Meet our Activities Coordinator, Sarah Purdy
Hi I’m Sarah. I have worked in care for 14 years, working my way up to Senior Carer before transitioning to Activities here at West Abbey, where I have been for five years, and in my role as Activities Coordinator for two. I like being able to make a difference to the residents with my laugh and smile. I have 4 children, I am a scout leader (which takes up most of my weekends!), and enjoy going on hikes and camps both with the scouts and with my family.
Activities at West Abbey
Our Activities Coordinators are constantly striving to mentally and physically stimulate those we support by organising group and individual activities for anyone and everyone to participate in. There are regular outings in the minibus to nearby places of interest, as well as visits from the Donkey sanctuary, musicians and entertainers. We also host evenings such as our Cheese & Wine evenings and BBQ's in the summer, that we encourage relatives to come to. Activities are one of the most important aspects of a care home, so it is essential that our team are dedicated to ensuring that residents are entertained. We encourage our residents to participate in any way they can. We also encourage relatives to join with activities and events as often as they can to ensure that life at West Abbey is fun and active for all.
Life at West Abbey Care Centre
Virtual Dog Show
At West Abbey Care Centre we love our dogs and we hosted our very own virtual dog show for residents and staff to share their furry friends with us all too.
Dogs have fun loveable quirks, tricks and general gorgeousness. So, for National Dog Day we hosted our first ever virtual dog show at West Abbey where we had a whole host of fun categories which people could submit photos of their furry friends for.
Photos of dogs with the category they are entered for were sent in to the activities team at the home who displayed them on a board in the foyer for all to see, ready to be judged at the end of the week. Categories included Best Dressed, Happiest Smile, and best overall picture.
Group judging by dog-loving residents and staff at West Abbey took place throughout Friday, with nearly every person in the building having their say on which photo won in each category, with photos displayed on a board which was moved around the home for all to see.
The awards were handed out on Friday to the lucky winners, with admin assistant Annette and her dog Alfie scooping the best picture prize, which a lot of competition right behind them in the voting.
Helen Colaço, General Manager at the home, said: “We all really enjoyed receiving all the photos of the lovely dogs, and have some big dog fans at Barchester. I think that there were a lot of tough decisions to have been made by everyone here, but worthy winners were chosen! We are continually adapting, and finding new ways to make sure every effort is focused on creating an enjoyable environment for all of our residents”
Desert Island Discs
Residents and staff recently enjoyed spending a week imagining they were cut adrift on a desert island, a far cry from the rainy conditions they currently find themselves in. A competition was held within the home to choose five things to take with them, as well as a song they would be able to listen to. Answers were put up on a whiteboard in the foyer for all to see, which was judged by manager Helen at the end of the week to decide the winner of the very special summer hamper.
Activities Coordinators at West Abbey Care Centre supported the residents at the home by talking to everyone to find out which items they would take as well as song choice, so everyone could be in with a chance of winning. The competition was won by laundry assistant Lynn whose answers and humour led to her winning the prize.
Helen Colaço, General Manager at West Abbey Care Centre said: “In these unprecedented times, providing a range of engaging physical, mental and spiritual activities for our residents is more important than ever. Our residents and our staff really enjoyed our Desert Island Disc week. It really showed off the creativity and the personalities of everyone here. I loved reading everyone’s ideas and this it was great to have so many people take part. It was so difficult to choose a winner!”
Kathy, a resident at the home was more than happy to put her ideas into the mix. Kathy said “Even though I didn’t win it was really interesting to try to think about which things I would take! The music part was easier however, everyone knew that it would be a Cliff Richard song that is coming with me!”
Residents at West Abbey virtually travelled to a location of their choice on Wednesday 12th August.
Residents were asked where they would like to visit this summer for a cruise, and they chose the Caribbean because of the warm weather, the tropical drinks and the music.
Residents enjoyed touring and learning about the Caribbean using the internet on their tablets as well as talking about their previous visits there.
The lounge at West Abbey was decorated by staff with bunting, summer decorations, inflatable flamingos and parrots to further transport the residents to their cruise location.
Residents and staff got together for mid afternoon drinks out in the sun prepared by the homes talented chef. He served a selection of cocktails as well as a number of beautifully laid out fruit platters which included mangoes, watermelon and swans carved out of apples.
The fun didn’t stop there, residents enjoyed entertainment associated with the Caribbean and staff and residents participated in dressing up in bright tropical attire, and enjoying the music of Harry Belafonte while enjoying the sunshine that was so warm it really felt like the Caribbean!
Residents and staff were recently overjoyed to be able to give back to the local community by doing a scone delivery to the local community.
Working with a local church, St James’ in Yeovil, West Abbey delivered homemade scones, complete with jam and cream to a selection of local people, all of whom were extremely happy with their surprise.
The kind gestures were a wonderful surprse, and a great boost for the hard working staff who wanted to give back to the local community for all the support they had received.
We are all truly thankful and feel very humbled to have received support like this from the local community, and that is why we want to do as much as we can to support all the people around us as well. The team work tirelessly, continuing to ensure residents are happy, engaged and connected, which is more important now than ever. We hope that these new friendships will continue beyond the current situation, and we just want to say a huge thank you!
Residents at West Abbey celebrated Independence Day in true American style by hosting a day of all things American, with traditional American foods, reminiscence about past holidays and plenty of rock’n’roll on 4th July. There are a few people within the home that remember their visits to America fondly and a lot of people that love American movies and singers. Films from the Golden Age of Hollywood were lined up as well as playlists including Buddy Holly, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. A baseball, baseball mitt and American football were passed around to inspire some hand-eye coordination games. The hospitality team enjoyed cooking up a feast of hotdogs, corndogs, hamburgers and thick malt milkshakes. Residents were also able to enjoy a homemade Mississippi mud pie, which went down a storm!
For some residents at West Abbey, the long awaited reunion with family and friends became a reality recently, as limited garden visits have now been allowed to commence at the home.
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 relatives enjoyed getting together in the home’s garden, and the garden was fully of joy and chatter.