The Newcastle Abbeyfielder
Abbeyfield Newcastle News | October 2015

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As we approach Christmas it seems a good time to reflect on 2015, and for Abbeyfield Newcastle upon Tyne it's been good year. 

We've achieved three key milestones: both Care Homes were inspected for the first time using the new Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection criteria and were rated ‘Good’. We also achieved the quality kite mark from Abbeyfield, named Core Standards. This kite mark covers all aspects of our business and we are delighted to report there were no action points resulting from the arduous assessment process. The assessor was very positive about how we do our business, recommending our ways of working to other Abbeyfield Societies.  Congratulations to all involved. Most importantly our residents reported to all the assessors that we provide them with a welcoming and comfortable home, they feel safe and we look after them with dignity and compassion. So thank you to everyone. That is what we work for every day. 
Our residents have enjoyed several trips this year, highlights being the “weeping window poppies” at Woodhorn Colliery Museum, trips to the Tyneside film theatre, Theatre Royal , North Shields Fish Quay and a lovely Christmas lunch at Gosforth Academy. Summer garden parties and Christmas parties were well attended and everyone had a great time – we even had a steel band and a brass band visit us. The houses are busy with activities every day; there is a real buzz about our work which is good to see.
2015 has been a year of consolidation for Abbeyfield Newcastle with a view to strengthening our position so that we can develop a plan for a sustainable future. Both Castle Farm and The Grove have had a good year maintaining a high occupancy levels as well as excellent standards. Well done to Chris, Kath and all staff and volunteers who made it all possible.  Sadly, we had to close Thorney Close; for some time it's been running under capacity. We now are looking at new and exciting developments to reinvest the money as a result of the sale to improve our offering in Newcastle upon Tyne. Linden Road has not had the best year financially with two residents moving on, leaving us with only three; everyone has been working hard to fill these vacancies and will continue to do so. June and her team have done a great job, the standards are excellent, the residents happy –and they have had to deal with a major flood in the house!

We have appointed a number of new staff this year and welcome you all. We have also celebrated long service records, thanks Kath Brown for thirty years’ service and Lorraine Lawson, our wages officer, twenty-five years. 

We all face a challenging future, but are convinced that we have in place the team and processes to match that and ensure we can maintain the success of the Abbeyfield Newcastle Society. In support of this we have developed a 5-year Strategic Plan which will shape our thinking in how we invest and grow and develop our business to meet future challenges. We must be aware of legislation and local government changes but out of adversity will inevitably come opportunity. 2016 will see the start of our journey in shaping our future to meet these challenges. However, we will always remain faithful to our mission to provide a real home from home and enrich the lives of those we hold dear – our residents.

In support of all the above is our team of volunteers and staff who provide us with the foundation on which to build. Thank you all for all the hard work, effort and support you have provided this year it is so much appreciated.

We hope you have the most wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Best wishes

John Connelly, CEO

Vee Wilkinson, Chair, Executive Committee

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