Team work, love and joy’: one-team Colten celebrates carers

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Colleagues at Colten Care’s Bourne View home in Poole celebrate Carers Week with thank-you messages and cake.

Hundreds of team members at a care home provider in the south have overcome lockdown challenges to raise awareness of the vital role carers play in the community.

Family-owned Colten Care invited staff at all its 21 homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex and Wiltshire to champion Carers Week.

Reflecting its ‘one-team’ approach to residents’ wellbeing, taking part were Colten’s nurses, carers, chefs, receptionists, administrators, hairdressers, gardeners, maintenance staff and colleagues in other roles too.

Organised and led by Companionship Team Leaders at each home, the week featured the sharing of thank-you messages and handwritten thoughts on the positive difference that working in care makes.

Posted on message boards across the homes were sentiments such as: ‘I came to work today because I like to see the joy on the residents’ faces’, ‘Working in care is about giving the care that they deserve and can’t provide for themselves’, and ‘The best part of my job is everyone and everything being one team’. One carer summed up her job satisfaction by writing: ‘Teamwork, love and joy’.

Donia O’Connor, Senior Companionship Team Leader, said: “Colleagues highlighted many reasons why a career in care is so rewarding, from the compliments you receive from residents and their families to the pride and satisfaction you have knowing you have helped make someone’s day by your words and actions.”

Amid ongoing social distance restrictions, the week featured daily treats for staff and residents such as homemade cakes, ice lollies and doughnuts and a co-ordinated singing of the Dolly Parton hit and popular ‘workplace anthem’ Nine to Five.

Team members at Colten Care’s Avon Reach home in Mudeford, Dorset, with their thoughts on working in care.

Colten Care Operations Director Elaine Farrer said: “During the Covid situation, our team has been absolutely magnificent in ensuring safety, keeping residents’ spirits up and communicating what has been happening in our homes with residents’ families and friends.  As with carers across the country, both paid and unpaid, we are blessed with employing people who are dedicated, hard-working and compassionate individuals.”

Describing the care of his mother Daphne at Colten’s Abbey View home in Sherborne, Tim Spurry said: “My impression is that it’s truly a safe haven. That’s all down to the professionalism and dedication of the whole team, not only the nurses and carers but everyone involved. The home is very well staffed and the team are doing an excellent job.”

Residents at Fernhill, Colten’s Outstanding-rated dementia care home in Longham, Dorset, have given the care they receive a big thumbs-up.

Asked to describe their carers, Phyllis said: “They are lovely. They look after us and we love them.”

Fellow resident Joyce said: “It’s nice having them around to look after us. I like it here have nothing to complain about.”

Carers Week, established by the charity Carers UK 26 years ago, is an annual awareness campaign to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the UK’s 6.5 million carers.

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