The Friends of Cedar House support the work of the home. Situated within the tranquil village of Harefield, Cedar House Care Home is a purpose built 42 bedded care home offering Dementia and Specialist 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 Cedar House 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.
IMG Studios Volunteers at Cedar House Care Home
IMG Studios Volunteers at Cedar House Care Home
On Thursday 17th October, IMG Studios volunteered at Cedar House Care Home for their “Walk the Walk” community service initiative. The volunteers were enthusiastic to brighten residents’ days through a variety of activities. They first revamped the multi-sensory room in the care home. Upon arrival, the room was painted in white. Since this backdrop was unfit for the purpose of stimulation, IMG Studios volunteers painted the room a cheerful, vibrant purple shade. It instantly transformed the vibe of the room from ordinary to exciting. The fresh coat of paint will brightly welcome residents with dementia into a room where they can enjoy mental stimulation. There are also a few multi-sensory activities already available in the room, with more to come in the future.
IMG Studios volunteers also interacted with Cedar House residents during their lunch break. Lunch is a routine part of their structured days, but it brings everyone together and gives them a chance to connect with each other. Volunteers joined them by chatting and helping care home staff serve the food. Residents were excited to talk to new faces in addition to those they already knew, which helped create a sense of a wider community.
After lunch, volunteers hosted a sing along for residents, which included crowd favourites from their younger years. Residents were given lyrics to the songs so regardless of whether or not they knew the words, they were able to participate. One of the volunteers happily led the residents in song, passing the microphone to give everyone a chance in the spotlight. The activity put smiles on the faces of all residents as they thought back on old memories and created new ones.
The volunteers also brought donations for Cedar House residents. They offered residents cake and tea after the sing along and lunch, which are treats they don’t often get to enjoy. Additionally, volunteers gave residents a variety of toiletries, such as shampoo, soap and toothpaste. Although toiletries are basic necessities, this gift was a symbol of how the volunteers care about residents’ well-being. The donations meant a lot to the residents, especially because many of them may not receive gifts at all.
IMG Studios’ volunteers made a big impact on Cedar House residents. Their eagerness to spend time with residents created a joyful mood throughout the care home, which was contagious to both the residents and staff. Their compassion for the Cedar House community will now be remembered in the long run every time someone looks at the purple walls.
Skanska Volunteering Day at Cedar House Care Home
Friends of Cedar House Care Home partnered with Skanska for their annual Volunteering Day on Thursday 19th September.
Skanska voted to dedicate their volunteering day to the Cedar House Care Home because helping the residents who often struggle with isolation and lack of stimulation means a lot to them. Skanska’s 20 employees came to Cedar House Care Home with one goal in mind: to revitalise their gardens so residents have a cheerful place to enjoy.
Cedar House residents have shared with us that their gardens were a place they would like to spend time in, but usually do not because they were not as bright and lively as they were in the past. The Skanska volunteers wanted to transform the garden into a place that residents would appreciate and benefit from, since they mostly stay inside of the care home. Gardens provide residents with a variety of sensory stimulation, such as the smell of the flowers, the sound of the wildlife, the sight of the vibrant colours, and the textures of all the different plants. They also give residents an opportunity to get some light exercise by walking around the building and experiencing all the gardens have to offer.
Skanska volunteers did many things to bring the garden back to life. They picked weeds and planted new flowers, power washed the pavement, and repainted tables and benches. They even painted a garden mural inside the care home for residents who cannot easily access the garden.
After a hard day’s work, the outcome was incredible. The garden looks brand new, with brightly painted yard furniture and newly planted flowers. The pavement in and around the garden is spotless. The Skanska volunteers worked incredibly well together to achieve all of this in only around 5 hours. Cedar House residents have now the opportunity to spend more time outdoors in a lovely space.
Friends of Cedar House Care Home were happy to sponsor Skanska’s Volunteering Day. We know how big of an impact just one day can make when volunteers come together with enthusiasm and determination, just as Skanska did. Many of the Skanska volunteers were thrilled at how beautiful the garden now looks compared to the beginning of that day due to their efforts. The event helped them achieve a deeper sense of unity and camaraderie within their community.
There are even more plans for enlivening the Cedar House Care Home gardens. Friends of Cedar House Care Home plan on building a brand new summerhouse for the back garden. This will allow the care home to store gardening tools on their premises, so they can ensure the upkeep of the garden all year long. This will also make it easier for Friends of Cedar House to host future events like this one, without having to worry about transporting gardening supplies ourselves. We hope that continuing to maintain the Cedar House gardens will improve the lives of their residents for the long run.
Before and After Photos
NCS at Cedar House (13th August 2019)
We have been delighted to welcome an NCS group back to Cedar House this summer.
The group visited three times, and on each occasion you could feel the buzz of energy between the 20 or young people, and the residents of the home.
The group decided to do some fundraising to help buy some added extras for the residents. They set themselves a target of £1000.
They also held a campaign day to raise awareness of people living with dementia.
On their day in the home, the group decided to spend time with the residents working on different initiatives the residents had identified. The two key ones were hand massages, and nail painting, as well as planting up nine hanging baskets for the back garden.
One of the residents, Joan said, “aren’t they lovely people”. We are glad she thought so as three of the NCS group have decided to permanently volunteer at the home.
Goodbye - 23rd July 2019
The Friends of Cedar House were so sorry to say goodbye to Rev Ruth Goobey who has been on the committee right from the beginning.
We first met Ruth through her ministry at Harefield Baptist Church. As Ruth now moves to Milton Keynes to continue her work, we want to thank her for everything she has done, and wish her every success and happiness in her new role.
Building Stronger Bridges Project - Cedar House
On 6th October 2018, Friends of Cedar House 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.
Christmas festivities - Cedar House
This season, Friends of Cedar House are making sure that no one is left out of the Christmas festivities. To make the season a little warmer for the residents at Cedar House we delivered 12 bottles of prosecco for them enjoy. We wish all the residents and staff a very Merry Christmas from the Friends of Cedar House team.
Gardening Competition Entry 2018
Friends of Cedar House Care Home entry to the Hc-One Gardening Competition 2018.
Friends of Cedar House – Garden Project
On 24th May 2018 Friends of Cedar House received a grant from Tesco’s Bags of Help to purchase garden furniture and a range of tactile plants.
Friends of Cedar House are a group of enthusiastic volunteers who aim to improve the well-being of the residents of Cedar House Care Home. Friends of Cedar House can now support residents in gardening activities to help them stay healthy and socially engaged.
The benefits of gardening are endless but most importantly it is an excellent exercise. Moving around in the garden and looking after the plants means the residents will be able to increase physical strength, mobility and hand grip without putting excessive strain on their bodies.
Thanks to an improved garden, residents will have the ability to harvest their own plants which will be a perfect topic to discuss with others over a cup of tea at the new tables and chairs. A sense of accomplishment in plant growing will give residents a boost of confidence and improve their mental well-being. Additionally, gardening outdoors means spending more time in the sun. Thanks to this residents will notice a positive change in their mood as well as find themselves more stress-relieved.
Gardening in a care home is a way for residents to get together. With this project, specially-trained volunteers will engage with the residents to cultivate and enjoy the gardening hobby together. A responsibility shared between the residents will give more opportunities to socialise, build new friendships, and eventually bond with other residents or volunteers.
Spending more time in the garden is an opportunity for an exciting learning process. Residents will have the ability to gain new skills and spark an interest in something that they might not have had an interest in before. This means that regular garden-tending will keep the residents’ mind active which is a helpful technique in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
With the combined efforts of Friends of Cedar House, the staff and the volunteers at Cedar House Care Home, the residents will be given a therapeutic chance to make the most out of their garden and health, and as a result, age gracefully.
Multisensory Equipment project - Cedar House
Friends of Cedar House Care Home received a £895 grant from Co-Op Community Fund to run a Multisensory Equipment project.
With this project, we will purchase a specialist sensory case for the elderly as a tool to exercise sensory perception. The case will include a variety of equipment for residents with dementia and those who might need some sensory stimulation.
The sensory case contains tools which will give the residents the opportunity to exercise visual, olfactory and auditory perception. Musical gloves will give the residents the opportunity to play music with ease and the fruits card game will allow them to recognise and match fragrances with fruits.
Additionally, cushions and armchair covers of various textures will constitute a tool to explore tactile perception.
The kit will be a chance to build a bridge between trained volunteers and the residents, form new meaningful relationships developed through leisure whilst simultaneously improving their physical health. Our volunteers will contribute to improving the lives of residents by exercising day-to-day tasks which involve sensory stimulation. Thanks to this project, residents will gain confidence in recognising textures, sounds and scents and, consequently, improve their concentration and memory.
The Multisensory Equipment project is one more step forward in making residents’ lives more enjoyable and meaningful.
Jean Howard - Case Study
Following retirement from her job as a hairdresser, Jean, 73, began her volunteering journey with Friends of Cedar House Care Home. Jean started working from an early age of 15 as an apprentice in a hairdressing salon. Being a mother and a grandmother on top of her responsibilities has always kept her around people – the young and the elderly in particular.
Jean has been a trustee of a residential care home in Beaconsfield where during her trusteeship she helped raise money for the Resident Comfort Fund. For many years Jean was also chair of governors at the local junior school in Iver Heath.
Volunteering is a cause close to her heart since her husband had been diagnosed with Dementia at only 64 years of age and he became a resident in a care home in Slough. “When this home had to close down we moved him to Cedar House where I have volunteered ever since my husband passed away”, Jean explained. In the incomprehensibly difficult time of the loss of a loved one, Cedar House staff had been extremely supportive to Jean. “The staff are fantastic, they helped me so much when my husband passed away”, she recalled, “they made it feel like they were family”.
Jean’s first-hand experience made her realise how important it is for residents to be around volunteers. “Making them happy is such a gratifying experience”, she explained. Jean engages in numerous activities with the residents at Cedar House. Whether it is starting a conversation, singing and playing old music or visiting the zoo land and having a coffee in the Garden Centre – Jean will do what it takes to put a smile on residents’ faces. “Sometimes even just a chat is all they need, and once you’ve approached them, it’s a matter of seconds for them to brighten up!” Jean also engages in the weekly painting sessions – her experience with aesthetic art came out in the open when she partook in those as well as decorated the rooms of Cedar House, “one time I arranged daffodils in bouquets and had all the residents ask if they were decorated by a professional”, she confessed. “Being a hairdresser you have that arty feeling about you, and it does play a role in daily activities with the elderly”, she explained.
“I love talking to them and I love how they’re always looking out to see me. “That is the most rewarding feeling one could experience”, Jean said.
“Since I retired I have been volunteering every day apart from weekends.” Jean is a proud owner of a dog who accompanies her and the two of her grandchildren in their weekly hiking trips. Jean is always out and about but does not think of stopping helping the elderly – she will carry on volunteering and advises everyone else to do so too, “it’s the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped somebody”.
Although her voluntary work might be sometimes overwhelming and trigger memories from the past, she “just wants to make the residents feel wanted”. “I will carry on doing what I do here”, Jean stated firmly. Jean would advise anyone to volunteer, “go ahead and do it. It is a rewarding job. You don’t have to receive money to be rewarded for what you do”.
Friends of Cedar House - Trolley Service
On 22nd August 2016, Friends of Cedar House Care Home received a grant from the Award for All to launch a Trolley Service.
The service offers residents of Cedar House 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.
NCS Visit Cedar House
A group of young people from the local area who were taking part in the National Citizenship Service kindly decided to volunteer and meet with residents at Cedar House.
On Friday 7th July 2017 the group came to the Home to meet and chat to residents of the home. They then came together to sing some of their favourite songs with the residents.
The volunteers went on to support the weekly trolley service at the Home which goes around to each room offering residents the chance to purchase items they wouldn’t normally be able to buy; from sweets to toiletries, cards and gifts.
They returned on Saturday 8th July 2017 but this time to get their hands dirty by doing some work on the garden; putting new plants down all around the grounds of the home and also planting new raise bed in the garden (bought by the Friends of Care Homes). The volunteers also got creative with the fence, painting it in a colourful pattern which really makes the garden stand out. Finally to keep the garden in good condition for the residents the paths were jet washed and the whole garden tidied by the volunteers.
National Citizenship Service comes to Cedar House July 2017
On 7th, 8th and and 20th of July a group of 12 young people visited Cedar House as part of their NCS contribution.
The first day began with a session on getting to know the home. The group then met and spent time with the residents in some of the lounges and ended the day singing to residents in the garden.
On the second day the group returned much to the delight of the residents. The group had practiced a a performance which they did in the garden, they then played games and chatted to residents.
The following week the group returned for their social action day. They had worked hard raising money to buy plants for the home many of which were to go in raised beds purchased by the Friends of Cedar House. They had also fundraised for paint to paint one of the fences with a design they had created. A lot of time was spent jet washing the paths which vastly improved their appearance. The garden was much more attractive and we hope the residents enjoy the beautiful flowers and herbs throughout the summer.
The day was a great success and we are hoping to welcome another group in the future.
New Project - Friends of Cedar House – Trolley Service
The Friends of Cedar House 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 Cedar House.
This project will be a trolley service, with the aim to improve each of the lives of the 42 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.
Helping residents be in touch with their family
On Wednesday 17th May, the friends were delighted to present a laptop to Cedar House.
Pinda, the activities co-ordinator is delighted, saying “this means we will be able to support more of our residents to keep in with their friends and relatives on skype.
The laptop will also be used to help access the many online resources which can be interesting and helpful to people living with dementia.
Friends of Cedar House Committee meeting
The Friends of Cedar House held their Committee meeting on 3rd November 2016
The Friends have received funding for a trolley service which will be up and running soon. There are also 2 carol singing events planned and the dates for these will be confirmed in the near future.
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.
Friends of Cedar House Committee meeting
The Friends of Cedar House held their Committee meeting on 13th December 2016
The Committee met and are looking to purchase new equipment for the trolley service and have submitted a bid for mobile multisensory equipment. We have applied to the Charity Commission to become a registered charity.
New Service Funded
The committee of the Friends of Cedar House are delighted to announce that they have just been awarded funds to deliver a trolley service into each resident’s room.
It will take a little while to get set up, but hopefully will be fully operational by Christmas.
Orla loved the idea of working with children and the elderly, but she had no idea that she would ever find herself working in a care home. The idea of “giving back” crossed her mind on many occasions when thinking about her future plans. She felt that taking her skills to a care home in the local area would be in her best interest. Eventually, she began her first volunteer job at a facility working specifically with young children.
She currently studies at Sixth Form College where she spoke about her introduction to the basics behind dementia that dealt with understanding more of the health field, too.
Currently, she volunteers at The Friends of Cedar House Care Home on a weekly basis coming in every Wednesday from 2-5pm in between College. Orla loved how she was introduced to all the staff and residents that she would be working with, giving her that sense of comfort and love.
In the beginning, she was nervous because she had never worked directly with individuals suffering from dementia. “Knowledge of how the brain and nervous system work coherently gave me the confidence to make strong connections through small conversations with the residents,” said Orla. Recently, she has been working to pass her Level “A” examination.
Orla says working at the care home has made her appreciate her own life much more and she views the world from a different point of view. Even though she has only been volunteering here since January, caring for the elderly at Cedar House Care Home has been different in many ways from her studies in the classroom at college because it has given her a hands-on experience and one that is entirely different each time she volunteers. From the beautifully painted pictures that she works on with the residents, she remembers times of her own childhood of painting in her art classes that she treasures. Orla speaks about how her family and friends have found her to be more patient after only several weeks of volunteering. This remark, has allowed her to see how much of a difference she is making in the residents lives every time she sits down with them for tea and coffee, paints that beautiful picture, or simply says hello.
One of her supervisors told her how much the four residents look forward to going with her to the coffee shop each Wednesday afternoon; it is all they talk about leading up to the day. “What a perfect picture it is seeing how much the four of them smile after we have sipped on some coffee and spoken about their favourite past times.” She was moved and devoted to branching out of her comfort zone and meeting and interacting with new people.
Orla has found many benefits to volunteering and it has given her a greater respect for the community as well as a self-confidence boost when it comes to giving presentations or speaking with individuals at College. She has become very attached to many of the residents.
Ruth has been volunteering for a long time and she has found a strong love for volunteering that she looks to continue in the future. Through various organisations that she has either led or has been a part of, Ruth has been able to give back to the community with the same warm welcoming that she feels Cedar House Care Home has given her since she began volunteering there.
After attending University and before coming to Cedar House Care Home, she worked with individuals who had suffered from acquired brain injuries as a community worker at Head Way. Ruth could not express enough her great amount of love for Cedar House Care Home and how she admires the warm welcome that she receives from staff there when she walks through the doors. “Every question I have is answered with a smile and this volunteering role is so rewarding,” stated Ruth.
For several years now, Ruth has been a minister at her local church. She has done many events with her church members around the community, and enjoys leading services in care homes. Aside from coordinating volunteer activities of the church she comes into the care home with members from her church to hold Sunday services. The residents have learned from word-of-mouth from each other about these services, and it recently has gathered a number of care home residents together for an hour.
“It’s wonderful to see a group of people smile so much from our songs that we all sing together.” Some of residents do not speak and cannot sing the songs, but they have that warm spirit that can be seen all over their faces when everyone is singing and smiling around them. Everyone feels included in the service, even if they do not practice the same religion. The services are all about welcoming the residents to be a part of something that they can enjoy and look forward to each month. Sometimes the residents bring their own immediate family members to participate in the services, as well.
“I simply cannot name all of the beneficial aspects that have come out of this volunteering experience so far as there are too many.”
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
Lunch Time Companion “Let’s Do Lunch”
- Basic administration experience
- Good communication and organisational skills
- Friendly and helpful with an interest in the community
When: Monday – Sunday (AM or PM)
How long: Minimum 3 hours, 1 day per week