The Friends of Aspen Court support the work of the home. Situated within Poplar in London. Aspen Court Care Home is a purpose built 75 bedded care home offering Dementia, Nursing and End of Life 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 Aspen Court 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.
New Project- Friends of Aspen Court – Walking Through Walls
The Friends of Aspen Court 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 Alexander Care Home.
This project will create new social spaces, in which we will deliver 22 workshops over a year, and would involve the local community. The workshops will be related to the Arts and will include music and dance theatre, to entertain and include the residents, families and friends, and volunteers. Each arts session will be 2 hours, and will include a group workshop for up to 20 residents and family members supported by staff and volunteers in a communal space. The second group will involve one-to-one work for those who are unable to leave their rooms.
The project will be specifically designed with the residents in mind and will work to encourage cross-generational exchange. Creative professionals will work to undertake outreach work with activities co-ordinators. These music, dance and story-telling workshops will give the residents something to look forward to and will help them find new ways to express themselves, especially for those who struggle with communication. The workshops will culminate into two events, one in the care home half way through the year, and one journey to the Albany Tea Dance, marking the end of the year. The first event will bring into the home a specialist 21st Century Tea dance including live dance music from London’s top jazz musicians with the Spitz jazz collective. This will be an opportunity the youth groups to perform alongside residents. The event will be open to everyone in the care home and the local community.
Throughout the project, the workshops will be photographed and documented so that the residents and families can cherish the memories and look back on what they achieved. This project will be an exciting and social opportunity for the residents to meet new people and rediscover their talents, finding new and interesting ways to communicate, and having something fun to look forward to!
Friends of Aspen Court Committee meeting
The Friends held their Committee meeting on the 31st October 2016
Spitalfields Music had recently performed at the home which was hugely enjoyed by the residents. The Friends currently have a bid at the assessment stage which will enable them to help residents with dementia through art and music.
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.
Living Arts Project at Aspen Court
The project explored a responsive, person-centred approach to the delivery of arts activity, forming creative spaces within the home in order to examine how that might give residents, particularly those living with dementia, the opportunity to transform their relationships and environment. The project aimed to challenge perceptions of older people and celebrate people living with dementia as artist-creators.
Living Arts was a multi-arts research project by musician Julian West and Spitalfields Music in Aspen Court care home and funded by Arts Council England.
During February and March 2016 Julian West, and musicians Amy May and Tim Cape, dancer/choreographer Clare Whistler and visual artist Lucy Steggals, visited Aspen Court care home for one morning a week. Working with the residents and the activities staff, they made music, dance, movement, stories, art and written words. In order to be fully responsive to the residents’ ideas, stories and conversations, the team didn’t pre-plan structured activities. They worked almost entirely through musical, physical and visual improvisation, with individual residents and in small groups. Sometimes the residents created whole stories, whilst at other times small gestures, comments, facial expressions and unexpected flourishes provided meaningful insights into another’s personality and individuality.
A culmination event presented the project to care and arts sector professionals and introduced the multi-arts approach, and staff mentoring and training was provided to Aspen Court’s activities staff. As we expected there were few tangible outputs. However the interactions, creative conversations and shared experiences were deeper and more insightful than we had hoped – building strong meaningful relationships between activities staff and residents.
Further to this pilot project we are looking to develop a 3-year programme, embedding the Living Arts approach and values deeper in care homes, transforming the day to day environment through creative relationships between staff and residents.
From an early age, prior to attending College, she had a strong vision of giving back to the community. Positively, she felt that taking her skills to a care home in the local area would be in her best interest. Throughout her life and while she lived in Syria, she has enjoyed spending time with her beloved grandmother, whether that was listening to her stories about the past or just simply lounging outside on the porch.
After moving from Syria, R.S started to study Health and Social Care at Tower Hamlets College and has been doing so since early December of 2014. Her drive and motivation led her to successfully pass the certification exam to pass Level 1. Now, R.S is preparing for her Level 2 certification exam.
R.S volunteers with The Friends of Aspen Court Care Home. She describes the care home environment as one that is “perfect” for her. It has been easier for her to build and form relationships with the residents, after helping and caring for her grandmother who has battled dementia for years now.
R.S is grateful for how much she has learned in such a short time from working in the care home. It has taught her to be more open and accepting to not only residents in the care home, but to individuals around her community.
“The challenges I faced in the beginning benefited me when I was faced with difficult tasks later on,” says R.S. R.S has been supported greatly by the Activities Coordinator, who took R.S under her wing when she first started volunteering at the care home. According to R.S, having volunteers around is so valuable to the resident’s health and well-being on a daily basis. She now has the extra, but necessary expertise when it comes to finishing her degree and possibly moving into a field that will involve psychology and social care.
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