Activities in Wolverhampton - The Sycamores Nursing Home
September 03, 2020
Prior to beginning work as an Activities Coordinator at The Sycamores Nursing home in Wolverhampton I worked in another home and this is where my journey of realising how wonderful Activities can be began.
One of my favourite activities at the 1st care home I worked at was arranging for some of the folk to see The Mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers play at Molineux. Well to be honest they weren't so hot from 2013-17 but it was an incredible experience for us all.
A moment which I will always remember is when I took a lady who had not been to Molineux since it had been redeveloped. The last game was in the 1960's. The lady who was 102 at the time couldn't believe the noise generated by The South Bank behind the goal by us. Even more joy was created when Wolves scored late on and celebrated right by us.
So the opportunity to join The Sycamores Nursing home was meant to be. A new challenge. A new dawn. Again like all new jobs nerves kicked in during the early days.
I was warmly greeted and started to become part of the Sycamores family. The staff were dedicated and helped me in abundance with my new role.
It was a bit different from my role at the previous care home as the home was spread over 3 floors. Which had 3 lounges and an Activities room. My nerves made me feel like I needed to be in 15 places at once.But we had a team and we worked well together by sharing and splitting the sessions in accordance to what was best for the residents needs. We soon got our heads together and were arranging trips and events.
One such event was The Bilston Tea dance. It was the most wonderful event. We tried to get our folk to this once a month as it was so popular and beneficial. 2 hours of entertainment from the Wultizer Hammond organ playing classic seaside / ballroom melodies from yesteryear. It was incredible seeing so many members of community who got dressed up in suits and frocks and made the event so special.
The Cha Cha Cha Cha....
It was just incredible to see how wonderful these dances were being performed. The couples took it so seriously and you could see why as they knew all the moves and were having a whale of a time. We were in awe... So when we ventured onto the floor it was a case of just trying to copy the experts -with hilarious consequences...... They made us so welcome and just help us bed in on the dance floor. Whether it be with wheelchair or actually with a budding hot stepper. The afternoon used to fly by. Which just emphasised how much everyone was enjoying it. There was an interval break for refreshments and biscuits and the wonderful raffle which the residents always seemed to come up trumps and win chocolates, wine and various other prizes.
Obviously it's incredibly frustrating at present in 2020 as we are missing the Town Hall, Brilliant dancing and Majestic Waltzer Hammond organ. Let's hope it's not too long before we can get back to those wonderful Thursday afternoon's. Talking of Bilston we are missing the bargain capital of the Black Country when in comes to our shopping trips. The visits to Bilston were very much enjoyed in years 2018 and 2019. The draw of the bargains for the residents meant that they declined Wolverhampton and went for the indoor and outdoor markets. New outfits and garments were often found on the stalls from high street chains at a fraction of the price. It was great to see bargains grabbed by all then after the shopping spree a visit to the public house for a half a lager and fish n chips. Fantastic Times.
The local independent cinema has always welcomed us at The Sycamores. The M. D Kelly Jeffs is only too keen to help us out when there is a feature that appeals to our folk. Wednesday afternoon is very hectic at The Lighthouse cinema as its a special senior citizens matinee showing. With a free cuppa and a film for £3 it's very popular.
Mary Poppins 2, Laurel & Hardy, Mama Mia 2 and The Judy Garland story are just a few of the features that our film buffs have watched in the past. With it not being too far a journey away. The Lighthouse media centre and cinema is a truly warm and friendly environment to bring our folk to.
Not too far away we have a most excellent restaurant which we had frequented throughout 2018 and 2019. Mr Singh's pizza restaurant is a stones throw away and its proved a big hit in the past. With the quiet lunch time surroundings and lovely food on offer its no wonder its popular with The Sycamores family.
Another byproduct of 2020 has been the sadness not being able to go to The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. The past 3 Christmas Pantomimes were so well directed and performed and we set out a few trips for each Pantomime as the demand was so high. I arranged for a couple of big fans of The Bee Gees to get all dolled up on a Friday evening and we went to see The spectacular Nights on Broadway - The Bee Gees Story. Front row seats. It really was a Brilliant evening and I couldn't stop one of the party dancing in front of the stage. The lady in question just adores dancing. So much so she tires me out with her shapes and moves on the dance floor back at The Sycamores but it's incredible what it does for this particular lady. Priceless Happy face.
Another great event at The Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is hugely popular dementia cafe which was being staged once a month. It involves a get together for coffee / Tea and home made cake and tremendous entertainment put on by the talented singers and actors Julie Paton and Ian Adams. The songs are mixed in with fun and reminiscing about the tracks. A wide range from the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's. The hard work by Remy Lloyd and the team at the Grand is so evident and boy do they deliver. Bravo Guys and Girls.
The local community centre in Blakenhall has served us very well too. Wednesday club as the Ladies called it as it was originally just a ladies coffee morning but we managed to persuade the organisers to let some of our gentlemen to attend. It was a importune chit chat with games and discussions about yesteryear. It was lovely as it enabled residents to venture out who maybe were a little reluctant to travel too far. It was literally 90 seconds away and it worked a treat. Lucinda who ran Wednesday club even tried to get some of the gathering to learn Italian as she had lived in Italy many years ago and was fluent. Lots of laughs and fun was had when we all tried to pronounce basic phrases whilst eating Patteone.
Now 2 of The Sycamores most popular entertainers are Beth Berwick - Lowe and Tom Wenlock. They bring the house down are so engaging with the crowd. They are true professionals who have been in show business for years and as you can see absolutely love their work. The only downside is that Beth always nabs me during the Christmas concert and get me to try and do the animations for the 12 days of Christmas.... I do apologise now if you have witnessed my shoddy display the last few years.....
And finally I'd like to give a mention to our Pet Therapy hound who brings so much joy and laughs to The Sycamores. His funny ways and loving nature is very much what is needed to perk people up on certain days. An extremely valuable member of the team.
So what else can I say other than I wished 2020 would do one. And hopefully we can get back to some normality and try and do some and maybe all the activities I've mentioned.
Just want to say its a pleasure and privilege to work at The Sycamores and to help stimulate the folk who are less fortunate at their time of life. I truly do believe conversation is the most underrated pastime we can give. Just being there, knowing that we are there to help and to assist. To makes light of things and to try and lighten the mood...
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Kind words from our residents and their families
Baytree Court is a very relaxed home, pleasant staff and one of the nicest homes I visit, always get a smile. Service users seem happy.
Glenys Newbury - Health Care Community Worker
Almond View Care Home
To all the staff at Almond View - a big thank you for looking after Mum, with such kindness and dedication. Despite living 400 miles away, I always had a good feeling that she was in good hands. When I did visit, the staff without exception, stopped to chat to us even though they were extremely busy. Please accept my heart felt thank you to you all - a real credit to Almond View.
Bankview Care Home
Thank you for the excellent level of care that my father, Frank Boyle, has received. Bankview demonstrated for us the template for a care home and how it should feel and be run. Friendly, welcoming, excellent care levels, length of time staff remain loyal to the home and above all a clear and comforting atmosphere of great leadership.
Barbara and Jan
Social Work Department
Bankview Day care is welcoming and homely, meeting a wide range of needs with well trained staff and individual care for each client.
Bankview Day Care Centre
Bankview Day Care Centre
I understand why mum loves coming to Bank view Day-care it’s a home from home and the activities offered are excellent
Bankview Day Care Centre
The day care centre has made a huge difference to my life. Best thing I ever done, my week was boring now I have days out and shopping trips and good company.
Baytree Court Care Home
We can not thank you enough for all the care, support and attention the staff at Baytree Court have given Marc. The staff have always given their time and support to us on visits which has meant a great deal.
Doreen and Yvonne
Beechwood Care Home
Both mum and I were most impressed with Beechwood and we have decided that is where we would like Dad to come to. You have put both mine and mum's minds at rest knowing that Dad will be looked after.
K Macdonald in memory of my Aunt Jean
I can't exaggerate the admiration I have for the management and staff of Craigielea. I've never experienced so much patience, coaxing, kindness and care. These people share their lives and emotions, laugh and cry and mourn for the people who entrust themselves to care.
Craigielea Care Home
J Ellis in memory of Steve
The staff talked about my best friend being an inspiration to them, despite his illness It made me change my approach with him, instead of being despondent and sad, I spoke with him the way we had always been with each other. The staff saw him as a person.
Craigielea Care Home
My uncle, who is a retired GP, recently visited Dad on a trip over from Canada and commented that Craigielea is one of the best places he has ever seen in his experience of elderly care units. Very homely, calm, relaxing and wonderful staff. Keep up the fantastic work you do!
Grandholm Care Home
In all my visits I have been most impressed with the Care and Attention shown by all your staff, who are professional and courteous at all times. We are always welcomed with a friendly smile which makes us feel very much part of the home and being involved
Grandholm Care Home
Please accept my sincere congratulations for performance and efficiency of Grandholm Care Home. The home provides a very professional, caring and motivational environment with an abundance of patience and understanding. The home is a credit to your team and one of the best in Aberdeen.