Meet our Activities Coordinator, Sophie Dryden

I organise a variety of fun-filled activities and events for residents at The Fernes, and cultivate a home-from-home environment by involving as many loved ones as possible.

I also spend time getting to know residents on a one-to-one basis, enabling myself and my team to get a better understanding of individual likes and dislikes, so that we can make sure we are delivering activities that best suit their interests. I try to think outside the box to help residents experience new things.

I love working at The Fernes; I’ve been here since 2016 and I have worked in the care sector since 2011. I’ve gone from cleaner to carer and now to activities, so I have a lot of experience. I’m a very happy, bubbly person and have many hobbies, but my specialty is baking.

Activities at the Fernes

At The Fernes we endeavour to make our care as personal as possible, including when it comes to activities. We will give you a 'Getting to Know Me' booklet for you to fill out with your loved one before they arrive, which includes a little life history and a tick sheet for a vast amount of activities. This enables us to offer the activities we know they will enjoy and enables us to learn valuable information about their lives and what might stimulate them in conversations and trips. 

Our specialist Activities and Lifestyle staff make sure there are always meaningful activities to take part in, such as helping in the garden, baking some bread to have with our dinner, and trips out to various locations nearby such as the beach and the garden centres. Residents are encouraged to take part, but it is always the resident’s choice to participate or not as we believe that having choice is very important to help our residents feel in control of their lives. There are activities on offer every day (and night for those night owls) in the form of word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, arts and crafts, needle crafts and board games to name a few. We have entertainment that is organised at least twice a month such as Music for Health, Zoolab or musicians, and also have a wonderful Yoga instructor who comes every other week. 

Activities are provided by everyone in our home from carers and specialised activities staff, right through to our admin team. If there is a task that needs doing and a resident would like to do it, such as sealing envelopes and putting stamps on or handing out popcorn for our Movie Mondays, they are very welcome to help out which enables us to give them a better feeling of purpose and self-worth. 

We are a registered member of the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA), which means that we are always working to make the quality of life of all of our residents as high as possible by working with person-centred activities that aim to stimulate our residents, both mentally and physically.

Life at our home

Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Time for a Cuppa

On Wednesday 6th March, we popped the kettle on to raise money for Dementia UK. We hosted a lovely afternoon cream tea, where residents and loved ones got the chance to tuck into homemade scones, cakes and drink endless amounts of tea. We raised a total of £28, and are looking forward to hosting our next one later in the year.

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Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Ladies Day

On Cheltenham Ladies Day, everyone got their hats on with bubbly in hand to place their bets. We did a sweepstake for the main race, and prizes were given to 1st, 2nd & 3rd place.

Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Music & Movement

Residents at The Fernes have started off the New Year the correct way with movement to music by having fun with parachute and balloon games, whilst listening to their favourite songs!

This year, our home is all about getting fitter and this fun exercise activity had everyone laughing and feeling energised!

Onlookers from our open day loved watching all the fun going on throughout the afternoon and one lady hoped she would be coming back to join us very soon!

Residents are looking forward to trying out new exercise routines each week, which is helping with their physical well-being.

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Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Let it Go!

The Fernes marked the last week of December with some final festive fun wiht our baby/toddler group, Jiggy Vintage!

The children and residents sang along to festive songs and Disney’s famous film, Frozen. There were so many smiles and laughter all round. We even had a snow machine to make it our very own winter wonderland!  

The residents loved seeing the little ones dancing around whilst they played their small instruments and waved their colourful ribbons.

We are all very much looking forward to seeing the group more regularly in the new year!

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Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Elf Day

The Fernes had loads of fun celebrating Elf Day with the year 3 children from local junior school, Orchard Lea.

The children were invited to come and spend the day with the residents making Christmas trees, sharing festive memories and reading stories.

The children made gorgeous cakes that the residents loved and are looking forward to seeing them again soon!

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Care homes and elderly care from Barchester Healthcare

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Wonderland came to The Fernes for our open day on Saturday 20th October. Staff dressed up as Alice and the Cheshire Cat and there was music from the Mad Hatter (aka Lacey-Love). Everyone enjoyed the music, as well as the yummy food, which the residents had helped to prepare. There were party games too, including 'Pin the grin on the Cheshire Cat' and a tea cup balance that was won by Janice, a volunteer at The Fernes, who runs 'Knit and Natter' every Wednesday morning.

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