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
Residents were treated to a day of summer holidays. With fish and chips served in boxes and ice creams made with their favourite flavours, everyone was excited and had a great day.
There were giant beech balls, bubble machines, paddling pools and inflatable fun. The day was a huge success and we even sang seaside-themed songs and 'Summer Holiday' by Cliff Richards.
International Nurses' Day
Residents really enjoyed the VE Day celebrations with a host of activities and fancy dress.Themed food, prepared by our talented chef, Sarah, added a great touch to our street party too.
We placed a rainbow arch outside Hollyfields and Ivy House to show solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic. The arch was put together by Jade O'Brien, a care assistant at the home, who said it was her aim to brighten up the days of both the care staff and the residents living at the home.
We also used the arch to acknowledge the 2 minutes silence to mark 75 years of VE Day. Staff joined forces to create a Tik Tok video and show their thanks to other key workers working on the front line.
Messages to Loved Ones
Residents at Hollyfields have been busy sharing their messages to loved ones, whom they are missing dearly during the current coronavirus pandemic
Residents told staff what it was they wanted to say and then held up their boards to be photographed and sent to those they live dearly.
A Kind Donation
Aldi, Co-op, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Barnett's Hill Garden Centre & Kidderminster Youth Football Team donated lots of goodies this week to say a huge thank you to the team for all of their hard work and dedication during this current coronavirus pandemic. Food, flowers, Easter eggs, plants, chocolates, cakes & fizzy pop have been making their way to Hollyfields all week!
Hollyfields Stays Connected
Here are Hollyfields we are doing everything we can to support not only our residents but also their friends and family through this tough time. Staff are really embedding the whole home approach with activities and the atmosphere is pleasant, fun and engaging.
Our local Tesco store donated some flowers to our home for Mothering Sunday which enabled staff to sit and engage with them whilst opening their cards and gifts from loved ones that had been left for them, this also enabled some of our residents who used to do flower arranging for their hobbies maintain some of their skills and enable reminiscent activities.
We’ve also been keeping up to date with our relatives and friends of Hollyfields & Ivy House by the means of Skype & Social media allowing residents who are living with dementia the opportunity to keep that recognition of their loved ones alive. Residents have enjoyed talking to and seeing their families with the help of our dedicated staff team.
We have also extended our Pen-Pal Scheme to other schools in the area before they closed their doors to help with social distancing. Both Franche Community Primary School in Kidderminster & St Anne’s Primary School in Bewdley have joined us to enable pupils to carry on with their reading and writing skills, knowing that their letters, poems, drawings or stories will bring a smile to our residents when they receive them. We have proven over the last three years now that intergenerational projects such as these really do increase the wellbeing and spirits of our residents.
Staff have been joining residents for cinema clubs with residents choosing their favourite films to watch. Oh Course no cinema is complete without the smell of freshly made popcorn which “tastes as good as it smells” said one resident.
Taking part in Nutrition week, staff provided fresh fruit smoothies, homemade cakes and biscuits, hearty breakfasts and relaxing afternoon teas.
The sunshine has finally come out to play “Hip, Hip, Hip Hooray” and residents have enjoyed short walks around the grounds picking daffodils and taking in the fresh air keeping social distancing in mind of course. The smells of the flowers and the smells of the farmers’ fields didn’t exactly go hand in hand, but did bring opportunity for meaningful reminiscence.
‘CONNECT’ is our new scheme which has featured on BBC Hereford & Worcester, again encourage those who are self-isolating not to be alone but join us for a chat over the phone or to put them in contact with services that me able to help them during this difficult time.
Thank you for taking time to read our letter & until the next time, STAY SAFE!
A Fantastic Thank You
Staff at Hollyfields received assortments of flowers & chocolates from local businesses in Bewdley and Kidderminster to say thank you for their dedication and hard work whilst caring for the most vulnerable during this time of uncertainty and current pandemic.
Gifts for the staff were donated by Bewdley Co-op on Load street, Tesco Express stores in Load street Bewdley and the Aldi superstore on the Stourport Road.
It was so generous of these companies to show their appreciation to staff working in care during these tough times.