The Friends of Ashgrove support the work of the home. Situated within a residential area of Hounslow, London, Ashgrove Care Home is a purpose built 50 bedded care home offering Dementia Nursing care, and Respite care.
The Friends aim to improve the quality of life of the residents of the care home by working with staff, residents and relatives.
The Friends of Ashgrove are looking to develop services on the site. We have found that this is particularly valued by some residents who through deteriorating health do not have the confidence to come out of their rooms. Alongside this we support the care homes’ activities’ coordinators by providing extra pairs of hands during organised activity sessions and outings.
The Friends are delighted to donate 14 chairs to the upstairs activity space.
Judith, Wellbeing and Activities Co-ordinator said “our first project will be to do sessions on a Thursday. It will be a lovely space to bring residents to”.
Attic Makeover with Heathrow Volunteers
The Friends of Ashgrove were delighted to support a project to redecorate part of the attic space, after clearing it out to create a further activities area for residents.
It’s right next to the hairdressing salon and will make the perfect place to stop off, have a cup of tea before returning to their usual floor.
This was made possible by a team of volunteers from Heathrow. It was fantastic to see the hard work they put in, and the difference they made in less than a day.
NCS at Ashgrove
Following two preparatory visits, a group of young people who are part of the National Citizen Service spent the day at the house.
They took part in a number of tasks including:
- Chatting to the residents
- Painting residents nails
- Having a tea party
- Fence painting
- Planting rose bushes and lavender
- Helping tidy activities equipment
To help fund this they had raised £120
On Friday 20th July, they held an awareness rising session in the local community to help recruit more volunteers.
Building Stronger Bridges - Ashgrove
On 30th August 2018, Friends of Ashgrove Care Home received a grant from Awards for All to launch their Building Stronger Bridges project.
The project was born following a series of consultations with family members and carers of the care home residents which indicated a strong need for introducing a service that focused entirely on the residents’ wellbeing and their relationships with the local community, as they can often feel lonely and isolated.
We will train volunteers to provide companionship and emotional support as well as 1:1 relationships with elderly residents who can often fell overlooked by society. We believe that introducing the Building Stronger Bridges project at Ashgrove will not only build a stronger local community, but will also benefit the residents who have requested more activities.
Local residents will play a key role in the establishment of the project. Providing this opportunity for people to make a difference to their elderly neighbours can break down islands within the local community. Local residents will be given the chance to connect and spend time with older residents. The initiative will strengthen the community as local volunteers learn from and engage with the older generation in a humbling experience. This project is a chance to learn that care homes are not places to be afraid of or to avoid. For the residents, it is a chance to see new faces, discover different interests and stories and, as a result, make each day different. Fostering social interaction and commitment to looking after each other is a vital step in growing healthy and strong communities.
Inayah Khan - Case Study
Inayah is an 18 year old student ambassador at her university, working to encourage kids to attend Higher Education. She is currently studying her first year of Law, and has been gaining outstanding grades throughout her education, in both GCSEs and A Levels. She studied Psychology, Biology and Sociology in her two years at sixth form, while also managing to obtain a Community Sports Leadership Award, to which she is particularly proud of.
In her spare time, Inayah likes to keep up with the current news and often babysits for her mother’s friends, “that gave me the experience of working with vulnerable people”, she explained. She also enjoys learning and studying new topics whenever she has the chance.
Inayah felt a sudden need to start helping others in her community, “I lacked the fulfilment that others had when they did something for the sake of other people’s happiness”, and so she decided to join the Ashgrove Care Home with no hesitation when her school offered her the opportunity to volunteer. The particular age group in care homes appealed to Inayah as she has always gotten along with the elderly, “I love listening to the many stories they have of their past, the good and the bad times”, she mentioned. Her school then arranged a training session for her with the Ashgrove staff, before she had the chance to start at the care home.
Inayah had never volunteered before Ashgrove so it was an experience that she was really looking forward to. When she joined, she would spend her time at the care home sitting down with the residents, having long chats while they enjoyed tea and biscuits. She would also occasionally play board games with the residents and listen to music with them, “it was really beneficial for them to have stimulating conversations and reminding them of the simple and fun things in life such as playing board games”, she commented.
Inayah got along really well with two residents in particular; Edward and Ivy. “I enjoyed talking to them and learning about their pasts. It was really fun listening to them and watching them light up when they were talking about the good times they had in their lives”, Inayah expressed. Her time with the Ashgrove residents allowed her to develop a greater sense of patience and interpersonal skills; communicating with the residents both verbally and non-verbally allowed her to grow on those skills.
Her time at Ashgrove has inspired her to go forth and continue volunteering in her community by working with children or helping the homeless. Her experience has also been a source of inspiration in her plans for her future, “it gave me the chance to see if I would want a career in taking care of others which contributed to my interest in the law as many individuals’ rights are stripped from them. I also aim to open a volunteering organisation after I have settled into my dream career”, Inayah announced.
As well as the skills that Inayah developed on through her experience, leadership skills, professionalism and teamwork are some of the skills that she would argue are required for anyone who is looking to be an exceptional volunteer at a care home. Inayah advises volunteers to “make the most of it because not everyone gets to volunteer full time. They should also be open-minded so that they have a sense of the hardships that other people go through”.
Inayah had an unforgettable experience at Ashgrove that showed her the importance of volunteering. She felt the immense gratitude that comes with helping others in your community; “the best part of volunteering is knowing that I am putting others’ needs above my own to make sure that their wellbeing is looked after”, Inayah said, and added, “volunteering is one of the most valuable experiences you will have in your life”.
Christmas festivities - Ashgrove
This season, Friends of Ashgrove are making sure that no one is left out of the Christmas festivities. To make the season a little warmer for the residents at Ashgrove we delivered 12 bottles of prosecco for them enjoy. We wish all the residents and staff a very Merry Christmas from the Friends of Ashgrove team.
NCS visit - Ashgrove
On 2nd August 2018, a group of young people volunteered to support the residents of Ashgrove Care Home as a part of their National Citizenship Service (NCS).
Whilst part of the team spent their visit focusing on renewing the raised flower beds with some paint and planting fresh flowers, the other half of the group continued with jet washing the patio area. With the help of new paint and flowers, the volunteers brought back life into the old flower beds. The newly placed daffodils and tulips helped to complete the renovated look.
They all worked to help the area look like a completely new and restored outdoor space for the care home. The residents and staff members of Ashgrove were very pleased with the outcome and will now fully appreciate the outdoor space of the care home.
Gardening Competition Entry 2018
Friends of Ashgrove Care Home entry to the Hc-One Gardening Competition 2018.
Friends of Ashgrove - Trolley Service
On 12th May 2017, Friends of Ashgrove Care Home received a grant from the Awards for All to launch a Trolley Service.
The service offers residents of Ashgrove Care Home a range of goods to purchase including books, music records, cards, toiletries, gifts, and sweets. The residents can make independent choices and treat themselves or their loved ones by choosing items from the “shop on wheels”.
Not only does Trolley Service respond to residents’ need of purchasing basic goods, but it also provides an opportunity to chat with volunteers on duty. Visiting the residents’ room on a regular basis allows volunteers to engage with residents and brighten their day with a chat. Conversation – a seemingly simple act – can make a great impact on an elderly person’s sense of well-being. The Trolley Service also captures some of the elements of life happening outside of the care home which residents long for the most. Incidental chit-chats resulting from the service stand a chance to become a beginning of friendships and meaningful relationships between residents and volunteers, allowing volunteers to play an active role in making residents’ lives more enjoyable.
Heathrow Garden Project
On Monday 11th September 2017 a team of staff members from Heathrow volunteered at Ashgrove Care Home for a gardening project.
In the rear garden they had raised beds assembled along with a new bench being installed so that residents are able to sit outside and appreciate their new garden. Finally to keep the garden looking presentable and in good condition the paths were jet washed to clear them of grit and dirt and the pergola was oiled to keep it looking good as new.
A group of young people taking part in their NCS came to the Home on Monday 31st July 2017 and Tuesday 1st August 2017 to play music and meet and chat with the residents.
Visits such as these are very important to the Home as many residents have difficulty with movement and can’t go outside unaided. These visits mean is that they are able to meet new people and have a chat with them, which is often very significant for the residents of the home.
NCS Garden Project
As part of their National Citizenship Service (NCS) a group of young people volunteered to support the residents of Ashgrove Care Home
Their plan was to develop on what previous volunteers from Heathrow had come to the home to do. So on Saturday 12th August 2017 the group came to the home and painted the benches and the outside of the fence so that the Home looks more welcoming to neighbours and visitors.
In the front of the Home a new garden was created, the volunteers installed two new plant boxes and built two benches. The outside space within the home is very important to residents, as many have difficulty getting outdoors and the new gardens mean they are still able to go outside and enjoy a change of environment.
Heathrow Volunteers Visit Ashgrove
On Monday 17th July a group of five volunteers from Heathrow visited Ashgrove Care Home to undertake a garden project.
The home were keen to develop a section of garden at the front of the home that was not being used. The group installed raised beds and benches in the area which were purchased by the Friends of Ashgrove. They then filled these beds with plants and flowers which were generously donated by Heathrow. The area is now a useable space residents can enjoy to sit and relax in.
New Project - Friends of Ashgrove – Trolley Service
The Friends of Ashgrove are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our application to receive funding from Awards for All, to begin a new project at Ashgrove.
This project will be a trolley service, with the aim to improve each of the lives of the 50 residents of the home. By setting up a trolley service it means that Friends can visit the residents in their room on a daily basis, to offer the option of buying items or just having a chat. Following from this, other activities will develop.
What happens on the trolley will vary: it may be sweets one day, toiletries, or books on another or even a theme for the holidays, for example Christmas. It will be an opportunity for the residents to treat themselves or a loved one, even if they are unable to get out to the shops. Even if the residents don’t wish to buy anything, the trolley service will encourage friendly chats on a daily basis and help to ease the loneliness and isolation that can occur.
Volunteers will be trained and will run the trolley service, to give the residents a chance to see new faces and make some new friends.
The residents will be encouraged to request items such as socks or toiletries, and the trolley will have some small freebies to give away.
Friends of Ashgrove Committee Meeting
The Friends of Ashgrove held their Committee Meeting on 7th March 2017
The Friends are waiting to find out if they have been successful in securing funding to run a trolley service in the home and develop the activities room.
We have recruited over 20 volunteer from a local sixth form and are keen to get them started in the home.
On Saturday 19th November, the Friends had a major blitz on the grounds at Ashgrove, getting them ready for the winter.
Leaves were raked, hedges trimmed, and fences coated. The aim is to make everything tidy and attractive for the cold winter months.
Additionally, the volunteers did some more work on the space that is being converted into an Activities Room for the residents.
Alongside this, nearly 30 friends spent time talking to residents at different points during the day. Milly also joined in the visits and made new friends too.
National Citizenship Service comes to Ashgrove October 2016
On 25th and 26th of October a group of 13 young people visited Ashgrove as part of their NCS contribution.
The first day time began with a session on getting to know the home and David Wood ran a short session on dementia awareness. The group then met and spent time with the residents in some of the lounges.
On the second day the group returned much to the delight of the residents. The group brought sporting equipment and played games and chatted to residents.
The group left feeling enthused and are looking forward to returning next month to work on the gardens and painting fences at the home.
Visit of Duke of York
On Tuesday 11th October 2016, the Duke of York visited Attends offices to be updated on our work.
As part of his role, he is patron of each of the friends groups in care homes.
Pictured here, he is talking to Nichole, project manager, and Kahlil who is newly appointed to the team. He was delighted to hear of the progress to date.
The Friends of Ashgrove Committee meeting
The Friends of Ashgrove held their Committee meeting on the 10th October 2016
Volunteers are currently running a very successful teashop on Fridays. They are awaiting a response to the fundraising bid recently submitted to purchase a trolley to enable them to run a regular trolley service.
National Citizenship Service comes to Ashgrove August 2016
On Monday 1st August 2 dozen young people who are part of the National Citizenship Service visited the home.
On Monday 1st August 2 dozen young people who are part of the National Citizenship Service visited the home.
They had already been to visit the home for a planning session a week earlier and had also done some fundraising and bought plants and pots and painting equipment. They had planned to paint a mural on two of the homes internal walls and also tidy and plant in the garden areas.
On the day the groups spilt into two groups one to focus on the garden area and the other to work on the mural on the top floor.
There was lots of planting, digging over and cutting back to be done in both the front and rear gardens. The Friends donated large pots and plants for the garden space off the ground floor dining room. The young people painted the garden shed a light blue colour and we heard positive comments from staff, residents and relatives. The second group worked on 2 murals upstairs. One wall was a sky scene and the other was a balloons scene.
We were pleased to see Deepak one of the Friends volunteers and his young son come to help on the day.
Everyone met in the garden for lunch. The home provided a delicious spread and Deepak brought samosas, cake and even went to collect takeaway pizza. It was great to see some of the residents come and sit outside and join us all for ice cream in the garden.
After lunch everyone got back to work finishing off the gardening and painting and there was lots of tidying up to do. It was great to see the difference the efforts of everyone had made. The garden was tidier and new flowers and trees really brightened up the space. The mural looked great and the colours used looked fantastic
National Citizenship Service comes to Ashgrove July 2016
On 5th and 6th of July, a group of eight young people visited Ashgrove as part of their NCS contribution.
The first day time began with a session on getting to know the home and David Wood ran a short session on dementia awareness. The group then met and spent time with the residents in some of the lounges. The residents were thrilled to have a group of young visitors in for the afternoon and were sorry to see them leave.
On the second day the group returned much to the delight of the residents. The group brought percussion instruments to perform samba music for the residents they had been rehearsing for the past week.
As it was a lovely sunny day we were fortunate to be able to hold the event in the garden area. Residents enjoyed the performance and it was inspiring to see the young people interacting with residents and encouraging them to bang the drums and play other instruments.
National Citizenship Service comes to Ashgrove August 2015
On 3rd August, twelve young people visited Ashgrove to see if they would like to make it the focus of their NCS contribution.
Their time began with an interview from David Wood and Nichole Wheaton who are Chair and Secretary of the Friends Group.
As part of their work, the young people want to do a campaign in the community. They are particularly keen to raise the profile of the residents of Ashgrove as still being part of the community. They are not shut away, but still have a voice, something to contribute.
David and Nichole then gave a presentation on dementia.
The young people then split into two groups, and spent an hour in the lounges talking to residents with a member of HC-One Staff.
One of the young people said: “It was amazing, I have never met anyone with dementia, and I did it! I came on the programme because I have confidence issues and I never thought this might be a way to begin overcoming them”.
Judith Activities Co-ordinator said “I was amazed at the difference enthusiastic young people made to the residents. People who I am used to looking at just chilling in their chairs suddenly perked up. They were sitting on the edge of their chair looking animated and getting involved”
National Citizenship Service (NCS) Visit 2015
On Sunday 27th September a dozen young people who are part of the National Citizenship Service visited the home.
National Citizenship Service (NCS) Visit
They had already carried out an awareness raising campaign in the community, highlighting that people in care homes need to be remembered and reached out to by people living nearby.
They had also done some fundraising and bought plants and pots.
On the day there was lots of planting, digging over and cutting back to be done as well as making the front of the home look neat and bright for the winter. The staff commented on how beautiful it all looked.
The second group planned and prepared a party for the residents. They planned the event, decorated the room, thought about the refreshments and the ambiance. The party was enjoyed by all those who attended.
Overall, it was a fantastic effort.
Thank you everyone!
We know your time is valuable and any time you can spare for us will make a big difference. You could volunteer at a one off event or regularly, it is entirely up to you.
If you don’t see a volunteering opportunity to suit you then please get in touch because we could develop an opportunity just for you. If you would like to volunteer please download the application form and return by email to firstname.lastname@example.org