School
- Prior Park School
- Scrubs for the NHS Bath
- Share Repair Bath
- Studio Davis
- University of Bath
If your business has surplus PPE because your daily operations are on hold, the official email address to contact is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Foldall at King Edward's School. Photo credit: Andrew Lloyd.
BA1 radio launches ‘The Daily Good’ show to celebrate positive community action in Bath
Bath’s non-profit community radio station, BA1 Radio, is bringing residents a dose of good news via their new show ‘The Daily Good’. Hosted by local lifestyle blogger Sarah Baker, The Daily Good focusses on positive initiatives across the city. From the charity sector to small local businesses, Sarah shines a spotlight on the remarkable work going on. Sarah said,
‘‘Local radio is more relevant than ever and giving Bathonians a voice feels extremely important. Right now, Bath is awash with good deeds and community initiatives, so sharing this with the city is a huge privilege. It has made me feel emotional too, hearing the efforts people go to so they can support others.”
BA1 was set-up last year to train and educate people in radio broadcasting. There are 35 volunteers broadcasting 12 hours of shows every weekday, and due to lockdown, they are doing so directly from their homes. With four times the number of listeners now tuning in, each member of the BA1 team is working incredibly hard to keep the local community informed and entertained. If you can support BA1 Radio, please head over to their website to donate or find out more about sponsorship opportunities: https://ba1.radio/sponsorship/
Local foodie businesses transform to support our NHS and frontline care staff.
Thoughtful Bread Bakery, Eveleigh’s Catering, The Mint Room, Yak Yeti Yak and Homewood House are just some of the local foodie businesses, who in addition to rustling up delicious food for collection/delivery, are raising funds for the RUH and/or providing delicious free meals to RUH staff and other local charities.
"The whole rationale was to make the life of frontline staff as easy as possible. If we could take out some of the worry of the basics then they could get on with treating people. We wanted to help them help others." Jimmy Eveleigh - Eveleigh's Catering
"In sometimes the most difficult of times you see the most generous gestures made and I am hugely moved by the contributions the generous Bath people are making to a covid-19 fund we have started, which to date means we will be able to supply over 375 meals to the RUH front line staff." Duncan Glendinning - Thoughtful Bread
To offer your support to their fundraising campaigns or to discover which local independent foodies are open collection/delivery, check out the latest Pig Guide feature and the 3SG Sustainable Food Partnership List here.