200 care home residents receive gifts thanks to festive project

Gold Care Homes christmas

A home manager and the care team gifts a present from Dunelm to a resident - Credit: Gold Care Homes

We speak to Gold Care Homes about their gifting partnership with Dunelm stores, this year’s festive celebrations and how the teams have helped tackle loneliness during the pandemic

Tell us a bit about the Gold Care Homes partnership with Dunhelm furnishing stores.
We provided Dunelm with over 200 names of residents who live at our Hertfordshire care homes, including Martins House, Autumn Vale Care Centre, Heath Lodge Care Home, Queensway House Care Home and Halycon Days Care Home. 
Each resident’s name came with a list of items that particular resident would like for Christmas. The name was then put on a gift tag that was placed on the Christmas trees in the Dunelm stores in Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead. Shoppers were encouraged to take tags home and return with the desired gifts. During the November lockdown, shopping was migrated online and click and collect, so staff took the tags home and have been continuing to encourage purchases. The gifts were all picked up by Gold Care Home staff and will be given to the residents when the homes have their lavish Christmas dinner and celebrations.
To show their appreciation, residents of the homes will be creating their very own ‘thank you’ Christmas cards for the the wonderful team at Dunelm. 

Gold Care Homes christmas

Staff and residents enjoyed adorning the homes with decorations - Credit: Gold Care Homes

What were the reasons behind the gifting partnership?
We believe that everybody should receive a gift at Christmas, even those who may not have friends or family. Normally our homes organise extra gifts themselves, but this year, with everyone impacted by the pandemic and many people separated from each other, we wanted to do something that really brought the community together and built relationships in a positive but safe way. We’ve been delighted with the response and believe the project has succeeded in its mission.

What is Christmas normally like at Gold Care Homes and how will you celebrate it this year? 
It varies from home to home, but we would normally invite family and friends to celebrate with us. 
One of our favourite things to do is reminisce with residents about how they used to spend Christmas with their families when they were younger – our residents have fantastic stories to tell and this time of year always feels nostalgic for many of us! But due to Covid-19 restrictions we sadly are unable to invite people in this time. However we are still making every effort to ensure that our residents get to enjoy the festive season in other ways. As well as the traditional dinner, we will hold games and parties as we always do, but with extra staff on hand in full PPE to clean and support.

Gold Care Homes

A staff member and resident at a Gold Care home get into the festive spirit - Credit: Gold Care Homes

Since the start of the pandemic what other ways have you been helping to combat loneliness among your residents? 
When lockdown measures were introduced Gold Care Homes was swift to tackle potential feelings of isolation by investing in additional technology. This means that all of our homes now have tablet devices which are dedicated to video calls. 
Where possible, we facilitate window visits where the resident remains indoors and talks to their loved ones who stay outdoors. Of course, the connection between our residents and team has always been strong – so our staff spend time with each resident to ensure they are engaged with and also able to partake in the home’s activities.

Tell us a little about Gold Care Homes and what makes you  stand out.
Gold Care Homes, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, prides itself on providing exceptional care– from respite care and residential care to nursing and nursing dementia. We are a family orientated organisation, which is fundamental in building a sense of unity and togetherness amongst both staff and residents. We are a care organisation that creates a ‘home away from home’ feel so that our residents know that they are in a safe and comfortable space. Our team is what makes us  stand out - their hard work, dedication and compassion are all values that align to our mission of bringing joy, happiness and  fulfilment to the residents in our care.
Visit goldcarehomes.com for more information.