Meet our Activities Coordinator, Kerrie Ashford

Hello. I’m Kerrie and I joined Elm Bank as the Activities Team Lead in 2021. I am especially interested in mind and soul, providing premium activities with a holistic approach. I plan a programme of events, entertainment and social occasions with a daily choice of things to get involved with. I promote the wellbeing of residents and support our management team in connecting the home with the local community in Kettering. I’ve previously worked as a Care Team Leader in a supported  living setting and in a mental health hospital. I have a degree in animal science and I’m keen to bring animal therapy into Elm Bank, so we have regular visits from PAT Dogs and Animals in Mind, which includes rabbits, guinea pigs, geckos and snakes. We also have visits from Alpacas that we can stroke and feed. We have connections with schools, nurseries, Scouts and Guides who visit us for some intergenerational activities, such as baking, crafts, music or reading books. I also have a level 3 qualification in Counselling Studies, which I use to bring stimulating activities into Elm Bank to promote positive mental wellbeing. I also enjoy creative activities including knitting, crochet,  photography and being in the natural environment.

The four of us in the Activities Team create new activities for residents to enjoy, as well as encouraging people to continue hobbies and interests they had before moving to Elm Bank. When a resident first moves here we meet with them to find out what activities they would like to do. We complete a 'Getting to Know Me' book with each resident to find out about their family, life story, likes and dislikes. We have created mindfulness rooms including a Sea Life Room and a Namaste Room. Our Sea Life Room is where we keep our Magic Table, which projects interactive games, music and sensory videos onto a table, wall or ceiling, for residents to enjoy and engage with. Residents particularly enjoy the sport, garden and animal Magic Table games. In our Namaste Room we have equipment and activities to stimulate the five senses - taste, touch, smell, sound and sight - bringing sensory and physical activities to residents living with dementia in our Blossom Trail community.

We understand that the people we support have passions and interests that could be difficult to pursue after moving into a care home – but that doesn’t mean we don’t encourage them to try! Some hobbies can define a person, so our Activities Coordinators are dedicated to ensuring that everyone we support is able to do what makes them happy to the best of their abilities. Social events are organised with individual tastes in mind and with the idea that residents have the opportunity to try new and exciting things.

Activities and Events Partnerships

As part of our bespoke life-enrichment programmes, we host a number of live virtual events in the home on a regular basis through a number of partnerships with places of interest and world class performance companies

Life at Elm Bank Care Home

Aliens Love Underpants

Today is 'Read a Book Day' and we were delighted to welcome Railway Children Nursery to Elm Bank. They brought their favourite books and we thought Aliens Love Underpants was great!

Our weekly bends and stretches

Today we enjoyed our regular weekly fitness class. Over the last few weeks many of us have seen improvements in our fitness, flexibility and mobility. We look forward to Elena and Bekki's visit every Friday morning - our favourite exercises involve the colourful scarves.

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Music, games and colour on our magic table

We have had Elm Bank's interactive Magic Table out this week and residents have enjoyed playing the piano, making colourful paintings and playing well known games. This activity makes us all feel happy and calm, staff and residents! Visitors are welcome to try it, too.

Family and Childhood Memories

At Elm Bank we have empathy dolls which prompt some fabulous conversations and memories of childhood, family and work with babies and children.

Graduating for big school

Elm Bank recently had a visit from Railway Children Nursery who held their Graduation Rehearsal in front of our residents. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this special journey - we wish you all good luck as you start big school. Keep in touch!

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Meeting some animals

Elm Bank had a visit from Lynn at Animals in Mind who brought a wonderful selection of animals for us to meet and hold including a gecko, giant snails, a hedgehog, guinea pigs, a snake, stick insects, a bearded dragon and tortoises. We look forward to your next visit.