Meet our Activities Coordinator, Ruth Welsh
My role is to organise and plan the activities for all of the residents at Westwood. I enjoy getting to know people and finding out about their families, background and interests and then I try to plan relevant activities around this information. I work closely with the caring team also.
Activities at Westwood House
As Activity Coordinator at Westwood House I am fully committed to organising activities for all of the residents. This includes activities within the home such as reminiscence sessions, and planning events such as the Summer and Christmas parties. We have also provided some very successful trips out to local places of interest in our minibus and have monthly visits from entertainers and musicians. We are always encouraging local schools to get involved and have recently managed to get a local charity 'Spare tyre' working with us very successfully.
It is important to me that each individual who we support can get as much from these as possible, so we try our best to arrange activities that reflect their interests and capabilities as best as possible, and encourage them to participate in any way they can. We also encourage relatives to join with activities and events as often as they can.
Activities and Events Partnerships
As part of our bespoke life-enrichment programmes, we host a number of live virtual events in the home on a regular basis through a number of partnerships with places of interest and world class performance companies
Life at Westwood House Care Home
English National Ballet
Westwood House are receiving specialist training as part of English National Ballet’s Dance for Dementia initiative. Staff at the home have been specially selected to receive training and to attend interactive sessions led by English National Ballet Associate Dance Artists and Musicians in order that they can help lead dance and music-inspired workshops for their residents. Dancing and creative arts and music interventions engages the brain and can help with symptoms associated with dementia such as memory loss, communication, and physical coordination. Sessions foster creativity and can help improve symptoms as well as providing artistic stimulation and social interaction.
Staff from the home were invited to the Mulryan Centre for Dance, English National Ballet’s headquarters at London City Island to receive their training, working with the company’s Associate Dance Artists and Musicians. Since then, 4 online workshops have taken place with ENB artists delivering direct from the studio, via zoom into Westwood House. Staff who attended the CPD training are present during the sessions assisting the residents and putting into practice what they have learned so far. A 12-week in-person workshop programme will begin in January 2022.
In addition, all of Barchester’s care homes have been invited to join in with a number of virtual event sessions which include taking part in creative dance classes and hearing from ENB’s Philharmonic Orchestra, costume department and other artists in the company. The virtual sessions coincide with days of celebration, the next one being a Nutcracker-inspired Christmas Special.
Stella Bernatek, General Manager for Westwood House commented: “Our staff and residents are having the most wonderful time working with English National Ballet on this fantastic initiative. Dance and music are so evocative and powerful, especially for our residents living with dementia, it transports them to a different place and time and connects them with their memories. Everyone is finding it so beneficial and we cannot thank English National Ballet enough.
The Horniman Museum comes to Westwood House.
Everyone really enjoyed our most recent film club.
Residents felt nice and relaxed on pamper day!
Staff and residents were treated to an interactive virtual floristry masterclass courtesy of Master Florist, Michal Kowalski, from Blooming Haus.
Blooming Haus started with a small pop-up shop in Chelsea. They have since blossomed spectacularly on to the floristry scene as ‘floral engineers’, carving themselves an outstanding reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative floral design studios. The company is the vision of Master Florist, Michal Kowalski and his business partner, Michael Dariane. The pair bring a completely fresh approach to floristry and their ambition to push the boundaries of traditional floristry has laid the foundations of Blooming Haus’ success to date.
Residents and staff were invited to gather together flowers and foliage chosen by themselves and follow Michal’s demonstration to create their own displays. Residents’ arrangements will be entered into a Facebook competition judged by Michal and Michael to win Love2Shop vouchers.
World Bee Day
Staff and residents were buzzing when they celebrated World Bee Day on May 20th.
Created by the UN, World Bee Day, is an annual global event raising awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping for the survival of our ecosystems. Three out of four food crops across the globe rely on bees and other pollinators but those pollinators are under threat from human activities.
Residents had a bee-rilliant time learning about the history of bee-keeping and the importance of bees for food production, meeting a local bee keeper virtually and enjoying a tour of his/her hives, holding a tasting of local honey and planting some bee friendly flowers in the garden.