Catering Manager goes the extra mile to help the homeless

John Wealleans, Head of Catering at The Chiswick, and his family have been spending their free time helping the homeless/rough sleepers in his home city of Chelmsford.

To date they have managed to raise a whopping £15,000 towards the cost of a fully equipped catering van that will enable them to extend their meals service to the homeless over a wider area, a much-needed service.

The management of The Chiswick Nursing Centre has weighed in with a generous donation in support of John, one of its longest-serving members of the staff team. “You have all been so supportive and generous towards getting the van, I am humbled by this as it’s so tough at the moment,” John said.

Whilst they wait for the van to arrive, John and his charitable colleagues have already been out and about in Chelmsford, during the evening, serving delicious Chinese-style food – chicken in black bean sauce with noodles or beef and okra with noodles. There was chocolate bread and butter pudding to follow and a tasty cake to take away. The Witham Hub kindly provided the ingredients.

STREETFOOD (the name of the group) stand alongside other outreach groups:

The ladies from the Community Church: supply drinks, breakfast bags and sandwiches.

‘Warm Hearts for Cold Hands’ ensures everyone has the clothes they needed,”

Meanwhile the fundraising must go on to cover the costs of running and maintaining the van once it arrives. John vows not to stop until they have helped as many homeless/rough sleepers as they can. No homeless/rough sleeper should go hungry. Awareness is a powerful tool.

If anyone would like to help, they can visit the STREETFOOD Facebook page to find out more about the project. Donations can be made via GoFundMe, or you can contact John via the Chiswick Nursing Centre on 0208 222 7800.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) – our guidance to service users and families – update

Dear Relatives, Friends and Next of Kin,

I am pleased to advise that we now have no further cases of confirmed Covid-19 at The Chiswick. Any Residents who were isolating as a result of having symptoms or having tested positive for the virus, have now completed their period of isolation. 

As a part of our rigorous efforts to maintain the current position we continue to test every employee every day / night that they work; and every resident once per week. 

At the present time, and as a part of the established outbreak cycle operated by Public Health England, the home will remain closed to new admissions and, I am afraid, to visitors.

Our normal exceptional visiting arrangements remain in place for those who are close to the end of life. I am, of course, aware of the announcements issued by the Minister for Health regarding re-establishing structured and regulated visits for Residents from a named visitor, and we very much welcome that initiative.

My team are currently working on ways to implement the new system from the soonest possible date. 

The Minister had suggested 8th March 2021 as a start date, however our own situation will be governed as well by the date when Public Health England agree that we can re-open following a 28 day cycle from the most recent outbreak of the virus in the home. 

Details of the new visiting scheme and start date will be publicised on this web page ahead of that event. 

If you have any specific questions or if I can assist further, please do feel free to contact me by email: Steve.winter@chiswicknursingcentre.co.uk  or  0208 222 7800. 

Steve WinterCentre Director

Retirement Village or Residential Care? Making the Right Choice

As people age,  their needs and ability to care for themselves change. It is difficult to accept that we,  or a close family member is no longer be able to remain in our own home but it is a decision that most of us will have to make at some stage. The good news is that there are excellent options available. Two of the most common are downsizing to a retirement village or moving into a care home.

Talking to your friends and family will help you make an informed choice and find the best solution for you. Take account of the fact that you may need extra assistance as time goes on. What do you need to keep your life stress-free without limiting the chance to try new experiences and interact with other like-minded people?

If you are in reasonably good health but your present property is too large or it has too many stairs, you want a little help with some daily chores or you recognise that this might soon become the case, an independent living accommodation such as The Vale is an ideal choice.

You can rent or buy your own luxurious apartment in which you can feel safe, secure and have familiar, cherished items around you without having to worry about maintenance responsibilities or safety risks. It is all taken care of.

Weekly help with some households chores, should you need it, is included as part of your package and this can be increased, if and when you require it. You will find comfort in living in a like-minded community and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the right level of help and support is on hand. If you need assistance with personal care – or even, at a later stage, some nursing care input, in the confines of your own home; then this can be arranged.

Perhaps you or your relative are becoming frail, less mobile, experiencing frequent falls or your mental health/memory are deteriorating. A greater level of care may be required in which case moving to a residential care home may be the best option.

At the Chiswick Nursing Centre our highly skilled nursing and care team can assist with personal care such as bathing and dressing as well as attend to any medical needs. Delicious and nutritiously balanced meals are provided and there are daily, inspiring activities for both body and mind.

Perhaps you or your close family member are recovering from an operation or other hospital stay. A brief spell of convalescence or respite may be the best option here. Our nursing team and in-house physiotherapists are well qualified to aid rehabilitation and get patients as mobile as possible to return to their ‘normal’ lives.

Whichever residential option you are considering, do take time to speak to a member of staff about what is available and do visit when circumstances allow. For information on either The Vale or The Chiswick Nursing Centre, please call 07568 106258.

Enriching activities for good mental health and wellbeing

Keeping our Residents’ minds active, their spirits lifted and ensuring they can connect with their families and friends are always high on our agenda. It is especially the case during these difficult times.

Each week our Activity teams prepare a timetable of events and pastimes to enhance the daily lives of those in our care. At the moment, these take place in small, socially distanced groups, or in residents’ rooms giving people one-to-one attention, and in order to ensure that we can keep everyone as safe as possible at this time of Pandemic. At all times, suitable screens, PPE, sanitizer and other safety measures are appropriately in place.

Some organised events celebrate national occasions such as Burns Night, which takes place on 25th January. This year, we hosted two classical music teachers, who, having been pre-tested for COVID, donned PPE, to entertain our Residents. They toasted the socially distanced “lads and lassies” with the traditional tea and shortbread, accompanied by poetry from the classic Scottish poet Robbie Burns. This included a rendition of the ‘Wee, tim’rous beastie’ as well as traditional Scottish reels, all of which were thoroughly enjoyed.

Regular activities such as Knitter Knatter, arts and crafts and men’s groups continue, where possible, and with the relevant Covid-protection measures.

Video links have become an immeasurably important way for residents to keep in touch with their loved ones and much of our Activity Coordinators’ days are spent supporting them to do this. Seeing and being able to talk to relatives and friends in this way is very much appreciated but Residents also really enjoy the one-to-one time they have with the coordinators and other staff helping them navigate the technology.

We also provide video links to our local church so that those who wish to do so can continue with their pastoral and spiritual care.

Video links were much utilised at Christmas. Two local primary schools, St Peter’s and Wendell Park, recorded carols and posted them online. A local voluntary group also sent a link to carols, which were much appreciated, as were the delicious mince pies that the group additionally delivered to The Chiswick.

Coronavirus (COVID 19) - our guidance to service users and families. We are using this link to keep all service users and families as up to date as possible on this fast developing and rapidly changing situation.Please click here for our latest guidance.