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.
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 email@example.com
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