The Newcastle Abbeyfielder
Abbeyfield Newcastle News | May 2015


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I’m delighted to welcome you to our first Abbeyfield Newcastle newsletter, which we hope to send out every couple of months.  So much goes on across our houses we felt that it was about time that we shared all these lovely stories with you.  

For those of you who live away from the north east and find it difficult to visit as often as you wish, we hope our newsletter goes some way to let you see some of the things that your relatives and friends are up to.  And for those of you who are regular visitors in to our homes, perhaps our newsletter will give some insight in to our other homes around Newcastle.

Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends and relatives who may be interested in finding out more about Abbeyfield Newcastle. To keep our newsletter alive we will be asking our volunteers, residents and relatives to get involved; so please do let us know if you have a story to share or would like to tell your story about life at Abbeyfield  in one of our future issues. If you have any feedback and suggestions on the newsletter or indeed our communications in general please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would love to hear from you.


Best wishes

John Connelly

OUR HOMES

Take a Look Round... Linden Road

FACT BOX

  • Six individual private rooms that can be personalised with your own furniture and belongings
  • Your own front door bell and key
  • Freedom to come and go as you please
  • Two home cooked meals provided each day
  • Emergency bells in all rooms connected to 24 hour duty manager
  • No additional bills to pay
  • No property maintenance
This will become a regular feature in our newsletter, giving you an opportunity to take a peak around one of our houses you may not be familiar with.  Whilst all our houses offer something different, they all share the Abbeyfield ethos of providing the best possible standard of care and meeting the individual needs of every resident.

Our beautiful Victorian terraced house located in the centre of Gosforth provides supported living for six elderly residents.

Once a private residence, it now maintains the same warm and welcoming feel of a family home, yet provides individual bed-sitting rooms for residents who want to live independently, without the hassle of cooking and cleaning and have the peace of mind that there is someone there for them should they need it.

Our residents sit down together for a home cooked lunch and dinner every day but are free to come and go as they please.  Some head off to the high street to make the most of the shops and coffee shops that are on the doorstep, others enjoy the peace and quiet of their own rooms, or make the most of the beautiful sun lounge and south- westerly garden; the majority opting to relax with a book, jigsaw or a friendly chat, but there are one or two green fingered residents who still like to don their gardening gloves and help Jim in the garden!

Our residents vary in age – with people in their 70s and our oldest resident was well in to her 100s before moving on to The Grove.

A home cooked meal, some welcomed company and the reassurance that there is always somebody nearby who you can call on in an emergency, seems to keep our residents fit and well.

WHAT OUR RESIDENTS SAY

What our Residents and Families say about Abbeyfield Newcastle

Dora Brown and Her Daughters Pamela Hutton and Sheila Forster

Mum has been a resident at Castle Farm for the past six years and she has been settled since the day she moved in.  She is looked after so well and we know she is very happy, which is all we can ask for.

We visit her regularly and have got to know lots of the other residents and members of staff which makes visiting so much more enjoyable as we feel like we are visiting mum at home.

As our way of saying thanks for the effort the team put in to care for mum we come in to the home with our singing group the Davenport Singers to perform for the residents.   We initially sang as a one off when mum first moved in, but the staff and residents now ask us to come back each year around Christmas and we absolutely love it.

We sing popular songs from the musicals as well as some traditional ‘geordie’ favourites such as ‘Dance to ya daddy’ and ‘The Cullercoats Fish Lass’ which the residents really enjoy; it’s good to know that we can give something back to the team and the other residents who help to enhance mum’s life in her later years.

If you would like to provide us with your take on life at Abbeyfield please let us know as we would love to feature different residents and their families in each issue of our newsletter and on our new website

SOCIAL

Abbeyfield Newcastle have a Facebook Page

Having resisted for a while we’ve recently launched our own Facebook page as another way to keep in touch.  We know more and more of you now use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family so thought a dedicated Abbeyfield Newcastle page would be a useful addition so you can see regular updates and photos from our homes.

Please like our page- Abbeyfield Newcastle so we can keep in touch.  We would welcome your contributions to the page; so if you have photos and comments that you are happy to share please post them.

We obviously take safeguarding and privacy seriously and will be ensuring that we have all the correct permissions in place before posting any images on to our page, but if you would like to discuss this further, please speak to us.

Our Facebook page will also provide us with a great vehicle to let others know about life at Abbeyfield.  

We are proud of the care that we offer and how happy our residents are with us here and are keen to let those considering residential care for their elderly relatives know a little more about life at Abbeyfield Newcastle.

MEET THE TEAM

Chris Logue
Deputy manager at The Grove, Gosforth

I joined The Grove in 1994 and have learned so much over the past 19 years.  Joining as a carer, I have been able to progress my own carer whilst looking after the needs of our residents and I can’t think of anything more rewarding.

The overwhelming difference between The Grove and other places that I worked is the genuine care for the residents and the pace of life within the home.  Whilst we are all busy in our jobs, our residents’ needs come first, second and last and every single one of us ensures we have time to spend, without anyone feeling rushed or undervalued.

Some residents like nothing more than to spend time chatting, sharing memories, discussing current affairs or talking about friends and family, whilst others are less talkative and prefer time on their own.  Sometimes just knowing that the offer of company is there should you want it, provides huge reassurance and peace of mind and staves of loneliness.

We do our best to encourage people to get involved in appropriate activities, as often we find a little gentle persuasion is all it takes though and once they take part they are hooked.

I have got to know so many lovely people during my time here at The Grove; family members visit regularly and become very much part and parcel of everyday life here.  Ensuring they feel at home when they visit is an important part of our job – after all they are visiting their relatives in their relative’s home and we strive to ensure this is exactly how it feels.

VOLUNTEERS AT THE HEART OF ABBEYFIELD LIFE


Peter Fryer- Half a Lifetime Volunteering

Peter Fryer is our longest standing volunteer, involved in Abbeyfield Newcastle since 1966- a staggering 49 years.

When an old uncle moved in to one of our homes, Peter asked if there was anything he could do to help and the rest as they say is history.

Since then, Peter has been involved in pretty much every aspect of Abbeyfield Newcastle, acting as treasurer, secretary and chair of the executive committee. 

Nearing his 80th birthday, Peter has devoted over half his life to Abbeyfield and our residents, showing true commitment to their wellbeing and ensuring that our homes meet and indeed exceed the needs and expectations of our elderly residents.

Whilst lots of our volunteers have been with us for a number of years and are the backbone of Abbeyfield life, we are always on the lookout for new volunteers.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering at one of our homes, please speak to one of the house managers or contact us at abbeyfieldnewcastle.org.uk/contact/.  No matter how old you are, what skills you have or what limited time you can offer we would love to hear from you.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteer Turns Resident at Castle Farm Care home


One of our long serving volunteers has swapped his volunteers hat for his own room key at Castle Farm.  John Forrest who began volunteering from Abbeyfield back in the 1980s and until this year chaired the financed committee at Castle Farm, has now joined us a resident.

At 75, John is the young kid on the block, but the retired bank manager felt the time was right to move somewhere where could enjoy people’s company and looked no further than Castle Farm.

John said: “I’ve lived alone for a number of years and a few years ago I downsized from a rambling house in Fenham to a much smaller apartment in Jesmond.  However, I soon found that it wasn’t the size of the house that was a problem but the lack of company within the home.

“I’m pretty active and have a busy social life so I’m out and about meeting friends but it is so lovely to return home and have people to chat to."

“Friends did gasp when I told them my plans, lots told me I was too young to be moving in to a care home but I really felt the time was right.  People are obsessed with staying in their own home but I have never felt this way and decided I would prefer to save my energy to do the things I enjoy as opposed to wearing myself cooking, cleaning and maintaining my property.

“As I’ve got older, what were once simple tasks have now become something to stew over and get stressed about, so it’s good to remove such unnecessary tasks out of my daily routine.

“I have more time than ever to enjoy my allotment or meet up with friends and all the time know that when I return home I will be going back to a fresh home cooked meal and some great company.

“I knew Abbeyfield so well from all my years volunteering and knew that I would be well looked after by the team here; both now whilst I am still enjoying my retirement and in years to come when I’m not so active.”

NEWS
Launch of new website

Over the coming weeks we will be launching our new look website- www.abbeyfieldnewcastle.org -As well as providing information about the houses and our organisation, we will be including a number of resident and family testimonials as nobody can tell others about life at Abbeyfield as well as you can.  If you want to be involved please just let us know.

Likewise, we will be featuring some of our volunteers.  Life would simply not be the same at our houses were it not for our volunteers.  We have an army of them and they really enhance the life of residents – whether simply popping in for a cuppa and a chat or offering their professional services to help us to operate our homes.  


Knit and Natter Group Help Local Church


Our Knit and Natter Group at Castle Farm have been helping a local church to create Joseph’s Technicolour Dream Coat as part of their recent sessions.   

Andrew Shipton, the vicar at All Saints Church in Gosforth will be wearing the coat as part of a week-long event in June when children from five local primary schools will take part in a range of activities to learn all about Joseph.

The group which meets once a month at Castle Farm is ran by one of our volunteers Sue Finkle.  Sue set the group up when a member of her existing knit and natter moved in to Castle Farm and was worried she might not be able to make her regular sessions at the church.  Instead of missing out, Sue arranged for the existing members to meet at Castle Farm instead and the monthly sessions have become a huge hit with more and more residents joining in.

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