Meet our Activities Coordinator, Kay Vevers

Hi, my name is Kay and I am one of the Activities Coordinators here at Westergate House.

I have worked in the care setting for over 30 years. I started as a healthcare assistant and then progressed to Senior Carer and Team Leader. After twenty years of enjoying all aspects of the role, I was encouraged to train as an Activities Coordinator and gained a NAPA qualification. This then lead me to be promoted to Activities Team Leader a year before joining Westergate House.

I find activities to be an exciting job role. I love learning about the residents life history and planning activities to suit all the residents' different needs.

On a personal note, I love music and singing and reading about Tudor history. My claim to fame is, when I was when at school. I was chosen as part of the cast of ‘Carmen’ and I sang as understudy at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The cast was then invited on to Blue Peter to sing our song. This was quite an experience for a 14 year old, and I have loved music and singing ever since, and use every opportunity to bring music and singing into the weekly programme while still including a full variety of meaningful activities.   

Activities at our home

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 Westergate House Care Home

Westergate House connects with PRN Care in Elmer

With beautiful sunshine for a trip out, General Manager Paul Middleton-Russell, drove to Elmer to establish a connection with PRN Care.  Following a time where all care services have been affected by the pandemic, we feel it is important to share resources and connect with the local community.  Paul met with Jo and Peter Whiteley of PRN Care, a family run business established in 2007.  Goodie bags from Westergate House were given to the staff to celebrate Carers Week, and we discussed ways in which we can support one another.  It was super meeting Jo and Peter as local care providers in the community and to know that our connection can enhance service provision

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National Carer's Week 2021

It was a super start to the week at Westergate House.  Our General Manager, Paul Middleton-Russell, and Deputy Manager, Maddie Murtagh, celebrated National Carers Week 2021, with the staff.  Goodie bags were handed out to all and a special message of thanks was conveyed from CEO Pete Calveley. 

Following several months of hard work and focus to get through tough times, it was fabulous to take the time to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of our wonderful staff.  The theme of Carers Week this year is to Make Caring Visible and Valued.  We have no hesitation in praising our staff for their very visible compassion and dedication, and we certainly want each and every one of them to know that they are truly valued.

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Celebrating the success of our resident author at Westergate House

 

It was time to make a fuss of our dear resident Angela Waller.  Angela arrived at Westergate House two months ago and has settled into her new home.  She is a delight to be around and regales wonderful stories of her career as an air hostess in the 1950s and 1960s when the role was glamourous and exciting.  We were thrilled to learn Angela had written two books.  ‘The Snows of Yorkshire’ was written when Angela’s husband retired and they returned to the UK after thirty years of living abroad.  The book tells the tale of a family living in a country manor in Yorkshire.  She describes the story as her ‘love letter to England’.

Angela’s second book ‘Before There Were Trolley Dollies’ was published in 2009 and this has caught the imagination of everyone here at Westergate House.  A non-fiction, the book recounts Angela’s life as an air hostess, at a time when passenger flying was very different to now.  Only those who could afford the luxury were able to fly and the package holiday was yet to be invented.  Flights were only during the day and with routes to Nairobi, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Ghana, overnight stops were necessary, where crew and passengers stayed in hotels along the route.  The book is a magical mix of Angela’s experiences, from the funny to the hapless.  We learned that Angela had been given a signed menu from Sean Connery, an unknown actor at the time, with the words ‘I love you Miss Austin’.  We understand Angela still keeps the menu!

With so many lovely stories to share, we wanted to celebrate Angela’s life and success as an author.  A presentation afternoon was organised with celebratory drinks and canapes.  We gave Angela a copy of her book, a recent print that has a picture of Angela in her uniform on the front cover.  Angela was delighted.  An afternoon was spent reminiscing the tales; we were caught up in the glamour and romance.  Oh to be taking to the skies in the 1950s!

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V E Day celebrations

Westergate House in Fontwell marked the anniversary of VE Day in style by creating a day to remember on Saturday.  With songs by Vera Lynn and decorations of red, white and blue, the home had an air of merriment and excitement.  Staff dressed up in their 1940s-inspired glad rags and time was spent reflecting and celebrating the end of the Second World War in Europe. 

Kay, the Activities Co-ordinator arranged a delightful agenda of events for the day to ensure everyone had a good time.  A traditional church service started the day and the national two minute silence as observed.  We listened to Churchill’s iconic speech and reminisced about memories of VE Day.  Video clips of the celebrations that took place outside Buckingham Palace and all across London were also shown.

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Healthy Experiences

Westergate House joined in the Barchester Live Event on Tuesday 11th May and were treated to a day of healthy experiences.  We took part in the Green Goddess’ exercise and yoga class in the morning which left us feeling revitalised and relaxed.  This was followed by an afternoon of cookery demonstrations and food-tasting.  There was a range of delightful recipes prepared – and all so delightfully healthy!  On the menu, Borlotti Bean and Dill Pate, served with crackers, Greek Fritters with Tzatziki, Coronation ‘Chicken’, made from Quorn, in a puff pastry case and beautiful banana bread.  Felicity, one of our residents in the House, can be seen here enjoying the occasion.  We complemented the delectable delights with a glass of chilled prosecco and convinced ourselves this was the healthy thing to do!

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Armchair Travel to Dubai

Thursday was a special day.  We invited our residents to travel with us to Dubai from the comfort of the armchair.  What a voyage!  Kay and Julie, part of the Activities team, created a middle-eastern experience for all through music, virtual travel and traditional foods.  Chef Konnie made an authentic Machboos Chicken dish served with rice for lunch.  Staff who have lived in the United Arab Emirates brought objets and travel books to show the beauty and opulence of the country.  Anwar can be seen here in traditional dress.  He was delighted to explain the traditions of Ramadan and the celebration Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan).  He wished us all a ‘Eid Mobarak - Happy Eid’ to celebrate the day.

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Upcoming events

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A second virtual trip to Blenheim Palace

In another visit to Blenheim Palace, residents will have a further opportunity learn more about this beautiful palace

Facinators and Hats at the ready

A glass of fizz and strawberries are the order of the day to celebrate Royal Ascot

Armed Forces Day

Live entertainment and a wartime afternoon spread, we are so looking forward to this.

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Virtual Tour and Talk from Blenheim Palace

Our Life Enrichment team are very pleased to announce this virtual tour and talk from the beautiful Blenheim Palace