“We loved working on Christmas day!” say our team

Our carers went above and beyond to make the festive season special for our residents and they were really looking forward to spending Christmas Day with them.

Our home is a 74-bedroom residential and nursing home on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border and we specialise in caring for those living with dementia and memory loss. We are rated ‘Good’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and we were recently West Midlands’ Finalists at the Great British Care Awards 2023 for the ‘Care Home Manager’ and ‘Dementia Carer’ award.

Emmanuel Igantious, 28, and Raj Islam, 26, joined Barrowhill Hall last year and they were part of the dedicated team who helped to make Christmas “magical” for our residents.

“I loved working on Christmas Day!” Emmanuel says, “We all do this job because we care so much about the residents and it means everything to us to see them happy. I got so much enjoyment from watching them open their presents and being part of their special day.”

Raj says, “Coming into work on Christmas Day was very exciting and seeing the smiles on our residents’ faces was priceless. I don’t have grandparents and so the residents are like my grandparents.”

Christmas Day at our home began with the team handing out gifts to all the residents in our lounge and in their bedrooms. Everyone enjoyed a homemade Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and we watched the King’s speech on the TV, which the residents were really looking forward to.

Resident Gladys Poree, 88, described our home’s Christmas decorations as “Beautiful” and the festivities as “magical”.

Our lifestyle coordinator, Sally-Ann Davis, says, “It’s always a home from home here and our residents’ family and friends are very much a part of the Barrowhill Hall family too.

“Val and Ruth from the lifestyle team handed out the presents on Christmas morning, it’s become their tradition, and they love it. We all worked really hard as a team to make our home magical for the residents over Christmas time, and on the day itself. Our residents had a great time and that’s what counts.”

We organised and hosted a variety of Christmas events during the build-up to the big day. These included a Christmas evening with live singers, complete with mulled wine and mince pies, a talented vocalist performing a war-themed Christmas show called ‘Putting on the Blitz’, schoolchildren singing carols in the home’s lit-up garden, and a Christmas fair with Santa Claus meeting residents.

Carer, Tiffany Beardsley, 18, was one of the team who had a key role during the Santa Claus visit. She dressed as an elf, whilst her partner, Tom, also a carer at the home, was Santa himself, stepping in to help last minute when Santa couldn’t make it.

“It was really good fun,” Tiffany says. “I just enjoy spending time with the residents and building bonds with them. We all did our best to make Christmas special for them. I really enjoy care work and chatting with the residents is one of the best parts about it. Some of them are really funny, we always have a giggle.”

Our care home manager, Dania Meadows says, “I’m really proud of the team, they can’t do enough for the residents. We had a lovely Christmas Day and it’s heart-warming that the team enjoyed it as much as the residents did.”

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