Meet our Activities Coordinator, Claire Burden

I began my career with Barchester in December 2017. Having worked within the teaching profession for the preceding 8 years, I feel that I bring a range of transferable skills to the activities team.

I strongly believe that the provision of activities is about so much more than just structured, planned events – capturing and celebrating the little moments in daily life, such as enjoying a chat and a cup of tea together, are equally as important.

Activities, no matter how big or small, should be at the heart of every home and that individuality should be celebrated. In addition, I feel that activities should take a person-centred approach, which is why I enjoy spending time with the residents and learning about their preferences and their history.

My own interests include football, politics, crafting and drinking tea, and I enjoy nothing better than engaging with residents on these topics! I aim to bring energy, a friendly smile and a willing ear to the home each day.

Activities at Kirkburn Court

Here at Kirkburn Court, we aim to facilitate a personalised programme of meaningful activities, which are designed to promote independence, social stimulation and cognitive function. We strive to create a comfortable and safe environment where fun, creativity and individuality are encouraged. We feel it is important for us and residents to place value on yesterday, today and tomorrow – which is why we invest heavily in getting to know residents and learning their life history.

Our inclusive, yet respectful ethos is reflected in the wide range of activities we offer – ranging from larger structured group activities to one-to-one sessions. Our monthly activity programmes are extremely varied, but some of the activities you may expect to find include concerts, crafts, games, exercise sessions, reminiscing and outings. We also have a strong relationship with the local community and often invite external guests into the home, including performers, schools, and choirs.

Life at Kirkburn Court Care Home

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Christmas Tree Competition

Kirkburn Court recently held a ‘best dressed’ Christmas tree competition, whereby members of the local community were invited to send in pictures of their Christmas trees for our residents to judge and pick an overall winner.

We were delighted with the response from our local community, as we received a large number of entries. The residents had great fun looking through all the pictures and discussing the merits of each one – at the same time reminiscing about their own Christmas stories.

After lots of deliberation, the residents chose their winner and we sent out a certificate and prize to the owner of the ‘best dressed’ tree.

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Christmas Party

Although our Christmas parties looked a little different this year, residents and team members still enjoyed a great afternoon of festive fun.

Games such as ‘alternative’ pass-the-parcel (using a spotlight going around the room in time with the music, rather than the parcel being passed!) and a staff snowman fancy dress competition against the clock, helped to create a fun and cheery atmosphere.

A lovely Christmas buffet and drinks were also enjoyed in order to make the afternoon even more special. 

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Christmas Photo Shoot

Residents recently took part in a fun-filled Christmas photo shoot. We decided that we would like to surprise our families and friends with a Christmas card and personalised photograph in the post.

Preparations began in November, as the residents set about making lots of homemade Christmas cards and they spent time carefully designing and making each one.

We then arranged a photo shoot with some Christmas props and our residents had great fun posing with our inflatable photo frame. 

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Christmas preparations

Our Christmas preparations are well underway here at Kirkburn. Our residents have been working very hard on making hand crafted cards to send to loved ones. We have had an array of different card making supplies to choose from and our residents have taken great care in choosing their own designs. Once completed, the residents in each unit will post their cards in their very own post-boxes and our Kirkburn elf will take them to the post office. One resident, Joan, said “I think they look rather good!”

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Our new visiting suite

Residents and their families have been enjoying getting to use our new indoor visiting room this month. The small lounge at the front of the building has been converted into a cosy and safe indoor visiting space to be used by residents and their families. As the Scottish winter weather was beginning to set in, it was clear that outdoor garden visits were no longer an option – and our residents and families have been delighted to now enjoy visits in our new indoor space. Complete with a speaker/microphone system and a large viewing window, feedback has been very positive from both residents and their visitors.

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Halloween crafts

Halloween preparations are in full swing here at Kirkburn. We have decided to adopt a handmade approach this year and make as much of our own decorations as we can. Residents have been getting crafty and have been making various wall decorations and colouring pictures. Great hilarity has ensued as we have been sharing stories about childhood trick or treating, ghosts and spiders! Activities Coordinator, Claire Burden, said “The residents have really enjoyed making the decorations this year and are really proud to see them displayed around the home.”

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