Meet our Activities Coordinators, Tracy Mercer

Hello, I'm Tracy and joined St Thomas joined in January 2020 as the Activity Lead and I have a wealth of experience in working with residents living with dementia.

Tracy and her assistant Zoe are passionate about enriching the lives of our residents, and involving the rest of the team at St Thomas, as well as relatives and visitors to the home.

Activities at St Thomas

Our activities coordinator is dedicated to organising meaningful activities on an individual and group basis to fulfill the daily needs of our residents, as we understand how important mental and physical stimulation is for their wellbeing. Our activities are available to everyone who wants to take part and there is something different going on everyday. We often go out on day trips including visiting shopping centres, garden centres, evening meals at the local pubs, visits to local schools and also coffee mornings with other care homes. We have a wide range of entertainers that visit us at our home including musical therapists, Millers Ark Farm, pantomimes as well as our local salvation army and lots more. We encourage families to join us on trips out and also in home activities such as baking, arts and crafts, dancing and singing, we believe this is a great way for our residents to live an active and fun life here with us at St Thomas.

Life at St Thomas Care Home

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BBQ party in the garden

Everyone enjoyed the BBQ on Saturday and the weather finally came good! The hospitality team served a selection of BBQ favourites and drinks. Entertainment was provided by Anthony who was a hit with the visitors and residents of all ages, there was dancing and tap footing to the beat all afternoon.

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Baby shower for Junu

Our wonderful carer Junu will be going on maternity leave soon and we could not let her go without a baby shower party with the team! she said "It was a complete surprise, I was so emotional everyone was so kind with all the presents, Oksana, our chef and Mandy made delicious cakes too"

From the colour of the balloons I'm sure you can guess Junu first baby will be a girl, we look forward to welcoming her to into our St Thomas family

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Wimbledon strawberry tea!

We were well and truly ready for the women's tennis finals at Wimbledon today and everyone had an absolute treat. Champagne, strawberries and fresh cream scones oh ! and not forgetting the Pimms that was a real delight.

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104 reasons to celebrate for Nellie!

Celebrations have been in full swing at St Thomas Care Home as one of its residents reaches her 104th birthday in style.

Nellie was joined by staff, relatives, and the Mayor of Basingstoke, Onnalee Cubitt as she received hundreds of cards and gifts. Tracy, activities coordinator contacted local pop up ‘That gallery’ in Festival Place, whose artist Fatima Pantoja painted Nellie from photograph and presented her with the portrait on her special day. A champagne reception was in the homes chapel and guests enjoyed a homemade birthday cake with afternoon tea prepared by the home’s chef Oksana.

Nellie was born in 1917 in the east end of London and worked as a machinist for a tailoring business where she met her husband Arthur. They had four children and the family has grown to now include 8 grandchildren and 8 great great children. Joining her at the party were some of her grandchildren which really made it a family event. A resident at St Thomas for nearly three years, she is adored by her family and staff.

Among those relatives attending was Nellie’s daughter Jean, who played host for the afternoon party. Speaking about her mother she said: “Nellie is and has been a fantastic mother to us all, she had a back bone during difficult times and was a tower of strength to all who knew her. A fantastic cook she was always baking for us, her meat and potato pie is legendry in the family!  We are all so happy to be with her on this very special day to say just how proud she makes us feel.”

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Double Celebrations for Two 20 Year Long Service Awards

We are delighted Grace and Nicola have received their prestigious 20 Year Service Awards in celebration of working at Barchester Healthcare for twenty years making it a total of 40 for the two members of the team!

Grace Ayaji, started at Barchester as a care assistant in June 2001 and has worked with residents and their relatives to ensure that their needs have been met over the years. On receiving the award Grace said:  “Thank you so much for this beautiful award for my 20 years’ service at St Thomas Care Home. I am extremely honoured to receive this award along with the flowers, pin and vouchers. The job has been wonderful being able to care for the elderly and their families. Thank you to all the staff both days and nights that have made it such a good team. I am proud and honoured to say that I have worked for St Thomas for the last 20 years.”

Nicola’s mother, Carol Butt is delighted with the difference St Thomas has made to her daughter, she commented: “Nicola was born with learning difficulties and special needs. She went through education until she was 23 years old. We worried about what was available for her as an adult.  Social Workers suggested Supported Work.  We knew it would have to be in a small working environment with the same people so they would be used to Nicola's ways when she got stressed. St Thomas gave her the opportunity to work in the kitchen. Nicola had a lady from Supported Work stay alongside her for a year. Janet Farrow the Head Chef at the time and her team in the kitchen helped Nicola and patient with her, she felt they were her friends and eventually she was able to work on her own.  She feels is one of the team not just in the kitchen and she enjoys going to the Christmas party with them”

Jane McFarlane, Employee Services Director at Barchester said: “I’m always pleased to hear stories about the long service of Barchester staff and am delighted two member of the team, Grace and Nicola achieved this milestone together. It is dedication like this that ensures our residents are provided with a happy place to live.”

Fatmata Cochrane, General Manager of St Thomas said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating 20 years of loyal service with Nicola and Grace. They have demonstrated their dedication and loyalty to this home and its residents year after year. I speak for all of us here at St Thomas when I say that I’m looking forward to many more years of working with Grace and Nicola!”

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Celebrating National Carers Week with our team

Residents wanted to thank all the wonderful staff at the home, whose hard work and dedication make a real difference to the lives of those living in their care.

Carers Week is an annual event to raise awareness of caring, highlighting the challenges carers face, and recognising the contribution they make to our residents, families and communities throughout the UK. The theme for Carers Week this year is ‘Making caring visible and valued’ - to shine a light on all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to care for vulnerable people in our communities.

Staff were treated to afternoon tea with delicious cakes, all the team received thank you cards and chocolates from Barchester

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Upcoming events

Come and meet our friendly Manager! Saturday 21st August

We would love to show you around our home, meet the team and watch great activities being enjoyed by residents.

Call now to book your visit

Virtual visit to V&A Dundee for Night Fever! Tuesday 10th August

Another in our series from the V&A Dundee when we will be delving into iconic clubs from 1960’s and seeing their influence on popular culture

English National Ballet Virtual Workshop – Thursday August 12th

To celebrate International Youth Day join residents in a chair-based creative dance workshop

World photography Day virtual talk – Thursday 19th August

To celebrate world photography day, professional photographer Damian Bailey will guide us through the history of the photo and launch a new Facebook competition!

Virtual visit to Beluga Whale Sanctuary in Iceland – Tuesday 24th August

A return visit to the Sea Life Trust sanctuary this time to see and learn about the formerly captive Beluga whales now living in a safe and natural home in Iceland

Gentleman's Club - Every Tuesday afternoon

All our Gentleman residents are invited join our weekly Tuesday afternoon “Gentleman's Club” at 2:30pm for good company and conversation

Sensory Therapy - Every Thursday 2.30pm

Residents will be offering pamper sessions, including hand massage and aromatherapy together with calming therapy 

'Happy Hour' with Famima

Fatima, our new General Manager is delighted to be opening the 'St Thomas' bar every Friday from 9th April from 11.30 for pre dinner drinks and nibbles with residents.