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

Home hold virtual cat show

At Kirkburn we love our cats and we are hosting our very own virtual cat show for residents, family, and friends to shared their furry friends with us all too.

Cats have fun loveable quirks, tricks and general gorgeousness. So, over August they held their first ever virtual cat show at Kirkburn where we’ve got a whole host of fun categories.

Photos of cats with the category they are entered for were emailed to the home.  Categories include the following, Best Dressed, Happiest Smile, Best in show, Best Trick/pose, Sleeping Beauty and Waggiest Tail.

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Beach Party

Summers in the North East of Scotland can be quite variable, so we decided to create our own day of sunshine by holding a beach party! The home was decorated with inflatables including palm trees, beach balls and fish. Everyone got into the spirit and donned an array of fancy dress including grass skirts, sunglasses and flower garlands. During the party, the residents took part in a game of ‘hot beach ball’ and also enjoyed individual tubs of ice cream for a sweet treat. Great hilarity was had during our attempts to play limbo and the staff were cheered on by residents. Claire Burden, Activities Coordinator said “What a fantastic afternoon we had, it was brilliant to see the residents let their hair down and join in with the fun. I have even had a few requests from residents if they could keep their fancy dress outfits to wear again!”

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Slipper Soccer

Residents recently enjoyed a fun filled sporting afternoon playing a game of ‘slipper soccer’. Each team were sporting their scarves and a great competitive spirit ensued as each team tried to score the most goals! Several of the residents used to play football for local teams so this was a great opportunity to re-live those days and to reminisce about past achievements. There were some interesting goal celebrations with lots of arm waving and cheering amongst residents and staff! Claire Burden, Activities Coordinator said “It was really lovely to see the residents laughing and cheering and it is amazing to see how instincts still kick in when a ball comes to your feet.”

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Praise for Kirkburn

We have continued to receive lovely cards, emails and gifts from our residents’ families and friends. As a home, we have been overwhelmed by the positive support we have received and we are so looking forward to welcoming everyone back in to the home when it is safe to do so. We recently took delivery of the most amazing cake from one of our resident’s family and it was greatly enjoyed by all the staff at break time. Also our Activities Coordinator, Claire, has made a display of extracts of emails that she had received and hung it outside the lounge for all the staff and residents to have a read. This gave the staff a positive boost and has helped to keep staff morale up. Claire said “Some of the comments we have received have been heart-warming and it is a lovely feeling to know that the families are proud of our efforts.”

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Home receives gift

We have been very lucky to accept the donation of a brilliant hand sanitizer machine from the Provincial Grand Lodge and Daughter Lodges of Aberdeenshire East. The machine has been placed at the main entrance and will prove to be of particular benefit once we start to welcome external visitors back into the home. General Manager, David Garland said “Once again, the generosity of the local community is amazing. We really have been so lucky with the support we have received. This hand sanitizer machine will be a great asset to the home and it is certainly going to get a lot of use!”

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Hair raising fun!

The staff at Kirkburn Court decided that they would like to make a memorial garden to commemorate everyone connected to the home who have been affected by the Covid19 pandemic. Two staff members, Rosetta and Nicola decided to get the fundraising underway by shaving their heads and asking for sponsors. Although the final total is not in yet, the ladies look set to raise a fantastic amount – they were brilliant sports and took it all in their stride! Nurse Rosetta said “I really just wanted to do something to acknowledge the difficult time that so many people have been through and so that they had somewhere special to visit to share their remembrances.”

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Upcoming events

Continuing Life Enrichment

During this unprecedented time, we have a number of measures in place to ensure residents remain engaged, connected and socially active.