Meet our Activities Coordinator, Gemma Birch
Hi, my name is Gemma and I am the Activities Coordinator here at Hilderstone Hall.
I am 27 years old, when I left college (where I trained for 3 years to be a chef straight from school), I perused my career for 6 years as a cook at Staffordshire police, until I went on to work in mental health, with Autism being a huge part of my career in adults and children. I have always been so passionate about wanting to make people happy in their lives.
I came to Hilderstone in 2017 as a carer, mainly specialising in dementia, memory lane. I finished my NVQ2 in health and social care here also. I have built many fantastic relationships with all our residents over the 18 months, so to have the opportunity as an activities coordinator gives me great hope for my exciting future ahead with the residents here.
Activities at Hilderstone Hall
Our activities team are, first and foremost, devoted to each and every resident in the home, and strive to ensure that their interests, hobbies, capabilities and individual requests are met to the highest standard. This could include one-to-one chats, hand massages, reading, music therapy, flower arranging, movement to music, arts & crafts, gardening and baking. We also have regular fun, adventurous and stimulating trips, where we encourage families and loved ones to join us. We have close links with the Alzheimer's Society, the local primary school, and Trinity Skills who come to sing with residents. All the staff at Hilderstone Hall participate in activities with residents, offering encouragement, stimulation and interaction for everyone involved, providing the most fulfilling experience possible.
Life at Hilderstone Hall Care Home
Burns night capers at Hilderstone
Hilderstone Hall care home prepared a traditional Burns Night Supper to the tune of bagpipes and capers continued well into the wee small hours! Staff, residents and relatives at the home were involved in a number of activities to mark the Scottish institution, including giving the time-honoured address to the ‘Great chieftain O’ the pudding’ race’ – the Haggis. It was a lovely afternoon, after all the weeks of hard work put in to making decorations, it was nice to see it all come together nicely, as we raised a glass of whiskey to celebrate afterwards. General Manager, Elizabeth Walsh said “I thought it was a perfect occasion to celebrate an evening steeped in age-old tradition as well as getting in a spot of Scotch whisky tasting, accompanied bagpiper, Ian to singing a medley of Burns’ songs. Elizabeth said: “Our residents have enjoyed a hearty meal of Scotch broth, Haggis with neeps and tatties all prepared by our stellar Chef” One resident said: “I enjoyed acting out the part of the whisky-bearer and asking everyone to raise a dram to toast the Haggis.”
CENTURY CELEBRATIONS FOR RESIDENT, MINNIE
Celebrations have been in full swing at Hilderstone Hall as one of its residents reaches her centenary in style. Minnie was joined by staff, relatives, friends and other residents as she received a birthday card from the Queen and The Secretary of State in recognition of her landmark birthday. Afternoon Tea was held in the Wegewood dining room at the home and guests enjoyed a special birthday cake made by the home’s 2nd chef Sue.
Elizabeth Walsh, General Manager of Hilderstone Hall added: “We’re delighted to be celebrating a truly remarkable woman as she reaches this amazing milestone. Minnie is such a popular resident who always has an interesting tale to tell, and we look forward to hearing many more as she breaks into her next century.”
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve we welcomed in a local singer Christopher Byrne and had the biggest party Hilderstone Hall has ever seen. The activities team put together a slide or two of the photos we have taken every month of the memories we have made throughout the year and put them on display for everyone to see and remember. The whole home celebrated with party hats, masks and a glass of fizz as we saw in the new year together. We look forward to seeing what happy times 2020 will bring!
Christmas Jumper Day
We enjoyed Christmas jumper day so much here at Hilderstone, we did it twice!! We decided to hold a competition on the second day for the most creative Christmas Jumper. With the residents making the final decision that Brogan one of our carers, was voted the winner after wearing 2 different outstanding outfits on both days.
In celebration of bonfire night the activities team and maintenance team put on quite the display of fireworks for our residents, families and the local village. Everybody enjoyed a sparkler, some hot soup followed by hotdogs or burgers. It was lovely night enjoyed by the whole home.
Our resident, Mary, kindly spent her time cutting out lots of small poppies for our display. Our activities team, work experience student, Charlotte, and admin assistant, Rachel and Mary, had a lovely afternoon putting up the display for our residents to pay their respects to on Remembrance Sunday.