Meet our Activities Coordinator, Michael Butler
Hi, my name is Michael Butler and I am the Activities Coordinator at Hollyfields. I joined the team back in July 2007 and have held this position since then.
During my time at the home, I have become NAPA-qualified, been a finalist for Activities Coordinator of the Year twice in the Barchester Care Awards and reached the finals at the Great British Care Awards (West Midlands) in 2014 and 2017. In 2015, I won the award for Barchester's Charitable Foundation Champion and was also previously a trustee. I have also written an article for Barchester's blog, titled, 'A day in the life of an activities coordinator at Barchester', which you can read by clicking here.
My role as Activities Coordinator involves providing those we support with a meaningful and bespoke activities programme and to help improve their well-being, promoting independence on a daily basis. My role also involves engaging residents with their local community, either through community groups attending the home or through residents enjoying trips out.
Our activities programmes are based on residents' interests and include occupational therapy, sensory stimulation, cognitive activities, arts and crafts, food-based activities and outdoor community events.
Activities at Hollyfields
Our Activities programme is formulated using resident requests and feedback from resident meetings. Residents are involved in planning the programme with things they they would like to do throughout the year. There is a mixture of activities that take place including both group and 1-1 engagement. Residents at Hollyfields particularly enjoy movement to music activities enabling them to increase their level of physical abilities and have fun at the same time, whilst others enjoy musical singalongs and food based activities throughout the week.
We have a mini bus that enables us to reconnect our residents with their community in ways that suite themselves as individuals. This can be achieved by visiting local farms, Georgian towns, local attractions and even the local public house for lunch with friends. Hollyfields have a great relationship with their local community and have visits from local organisations such as The Wyre Community Land Trust and are currently undertaking a 12 week funded project from Arts Etc. Residents at Hollyfields enjoy Pet Therapy visits from their pet rabbit 'Thumper' and like to help clean and feed him daily. Relatives can be encouraged to join us for activities and again are very supportive with delivering theme days and fundraising events within the home.
Life at Hollyfields Care Home
Hollyfields residents and staff have been working to create their Harvest Festival display for 2020.
Residents and staff joined forces to create some lovely leaf painting prints, which are up on the wall next tour display.
Residents really enjoyed getting messy with the paint and loved mixing all of the autumnal colours. Residents made salt baked dough decorations too, including a wreath, a pumpkin, grapes and knots.
Our local mid-counties Co-op donated £20 worth of food to help us with our display, and donations for our local food bank continue to pour in.
As the week goes on, we shall be continuing our theme of harvest with walks in nearby fields looking at the varieties of crops that are growing, as well as a virtual Harvest Festival service on Friday afternoon.
Staff and residents enjoyed a day of all things apples recently. The trees from our orchard were harvested by staff and residents throughout the week, which was a big job for everyone, as this year saw our trees blossom a fantastic crop.
Usually, a team of volunteers from Wyre Community Land Trust would support us with the day, but due to current restrictions, were unable to join us, however, that didn’t stop us from loaning their equipment and doing it ourselves.
The whole team got involved to make the day a huge success. Maintenance and garden teams helped residents to pick the apples, chefs and kitchen assistants made homemade chutneys and sauces, the housekeeping team assisted residents to bottle the juice and care assistants helped to jar up the chutneys.
A big thank you to everyone at Hollyfields for such a great day!
The rain and wind did not deter the staff and residents from participating in their annual sports day. Residents and staff joined forces to fight for the winning title of champions of champions at this year’s sports day.
Events included the sack race, three-legged race and the egg and spoon race. One resident in particular found a varied approach to keep his egg on the spoon.
The day was enjoyed by all and the fight for the title continues for a very special Christmas sports day this winter.
Virtual Church Service
Staff and residents have been enjoying virtual church services from our friends at Bewdley Baptist Church. Simon Harry, Minister of the church, has put together a service adapted to meet the needs of those who live at the home.
The services are about half an hour long and give residents who wish to attend the opportunity to practice the faith of which they believe. The services have been a huge success and very beneficial during the current climate.
Team members are appealing to their local community to join forces with them to help generate food parcels for their local food bank.
Michael Butler, Activities Coordinator, contacted Wyre Forest Food Bank after seeing a post on their social media pages looking for volunteers to help out with deliveries of parcels to those who need them in the surrounding areas.
Michael had shared a post on his own social media profile and, within 24 hours, both he and the care home were inundated with donations from all over the Wyre Forest.
The food bank is currently seeking donations of store cupboard staples and every day essentials, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables too. Hollyfields will continue to act as a drop off point for all donations and will ensure they are safely delivered to the food bank team in time for their next deliveries.
Garden visits are underway at Hollyfields. Residents and their loved ones have been reunited after spending months apart during the current COVID19 Pandemic. Sticking to current guidelines, relatives were able to meet their loved ones face-to-face for the first time since March. One resident Celebrated his 81st birthday on the day he received a visit from his wife and son, which was wonderful!