Meet our Lifestyle Enrichment Coordinator, Maria Howell

Hi, my name is Maria and I am the Lifestyle Enrichment Coordinator here at Mortain Place.

I have known the comings and goings of a care home since the age of seven years old, when my younger sister and I sat at work with mum and dad after school. We read to the residents, had tea and cake with them, danced around in the gardens, and gave out Christmas presents dressed as elves. As we grew up, we gained more sets of grandparents than biologically possible, but friends for life.

At 14 I began working as a housekeeper in the home, a role I loved as I could chat to everybody as I got on with my jobs. I often helped out with bigger events throughout the year, too, and thrived on the buzz of everyone being together and enjoying each other’s’ company. At 17, I moved into the role of activities coordinator.

Now, after different workplaces and a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, I am here working at Barchester Healthcare. I am keen to bring my experience and my passions to my role, to fulfill and empower lives. Coming to work does not feel like a job to me: I adore the people I work with, I care for them deeply, and I am privileged to have this opportunity.

Our activities team are great at building the activities programme around the likes and interests of the people we care for. Ensuring that our social events offer fun and adventure is part of the ethos of our home; it’s important that those we support can enjoy an active and social lifestyle. Of course, there will always be those who prefer peace and quiet, and in these instances, a cup of tea and a chat are always welcomed.

Life at Mortain Place Care Home

Virtual Dog Show

Our online dog show came to an end after receiving over 100 fabulous entries. Residents had a really difficult job and spent 2 hours going through all the pictures you emailed to us. All your entries were absolutely gorgeous, but sadly, we had to narrow this down to only 3 winners. Thank you so much to everyone who entered; it has been such a joy to see all your lovely dogs. All 3 winners have been contacted and will be collecting their prizes soon. 

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Staff and residents at Mortain Place were celebrating the birth of baby chicks. The incubator and eggs were donated by Karina and Jez from JK Hatchlings for our residents to enjoy until they get bigger when they will go back to the local farm for egg laying.

There was a lot of egg-citement at the home as two chicks hatched throughout the week. Residents and staff really enjoyed being able to pet and feed the chicks as they found their footing in their new home. The two chicks are named after two of Mortain Place residents Bernard and Biddy.

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Towel Magic

Our Head of Housekeeping, Ingrida, has a real talent for making animals and birds out of hand towels. Ingrida spent some time at the weekend teaching the residents how to make their very own animals. They had loads of fun with this and take pride in having their animals sit at the bottom of their beds.

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Our Divisional Winner

Congratulations to Tracy Bucham, who has been named as a Divisional Winner in the 2020 Barchester Care Awards. Tracy is a finalist in the Customer Service Champion category, and has been invited to attend a virtual awards ceremony on 8th October, where she will find out if she has won overall.

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World Chocolate Day

Residents celebrated World Chocolate Day with a blind tasting of chocolates, a quiz about the history of chocolate, followed by a balloon extravaganza! They had a really enjoyable time and lots of laughter.

Long-Awaited Reunions

For some residents at Mortain Place, the long awaited reunion with family and friends became a reality recently, as garden visits have now been allowed to commence at the home.

There has been much careful planning and preparation for this moment behind the scenes. Social distancing was still in place, and homes that are able to take part must have a large accessible garden.

It was welcome news to so many residents, family, and friends, who were kept apart for so long following strict government guidance. Residents and their loved ones got together in the home garden for a visit and the garden was full of joy and chatter.

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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.