Alex Downie

Meet our Activities Coordinator, Alex Downie

I began working for Barchester in 2011 as a night carer. I was then offered the chance to work during the days, which was wonderful, as I had more opportunities to interact with residents - and I always enjoyed painting their nails!

Barchester gave me the incentive to develop myself and attain my NVQ Level 2 & 3, which helped me to understand my role a little better and therefore be able to provide the best care I could.

I sometimes had the opportunity to help out with activities, which I really enjoyed. As a result, a became an Activities Assistant whilst still working as a carer - this was wonderful and I had a real passion for it.

When the Head of Lifestyles position became available, staff and residents were very encouraging of me applying for the role. I was ecstatic when I was offered the job and now very happily provide new, fun and person-centred lifestyle choices for those we support.

I am looking forward to learning about residents' interests and encourage loved ones, staff and residents to give feedback and offer input for what they would like to see going on.

Activities at our home

Our home is always full of life, and we can thank our wonderful Activities Coordinators for this. Dedication to creating a unique and interesting activities programme is what sets us apart from other homes. We always take into consideration that some people would prefer to pursue their own interests, which is why our team strive to incorporative activities that cater to a wide range of tastes and hobbies. Our trips out are always fun and exciting as well, and residents are guaranteed to return with stories to tell their loved ones!

Life at Orchard House Care Centre

Gin Tasting Evening

Orchard house held a community engagement event of a Gin tasting evening. Residents, relatives and the local community were invited to sample and taste a selection of flavoured gins. Special thanks to Louise Cant and Simon Cant of the Castle Inn, in Newport for your generous donations.

Our new chef, Claire made wonderful canapes and nibbles which were enjoyed alongside the wide selection of gin and gin cocktails.

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Honnor & Jeffrey Garden Centre

We took a nice trip to Lake to visit the Honnor and Jeffery’s garden centre. Residents, staff and our volunteers enjoyed socialising whilst we went around the shop as some residents wanted to look at the flowers and others wanted to see the amazing fishes they have their.

We then stop at the café and residents enjoyed picking their cake and drink whilst we all socialised around the table. Residents expressed to the staff when we got back that they really enjoyed visiting the garden centre.

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We are now 10-60-60 accredited

Orchard House is delighted to have achieved accreditation at foundation level for a new standard of dementia care developed by dementia care specialists at Barchester Healthcare.

The 10-60-06 dementia programme was developed and trialled by the dementia team at Barchester Healthcare, a care provider with over 200 homes across the country. It will replace the company’s current dementia care programme in order to ensure the care services provided Barchester’s Memory Lane communities for people living with dementia are the best in the sector.

Orchard House has implemented significant improvements to the personalised dementia care services they offer and the way that staff are trained to better understand what it means to be living with dementia.

The home was visited after they had implemented the new foundation programme by Barchester’s Dementia Care Specialist for the region, Phil Harper along with Deputy Director of Dementia Care, Jason Corrigan who found the home had met all the standards within the foundation programme and announced that the home will now move forward towards the ‘gold standard’ of the 10-60-06 accreditation.

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Snoezelen Activity

Every Thursday we have a morning activity called ‘Snoezelen’ where mostly the ladies come along to pick what colour they would like their nails painted that day and enjoy chatting within the group whilst music is being played in the background.

Becky who is the Head Nurse of Bluebell unit, also does aromatherapy here, which the ladies and gentleman enjoy having, a relaxing massage to start their day off.

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Knit & Knatter Club

Orchard House have started up a Knit & Natter Club, which has been going very well! Residents have enjoyed doing this, and loved ones have also gotten involved. 

Christmas Party

We had our big Christmas party at Orchard house! Residents and family couldn’t stop saying what a great afternoon it was. There was lots of laughter and cheer around the room. We even had a visit from Santa.

Upcoming events

Need a venue?

Need a venue?

We have a well-equipped room that is available to hire for free to members of the local community.

Monthly Coffee Mornings

Monthly Coffee Mornings

Come along to our friendly and informal group and enjoy a chat over a hot drink and delicious cakes in our café area in reception.

Don't Dine Alone

Don't Dine Alone

Enjoy some company and a nutritious lunch.