25th JUNE 2020: Hot Weather Guidance
As we have been in lockdown for quite some time, many of our almshouse residents have not had the same exposure to sunnier days as in previous years. We advise everyone to please act with caution in the current hot weather and in the coming months.
Here are some helpful points to remember:
Drink plenty of fluid. Cups of tea, squash or water. Everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, and older people are particularly vulnerable.
Stay cool indoors. Open windows in the early morning when the air feels cooler outside than inside. Shut your windows and draw curtains as the day progresses, particularly from midday. It really does make your flat cooler for when you want to go to sleep later.
Remember security. Don’t leave your front or back door open for extra air. Opportune burglaries occur more frequently during hot weather – an open door is a virtual invitation into your flat. If you live in a ground floor flat be cautious about leaving windows open at night when you go to bed, particularly if easy access can be gained from the outside.
Use a fan. Hand held or floor standing fans will help to cool you if you have one.
Slow down when it’s hot. Don’t rush around causing you to sweat as you lose water reserves. Avoid shopping or going for a walk during the hottest time of the day, typically 11am to 3pm. Rest on your bed if you feel light headed.
Cool your skin with water. You could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray or cold packs around the neck and armpits. Try popping a moist flannel in a plastic bag in the fridge to keep cool and use it to wipe your face when you feel hot. Rinse and return to the fridge in a bag for the next time you need it.
Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast. Knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing.
Dress appropriately for the weather. It is preferable for you not to go out in extreme heat and stay indoors. However, if it is essential for you to go out, protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes, use Factor 60 sunscreen and a hat. Don’t have a hat? Use your umbrella as a temporary parasol to shield your face and neck.
You may not feel like eating a hot meal. Instead eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. Cold salads and juicy fruit are perfect, and the odd ice-cream is a great boost!
Remember to still maintain social distancing. This remains very important. If you are sitting in the communal gardens you must keep 6 feet from each other. If you are wearing a mask you may find you need to change it more frequently as you perspire. If you go out, pop an extra mask in your bag or pocket just in case.
24th JUNE 2020: Charity Workspace Risk Assessments
At St John’s Winchester, we value our employees, their hard work, dedication, and want to support their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in any way we can.
We have been putting plans into place to ensure our sites and offices are COVID secure environments and compliant with recent guidelines. We want our residents, staffing teams and volunteers to be happy, confident and comfortable in their environments. Our Facilities Manager and the team are working hard to put the plans into place and are continually reviewing our procedures and processes.
Around our charity sites and designated walkways, you will see signs and floor markers to support everyone to comply with social distancing of at least 2 metres. All deliveries to our office are to be accepted via the window and items are to be left outside and brought in once the delivery has been made. We have hand washing stations and hand gel dispensers by the doorways to our buildings and staff are encouraged to wear masks if they cannot socially distance, which will be an unusual occurrence. Additional cleaning and sanitisation in communal areas is being carried out. Across the charity’s gardens and outdoor green spaces, gazebos are being put up to allow for relatives to visit their family members safely from a social distance this summer. Moorside has the first gazebo and this is being rolled out currently, whilst the Almshouses’ gazebo will be erected once sourced.
These are just some of the changes we have made.
You can read the full details on our COVID-19 risk assessments (along with other relevant documents and forms) here. If you have any queries or questions about our procedures, please don’t hesitate to contact us
19th JUNE 2020: Giving CQC feedback about care
During the COVID-19 crisis, the CQC would like to hear from you about your experiences of care. Click the link here to give them feedback.
16th JUNE 2020 – Community Candles for Founders Day
We have been making some special deliveries to the almshouses to mark our upcoming Founders Day. Residents received a ‘community candle’, a prayer card and Order of Service to celebrate St Johns’ Founders Day on Sunday 21st June.
An invitation was issued to everyone to attend the service remotely, with options to join via Zoom or telephone, or to light the candle at 10.30am to celebrate. By lighting the candles, this will ensure that there is a symbolic way that the community can be together.
Our Chaplain, Revd Alison Dobell, will also be delivering some larger candles for Moorside’s community areas.
15th JUNE 2020 – Thank you, Winchester Scouts
Last week we received some lovely messages, pictures and plants from the Winchester Scouts Club. Thank you for your kind words and gifts of support.
Here is a picture of some of our Moorside team members with the drawings. Thank you for thinking of us and for brightening our day.
9th JUNE 2020 – Knitted Hearts Campaign
We are delighted to share these images from our Knitted Hearts campaign. The charity has a lovely selection of hearts that were made by residents, staff, and volunteers. We hope they make you smile!
Care homes across the UK have been taking part in the campaign, which involves a pair of handmade hearts being given to our residents and their loved ones. The residents keep one of the hearts and their families keep the other, connecting them always whilst they are physically apart during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Moorside Wellbeing Team are currently sending out the matching pairs to our residents’ relatives and next of kin.
Thank you to all who contributed.
Please visit our photo gallery for more images of our residents with their hearts.
4th JUNE 2020
The almshouse Welfare Team recently received these gorgeous gifts from Penny. Penny used to be our shopper at the almshouses, and has come back to the charity to help and support us again throughout COVID-19 crisis. She’s very special to many of the residents, and is a greatly respected and admired member of the team. Thank you for the touching gift.
Penny says: “bees symbolise community, hard work and being able to achieve the impossible – just like you guys!”
3rd JUNE 2020: Special Video of Thanks
We have a very special message for our volunteers, staff members and loved ones, from our almshouse community members and St John’s Moorside care home residents. Please watch the video by visiting our video gallery here.
1st JUNE 2020: The Realities of PPE
We wanted to share this photo of our Moorside team members – Bex and Kelly – in full PPE.
On the surface, this photo is cheerful and upbeat. Despite the crisis, our people are rallying round each other to lift spirits and ensure morale and wellbeing is high.
However, when you look deeper, you realise the true extent and cost of the virus and how difficult is has been and continues to be for our staff.
Covered from head to toe in layers of plastic in this heat, they do so without complaint. Our people are doing everything in their power to protect our residents and take their roles and responsibilities incredibly seriously.
It is by no means an easy role, and they turn up to work every day as superheroes.
We ask that you take the time to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what it is like to carry out their vital, hands-on roles in these conditions. We hope it gives you an insight into what it is like to be on the frontlines of this virus.
29th MAY 2020: Thank you messages
We would like to give another big THANK YOU to Winchester Rotary UK for their ongoing support over the past few weeks.
They have been delivering supplies of PPE, including face visors, for the charity’s care staff and essential workers.
We would also like to thank Clare Rose for the donation of scrubs that we received from ‘For the Love of Scrubs’, Hampshire. We are grateful for your generous support.
Lastly, thank you to SoftCat for the generous donation of three tablets, which are being used at St John’s Moorside specialist dementia care home.
The team at Moorside are going to be using the tablets to virtually connect residents with their loved ones.
28th MAY 2020: Rainbow Mugs
As a token of thanks and a pick-me-up for our staff at Moorside specialist dementia care home, Matron Deborah arranged for personalised rainbow mugs to be sent to each member of the team.
Each mug is decorated with a beautiful watercolour rainbow and has the message: ‘A little gift of thanks for your dedication to Moorside during COVID 19. Love, Matron & St John’s’
27th MAY 2020: Thank You, Dr Helen!
We are truly touched by this beautiful ‘Morale Box’ that was presented to the Moorside team by St Clements Surgery GP, Dr Helen Webb.
She made us these lovely cakes herself, decorated with our logo and uplifting words in icing. Helen also made the wonderful drawing of the super hero, which is going to be specially framed and placed at Moorside for all to enjoy for years to come.
Thank you so much, Helen! A truly wonderful GP and community partner.
22nd MAY 2020: Sunflowers
Here is Gill, our amazing almshouse resident, and Teresa, our equally amazing Community Support Officer, potting sunflower seeds at a safe social distance.
We are running a competition – led by the almshouse Welfare Team – to grow the ‘best’ sunflower in residents‘ windows. Our talented gardener Kate will then plant them for all to enjoy.
Here are some nature-based affirmations to guide you through Mental Health Awareness Week (and every week, for that matter!):
During these difficult times, we should all keep growing, continue to plant the seeds of kindness, and remember that every flower must first go through dirt before it can bloom.
20th MAY 2020: Letters to Lift Spirits Update
The charity has started to receive letters, drawings, poems and pictures as part of our Letters to Lift Spirits appeal.
We wanted to explain a bit more about what happens to the ‘entries’ we receive: the post is carefully handled and kept safe at our almshouse offices while it is ‘quarantined’. It is then handled hygienically and with utmost care, before being sorted and scanned so it can be sent on. The post is then delivered to our residents, staff and volunteers to lift their spirits! Our industrious team are also turning them into collages on boards placed throughout the charity.
The letters are already bringing lots of joy, laughter and smiles (and maybe a happy tear or two!) and pen pals are even being formed, with many of our people writing back.
THANK YOU to everyone who has sent us post so far. Please keep them coming.
20th MAY 2020: Covid Kindness Continues!
Thank you to Matthew Clark, Southampton beverage wholesaler, for delivering a large donation of soft drinks for the staff at St John’s Moorside over the weekend. It was greatly appreciated, especially given this week’s warm weather!
19th MAY 2020
Did you know that the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is ‘kindness’? We are being shown a considerable amount of kindness and have been sent some thoughtful and touching gifts.
Yesterday, we received a box of handmade, crocheted key rings for the charity’s frontline care staff. We would like to say a big thank you to Viv Green for this special delivery sent all the way from Yorkshire.
Thank you for thinking of us and for taking the time to make these rainbows of hope!
Here is photo of the key rings and the message inside; we think they are wonderful.
Thank you also to Liz Kavanagh and Winchester Magazine for the kind donation of treat bags for St John’s Moorside specialist dementia care home and the St John’s almshouse staff. Our teams were thrilled and we are certainly feeling the love! Thank you for your generosity.
18th MAY 2020: Mental Health Awareness Week
As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, the charity will be sharing tips and advice about how to stay physically, emotionally and mentally well during these trying times.
Staying active and moving your body is one of the ways to stay well, and exercise (no matter how small!) can help to boost your mood, prevent falls and keep your mind busy.
Here are some photos of our wonderful almshouse residents completing daily exercises to remind us all to stay active, however we can. Having a dance and singalong to some music, doing housework, ‘chairobics’, or even getting up to pop the kettle on are just some of the things you can do to stay active.
Soon, we will also be organising social distancing outdoor yoga (weather permitting) with Louise, our talented Wellbeing Team member.
Head over to Instagram for more: www.instagram.com/stjohnswinch or visit our gallery here.
14th MAY 2020: Congratulations, Beccy!
Congratulations to Rebecca Hynard-Hicks, Registered Manager of the Almshouses. This week, she received her Certificate of Registration by the CQC. Beccy is a long-time member of the Welfare Team but started the new position at the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis (quite the baptism of fire!) – she is a credit to the charity.
13th MAY 2020: Thank you!
Thank you to Sarah Bicknell and the team at Operation Visor – Visors for Care Givers in Care Homes. We recently received some face visors for St John’s Moorside, our specialist dementia care home.
The visors were donated for free and were produced by volunteers.
Please visit their page, see the incredible work they are doing, and show them some love!
11th MAY 2020: Message of Thanks – VE Day
We would like to thank Facilities Manager, Andy Ross, and his team for climbing to the top of the Southside tower to fly the Union Flag ready for VE Day, and to the wonderful almshouse Welfare Team for bringing so much joy and cheer! There was lots of music, singing, dancing and laughter at a safe social distance yesterday. Thank you also to the Moorside Wellbeing and care teams for ensuring the day was fun for all at the home.
We would also like to take the time to thank those working hard behind the scenes:
- The staff at Moorside nursing home, working tirelessly and with such dedication to provide outstanding, loving care to residents.
- The office staff, who keep the charity going and quite literally made miles of bunting to decorate across our sites, to bring cheer and joy during these troubling times.
- The Almshouse Welfare and Hand in Hand teams, who are working passionately to provide vital support to our almshouse residents and members of the wider Winchester community.
- Our volunteers, who go so far above and beyond what is ever expected of them to support our staff and to bring smiles to people across the charity. Our silent heroes.
To all of our team, who perform their roles with compassion and do so without wanting recognition, you deserve so much and are our HEROES, today and everyday.
8th MAY 2020: VE DAY
Today is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. At 11am, a national two-minute silence will be held to reflect on the sacrifice of those who fought in WWII. At 3pm, the nation is being invited to take to their doorsteps, balconies and windows to raise a glass, clap and cheer as part of the ‘Toast to the Heroes of World War Two’ campaign. A reminder that at 9pm tonight, the BBC will be streaming a singalong with Dame Vera Lynn, who will also be performing a moving virtual duet of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Katherine Jenkins.
Please visit our gallery here to see photos of the charity’s VE celebrations.
Here is a brief run down of the day’s events as they happen:
- One of our almshouse residents, Ruth, has very kindly baked 100 VE Day themed cupcakes, one for each of her fellow residents. We are sure her neighbours will be thrilled by this lovely and thoughtful surprise.
- Maurice Shuttleworth (the unofficial mascot of the almshouses) is ready to celebrate, kitted out in his PPE and not forgetting the flags and bunting!
- The almshouses were decorated this morning with bunting, flags and messages. Thank you to all of the residents who joined in and decorated for VE Day. We also love the kind messages of support on their doors!
- At Moorside nursing home, the residents and Wellbeing Team have been working on a rainbow banner to raise during VE Day. On it are messages written by the residents to share with everyone, to inspire hope in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
6th MAY 2020: Upcoming VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations
For VE Day this year, Moorside care home will be placing ‘Tommy’ silhouettes in their windows to commemorate the 75th anniversary.
Moorside’s Wellbeing team are also making some individualised bunting with a flag for each resident, made to reflect their own interests and experiences, as well as symbols such as peace doves, rainbows and poppies. Such a lovely and personal touch to the celebrations!
The BBC is also streaming an evening singalong with 103-year-old Dame Vera Lynn at 9pm, which we hope to take part in. She will be joined by Katherine Jenkins in a virtual duet of ‘We’ll Meet Again’. It will no doubt be incredibly poignant for all.
Meanwhile at the Almshouses of St John’s South, North, St Mary Magdalen and Christes Hopsital, the Welfare and Office teams have been busy making bunting with their families. The bunting will be displayed across the sites to mark the anniversary.
We hope to fly the Union Jack from the top of our Southside tower at the bottom of The Broadway, and there are rumours floating around that the Queen might make an onsite appearance (her cardboard cutout counterpart, that is!).
Despite the celebrations being scaled down and in some cases cancelled as a result of lockdown measures, there is plenty to celebrate and be thankful for. On Friday 8th May at 11am, a national two-minute silence will be held to reflect on the sacrifice of those who fought in WWII. At 3pm, the entire nation is being invited to take to their doorsteps, balconies and windows to raise a glass, clap and cheer as part of the ‘Toast to the Heroes of World War Two’ campaign.
5th MAY 2020: NHS Volunteer Responders
4th MAY 2020: Statement on Testing Update
Please read our statement and memorandum to staff regarding COVID-19 testing.
Since issued, the charity has received confirmation that it will receive 60 test kits for Moorside.
We are keeping staff, residents and our residents’ families informed through letters and electronic communications as soon as updates are made.
LETTER TO LIFT SPIRITS APPEAL
Announcing our new initiative: ‘Letters to Lift Spirits’.
What is it? We are asking families to send the charity some uplifting correspondence so that we can share it with our almshouse and care home residents.
Why? During these difficult times, it can be lonely and surreal, especially if you are shielding or if you are missing your loved ones. It can also be particularly worrying for children, who are missing school, their friends and family members.
Our ‘Letters to Lift Spirits’ campaign aims to spread joy and boost moods across the generations!
It’s a great way to get the whole family invovled, keep up the kids’ reading and writing skills, and also giving them something fun and entertaining to do.
What are we looking for? From letters about life in lockdown to drawings and paintings, we would love to hear from you and your little ones, kids and teens! Children of all ages are more than welcome to take part.
If you want to get involved with our appeal, please send letters, drawings and pictures to:
‘Letters to Lift Spirits’, St John’s Winchester, 32 St John’s South, The Broadway, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 9LN.
Please note: all post will be handled with utmost care and then passed on safely to our residents.
Friends of St John’s with children and grandchildren, can you help?
4th MAY 2020: the Almshouse Mascot
We would like to introduce Maurice Shuttleworth, our unofficial mascot during the COVID-19 crisis.
He is donned in his PPE and all ready to start the day! He’s even got a miniature St John’s badge.
He was given to Bonny, one of our wonderful almshouse Welfare Team members, as a gift and a thank you. Thanks also for sharing this image Ruth; we love him! It’s certainly put a smile on our faces on this cloudy Monday morning. We hope it also brings you joy.
2nd MAY 2020: Fair Oak Junior School
Earlier last week, we received this delightful email from Fair Oak Junior School in Eastleigh.
“As a school community, we felt it was important to recognise and celebrate people who are going above and beyond during this challenging time. We really appreciate everything that you are doing and wanted to express our gratitude in some way.
The staff and children at Fair Oak Junior School have created a short video in celebration of you true heroes! We hope that this short video brings a smile to your face, we certainly had a lot of fun creating it.
As the lyrics within the song say ‘All we’re looking for is love and a little light’. You are bringing so much love and light to people’s lives. You are heroes.
We would love it if you would share this video so that we can continue to spread our thanks far and wide.”
Please watch and share their lovely video here.
1st MAY 2020: Rainbows for Hope at Moorside
Here is the lovely Peggy, one of our St John’s Moorside care home residents, painting a rainbow as part of the national initiative to thank essential workers.
This fantastic photo was sent to us by Jo and the Moorside Wellbeing Team. It certainly raised our spirits! We hope it lifts yours, too.
Our team are going above and beyond to make life at Moorside as happy for everyone as possible despite the ongoing crisis. Their dedication is truly outstanding, and we couldn’t be prouder. Like Peggy, we want to say a big thank you to them for all of their hard work.
In the coming days, we will be sharing information in this blog and on our social media channels about initiatives we are getting involved with as a way to say thank you and to spread some joy during these difficult times. Please check back in to find out more.
30th APRIL 2020: Wisteria at Moorside
We hope it brings you joy, wherever you are and whatever the weather you are currently experiencing. Spring/Summer has most definitely sprung in Winchester!
29th APRIL 2020: Thank You!
We would like to take this time to thank our incredible Facilities Manager, Andy Ross, for his constant hard work. It isn’t an easy task, but Andy and his team have been working tirelessly to source and restock our PPE supplies.
He even designed a template for gowns, modelled specially by our wonderful Moorside team. Andy, you’re a hero!
28th APRIL 2020: A Minute’s Silence at 11am
A gentle reminder that at 11am this morning, there will be a minute’s silence held to honour the key workers across the nation who have passed away as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
We would like to share this message from Sarah Weekes, our Head of Care Quality and Service Development:
“I am blessed to be able to say I work alongside such a dedicated and compassionate team. Our family. St John’s continues to support each other through this challenging time. We will all come together today to remember those in the NHS and Social Care who have lost their lives to Coronavirus. A minute’s silence will be held at 11am across the UK to commemorate these key workers who have died.”Sarah Weekes, Head of Care Quality and Service Development
Please do join us in taking this minute to remember and commemorate them.
Our Video: Clapping for Key Workers
Every Thursday at 8pm, the nation emerges into their doorways, onto their balconies and front lawns to join together to celebrate essential roles and those on the front lines of the crisis.
Inspired by the ‘Clap for Carers’ and ‘Clap for the NHS’ initiative, we collectively wanted to produce something of our own to commemorate this unique time in modern history (which is most likely unheard of to most in recent memory). Our intention was also to celebrate key workers across the nation and in our very own city of Winchester, Hampshire.
Please watch and share our video here. It certainly brought a tear to our eyes.
A special thank you to the charity’s staff who are working incredibly hard on the front lines to support local older people. From our dedicated nursing, care and welfare staff, to cleaners, caretaker, gardener and maintenance workers, our chefs, laundry assistants, volunteers, admin, activities and office teams: you are our heroes.
Thanks to those of you who took the time to send us clips of your families clapping every Thursday at 8pm. We hope to ‘see’ you all there each week.
Stay safe and best wishes to all, from the entire St John’s Winchester team.
23rd APRIL 2020: Life in the Almshouses
Here is a unique insight of life in the Almshouses, written by and shared with permission from two of our very own Southside residents, Derek and Triona. Derek is a keen photographer and regularly shares photos with us. Visit our social media channels to see some of his work. It certainly brightens our days! Triona and Derek have lived with us for many years and have a long-standing history with the city and the charity. In fact, Derek’s own grandparents were residents of the charity.
From Triona, St John’s Southside Resident
What larks we have at St John’s, to be serenaded at our door, by two lovely wellbeing team ladies (at a social distance) on my birthday! Thank you Beccy and Mia.”
What an unexpected surprise, and a testament to our vibrant community of staff, volunteers and residents! Visit our careers page to find out about our volunteering and job opportunities, and to see how you can join our friendly team.
UPDATE: 22nd APRIL 2020 – Message of Thanks
Thank you to Domino’s Pizza Winchester for once again delivering to our charity on Friday.
It truly does bring joy and brightens the mood, especially when our people are working incredibly hard and are doing a wonderful job to deliver outstanding care to our residents. The team at Moorside thoroughly enjoyed the ‘special delivery’!
UPDATE: 21st April 2020 – #YouAreHeroes Campaign
As part of the #YouAreHeroes campaign by the Dementia, Care & Nursing Home Expo, we will be sharing more and more posts on our social media channels (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter – click the symbols at the bottom of our website to visit our pages) and wanted to share an excerpt from an email received by our Chair, Roger Bright.
The email was written by a resident of the St John’s almshouses. This was also forward to all staff in a recent written communication. We couldn’t agree more!
To find out more about the national campaign, please visit the following link: bit.ly/YouAreHeroes
If you would like to share a message of support, please do get in touch on social media or visit our ‘Contact Us‘ page.
UPDATE: 20th April 2020 – Another Message of Thanks
St John’s Winchester would like to thank Andrew Barnett, Managing Director of FliteTrak Limited. Andrew and FliteTrak are working with Top Notch Signs, TP Group, Barnbrook Systems and Flitetec to produce face shields for local care organisations.
We very kindly received twenty face shields over the weekend, safely delivered to our offices.
During this crisis, it is so inspirational to see businesses collaborating to support those working on the front lines.
From our people to yours, we thank you!
UPDATE: 17th APRIL 2020 – Message of Thanks
Thank you to Winchester Rotary UK and The Henry Beaufort School, who very generously delivered 50 visors to St John’s Moorside nursing home on Friday 17th April. They were delivered to our door ready for use (keeping a safe distance in the handover, of course).
Rotary are delivering to multiple local care organisations, and delivered to 11 care homes across the local area on Friday. A special thank you to Sue Hearle, Head Teacher at Henry Beaufort, Morgan Lane (who is leading the visor manufacture effort) and Richard Spalding of Winchester Rotary Club. We thank you for your time and effort to produce the visors.
Easter at St John’s Winchester
“As the Easter Bunny has been so busy this year he asked if we’d help deliver eggs and happiness. Both jobs complete. I now know why he has such big feet, our size 6’s are throbbing.” – Ruth, one of our wonderful Almshouse team members.
Over the Easter Bank Holiday, our very own Easter Bunnies were hard at work to deliver surprise goodies across the community. Clive Cook and Sarah Weekes delivered Easter eggs to the care teams at the Almshouses and at Moorside, and our Welfare Team delivered eggs to all residents at St Mary Magdalen, Northside, Southside and Christes Hospital.
Many positive things happened in the community, such as neighbouring children on Colebrook Street leaving a handmade card and paper flowers, and even surprise donations being made from local businesses. Tesco delivered a hamper of sweet and savoury goodies to Moorside for the staff, and Marks & Spencer supplied Percy Pig Easter eggs for the Welfare Team.
Our Chaplain was also able to facilitate services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday via Zoom and telephone conference, which allowed our people to worship safely.
Despite the coronavirus and the fact that this Easter was slightly unusual, there was plenty of joy being shared across the charity.
Some more good news stories from St John’s: 7th APRIL 2020
There are many heart-warming things happening in the community. Despite the COVID-19 crisis, which can make us all feel glum and uncertain about the future, we must not lose sight of the fact that community spirit is thriving.
Here are just some of the good things happening:
- – A big thank you to Shell Petrol Station in Winnall. The manager has very kindly offered to provide free sandwiches to our St John’s care staff when they are there to fill up their cars.
- – We would like to say a big thank you to one of our almshouse residents, Joyce, who very kindly ordered five hot lunches from The Bridge Patisserie to be delivered to the Welfare team.
We are all touched by these kind and unexpected gestures of support. Our staff are working hard during the crisis, and this certainly lifted spirits.
It makes the world of difference knowing there is support being offered in many different shapes and forms across the city.
UPDATE: 2nd APRIL 2020
Here are some good news stories from our community:
- – This week at Moorsidecare home, we have been placing teddy bears and rainbows in the front windows for people to see as they drive by. We are also receiving letters and pictures from children at Winnall Primary school, which is bringing lots of joy!
- – Hand in Hand volunteers have been doing some shopping for their scheme members who are currently self-isolating. Not only this, but some of them are also supporting our Almshouse Welfare Team by shopping for St John’s residents. More volunteers are planning on shopping next week.
- – Hand in Hand volunteers are determined not to let social distancing hinder their routines, and are now providing telephone befriending and support to their scheme members.
- – Brother Andrew, one of our Almshouse residents and baker extraordinaire, has very kindly delivered a fresh batch of cookies to the Welfare Team’s office as a treat. A big thank you to him for keeping spirits high!
- – The Welfare Team are also in the process of setting up a game of ‘morning call bingo’ for the almshouses – no doubt filled with laughter!
There are so many positive things going on in our own community and across the city. Great teamwork across the charity and examples of how extraordinary our people are.
If you are interested in joining our team as a staff or volunteer member, why don’t you take a look at our opportunities here.
UPDATE: 31st MARCH 2020
To ensure we are communicating with our people in the broadest possible ways, we have increased phone calls and have set up private Facebook groups for both staff and residents. Our intention is that these platforms can be used to share updates and news, as well as positive stories and helpful local information.
We have increased conference and video calls among the team members who are able to work from home, which has been working well. There are still members of staff on site in order to offer maximum support to our community of residents. Additionally, we are holding coronavirus meetings via conference calls three times a week with senior management across all areas of the charity to ensure we are all up-to-date, connected and on top of the latest developments.
Our team are working hard to ensure delivery of essentials and collection of medicine are covered and options are explored to ensure the people who choose to make St John’s their home are supported.
UPDATE: 26th MARCH 2020 – LEGIONELLA PRECAUTIONS
In order to protect residents and staff, we are limiting contact as much as possible with maintenance staff. We will continue to carry out all of our external legionella checks. However, our internal checking regime will be suspended for the time being whilst the COVID-19 remains a threat. For the moment in order to protect yourselves, we have advised all of our almshouse resident to run their taps in sinks and basins, as well as bath and shower heads (paying particular care with these).
We have issued the following guidance:
- – Each week, once a week, you need to first run your hot tap for two minutes continuously and then your cold tap, continuously for two minutes.
- – Please also flush your toilet regularly.
We will be doing a walk around of the almshouse sites to remind people of the precautions they need to take. If you have any queries, do get in touch.
UPDATE: 25th MARCH 2020
From now on we will be contacting our residents by phone and not by letter and posting latest guidance on noticeboards. We want to do all we can to limit the spread of the virus.
Last night, the Prime Minister made an announcement to the nation imploring everyone to observe social distancing and to stay at home wherever possible. Shops and non-essential services will be closed, and the government are requesting that people do not meet in groups larger than two. These are possibly the strictest measures on our way of life in recent history and have been made not to limit people’s quality of life but to protect the country and those who are most vulnerable. However, we understand the challenges these restrictions may generate and how it will certainly impact hugely on all our lives.
The NHS have outlined the following information on their website:
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
- – Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- – This includes people of all ages – even if you do not have any symptoms or other health conditions. Many of our staff members who can work from home are now doing so to minimise the risk, after an audit was carried out on who can and can’t work from home.
You can only leave your home:
- – to shop for essentials – only when you really need to.
- – to do one form of exercise a day – such as a walk, alone or with other people you live with
- – for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
The Welfare Team and volunteers are doing what they can to support those who can’t get out with shopping and prescriptions. We have advised almshouse resident to contact the Welfare Team if they need support with this. They will also be continuing their daily calls to residents.
Shielding: The Government will be writing to those regarded as especially vulnerable due to medical conditions. Being 70 or over does not mean you automatically fall into this category. Some of our people may fall into this category and the advice is to remain at home and to do so for 12 weeks. Residents have been advised to contact us if they receive a letter.
Access to the General Office: Please don’t come to the general office but call instead. This protects you, our residents and all of us who remain working in the office.
Repairs and Maintenance: We are operating an emergency service only during working hours. For now, residents have been directed to call the Welfare Team and they will redirect their query to Andy Ross (Facilities Manager) or a to a member of the maintenance team. We will let you know when normal service can resume.
Contractors (such as plumbers and electricians) are continuing to operate so we should be able to organise emergency repairs to be made as soon as possible.
We ask everyone to be extra vigilant in these difficult times. There have been some reports emerging of bogus groups who have been asking for money in exchange for help. Continue to be careful online and if in doubt about any email or website, do not open the email or link. No bank will contact you by phone or email or otherwise to transfer money to a new account, and the same goes for the police.
UPDATE: 24th MARCH 2020 – STAY AT HOME WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Further to the Government’s announcement at 8.30pm last night, the charity will be issuing new communications to all staff and residents.
Please check back later for further information on this Coronavirus blog post.
UPDATE: 23rd MARCH 2020
Welfare Team: the welfare team will continue to work as usual, supporting residents with any pre-existing health issues. Telephone calls from the welfare team have increased. We are looking at ways of keeping people in contact, respecting the constraints of ‘social distancing’ and minimising risk.
Residents Social Clubs: Last week we made the difficult decision to suspend resident-led clubs or activities held in the community room. This decision has not been taken lightly and we would like to explain the reasoning behind it.
We had previously suspended clubs that are managed and/or arranged by St John’s (such as Lunch Club and Louise’s classes, among others). However, we have now entered a phase where the self-isolation of those aged 70+ and with underlying health issues is advised strongly by the government. Soon it may be mandated. We have agreed that under these extraordinary circumstances the Community Room and No. 1 North cannot be used as social spaces, even if social isolation could be practiced.
This decision was made after having reflected on government and public health guidance. We feel that ultimately it would be irresponsible of us to facilitate public congregation and gathering in the community room. Social distancing is being strongly encouraged (meaning keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from each other).
The government also advises that going for a walk, light exercise or going to the shops are all acceptable but are advising against public events and social gatherings for all age groups. You should not go out unless you absolutely must at this juncture and then you should make sure you can follow ‘social distancing’ guidelines, wherever practicable.
Shielding: The Government will be writing to those which it regards as especially vulnerable due to health/medical conditions, such as those with severe asthma for example. Being 70 or over does not mean you automatically fall into this category. Some in our almshouse community may fall into this category and the advice is to remain at home and to do so for 12 weeks. We have advised our residents that if they receive such a letter to let the welfare team know.
Access to the General Office: It is still open with some staff home-working some of the time but to protect everyone, it is best phone us at present on 01962 854226. If you do need to come into the office, we are observing social distancing for your protection and ours. All visitors, including residents and staff, must also sanitise their hands when entering and leaving the office. We have dispensers in the interior of the office door for your use and ease of access.
Please do follow the precautions advised by the NHS, which can significantly reduce anyone’s prospects of contracting the virus or spreading it. Copies of notices/guidance will be put on the notice boards.
Current Government advice is that if you begin to present with any symptoms (such as a continuous cough, fever/high temperature and/or shortness of breath) you should self-isolate immediately.
Please remember we encourage both staff and residents to ring the NHS 111 service if:
- – you feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home
- – your condition gets worse
- – your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
The charity will keep all these things under constant review. We have also contacted some almshouse residents’ next of kin to ensure they are also aware of what steps we are taking.
The best protection is to wash your hands frequently.
23rd MARCH 2020: Mother’s Day at Moorside
Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the mums out there!
Yesterday, the Moorside team continued to work hard to ensure that families could still connect on Mother’s Day despite COVID-19 social distancing. Communication and contact is vital for every family, and we wanted to ensure that loved ones could come together safely on this special day.
Visits were arranged by some of the families, who spent time in the sunshine in Moorside’s beautiful garden. They were able enjoy the day chatting to their mothers through the window to the cosy Winchester Lounge.
Here are some photos of our residents with some of their Mother’s Day gifts, talking to their loved ones safely through the window. Visit our photo gallery here to see some of the Mother’s Day photos.
UPDATE: 20th MARCH 2020
At St John’s, we are communicating regularly with our people to let them know what measures the charity are putting into place to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.
Here are some updates:
– Extra telephones calls are being arranged and offered to our almshouse residents by our dedicated welfare team. This is to improve and support people’s wellbeing, as we understand that self-isolation and social distancing can be a lonely and worrying time.
– We have a team of staff at Moorside Nursing Home who are providing emotional support and helping residents and loved ones to remain in as much contact as possible. This may include the use of tablets in the near future to facilitate video calls between families, as well as regular phone calls with residents’ next of kin to check in on them. We’re also sending photos and email updates.
– Our Hand in Hand volunteers are continuing to support the older people in the community who they befriend through telephone calls and shopping.
– The almshouse staff and charity office are pulling together to help with shopping and getting supplies, and the entire charity staff are looking into ways of sharing childcare arrangements and getting to and from work in a way that is sustainable, sensible and of course safe.
We are a vibrant community, supporting each other during this extraordinary time. Please contact us if you would like to discuss anything with us further, or if you have any queries or questions.
UPDATE: 19th MARCH 2020
During these difficult and unprecedented times, we must all pull together to support one another, the local community at large, and those of us who are most vulnerable.
St John’s are calling for local industries and individuals to get in touch to see what help and support can be shared.
If you are a local shop, restaurant or member of the hospitality industry and are struggling for business in this current climate, and are offering takeaway/food delivery services, please get in touch! We would like to share this information with our almshouse residents who may want extra support with getting food and supplies.
Many of our almshouse residents live independently in our community and we fully respect their right to privacy and independence. However, a lengthy period of self-isolation and/or social distancing can be challenging for anyone. Additionally, some of our residents require a little extra help to remain independent in their homes.
If you are able to donate some time, resources, supplies, or local business’ information, please contact us.
UPDATE: 17th MARCH 2020
Following the press conference made after yesterday’s emergency government Cobra meeting, we would like to reiterate that we will be suspending visitors to Moorside with immediate effect.
However, we do appreciate and understand that this is a delicate situation and could cause upset and disruption for loved ones. Our residents’ health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to us, and we have not taken this decision lightly. By limiting visits to the home, this protects not only our residents living with dementia (who are most vulnerable to coronavirus), but also their families and our entire team.
We would like to reassure you that we will continue to admit visitors to the home on compassionate grounds and other extenuating circumstances. Please do get in touch with our team to discuss your individual circumstances or if you have any queries, questions or concerns.
UPDATE: 16th MARCH 2020
We have made the difficult decision to suspend all visits from friends, family and loves ones to Moorside. However, rest assured that this is under constant review. Under exceptional circumstances, visits can still be made in situations such as, but not limited to, compassionate grounds. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Matron and her team to discuss your individual circumstances.
We understand that this is a worrying time for all and we want to reassure you that our residents are well looked after. If there is any significant change in their health or condition, we will keep the residents’ families and next of kin informed and will be in immediate contact with them.
13th March 2020
This post is to make you aware of the steps the charity are preparing to put into place in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Winchester, Hampshire.
There have been several confirmed cases of the virus in Hampshire. The individuals in question are not members of the charity nor do they live within our community. However, we appreciate that there are steps we must all collectively take to minimise the risk of outbreak and to ensure our residents, staff, volunteers, residents’ families, and friends of the charity are kept safe.
Senior staff are meeting weekly on a formal basis and are monitoring the situation daily in order to review the risk of infection. If the situation escalates in Winchester, we will issue further communication to all of our beneficiaries and their families with additional updates and guidance.
At this current time the charity has made the decision to scale back our contact by the welfare team at the Almshouses. This safeguards not only our residents and but also our entire St John’s family. It minimises the risk of spreading the virus.
We have come to the decision to limit the number of home visits made by the welfare and maintenance teams at the Almshouses. Home visits will be made in the event of an emergency or for essential works and repairs. However, rest assured that we will continue to review the situation on a case by case basis. We will continue to deliver the same level of support that we offer now by using the installed Tunstall emergency pull chord system, and the welfare and maintenance teams will remain on site and in contact via telephone. Welfare calls can also be increased if requested. Those in the almshouses who require registered care will be supported as usual and it is our aim to ensure minimal disruption to all.
At Moorside, we will continue with our extensive hand washing, adult safeguarding, and infection control policies in place, among others. Be assured that robust policies and procedures such as those named in this post are already in place across the charity and had been in operation before the novel Coronavirus’ existence. Please contact our Head of Care Quality and Service Development (Sarah Weekes) if you wish to discuss our policies further.
Visits to Moorside will also be limited wherever possible. Signs reminding visitors to wash hands on entrance and exit to the home and offices have also been displayed, and cleaning supplies have been distributed for easy access across the sites.
Our Almshouse lunch club, Yoga classes, massage, and minibus trips will be suspended until further notice. This is due to the fact that members of staff who run these activities often work across the charity sites, including at Moorside, where many of our residents living with dementia are classed as high risk in the event of an outbreak. Residents will be supported with food shops if required, and the entire team are here to support our residents and each other.
As these are extraordinary times, we feel that we may need to act and prepare for extraordinary measures while still providing the same high level of support to those who call the charity their home.
Staff and volunteers have been briefed, and the office has issued posters, letters and flyers to all across the sites advising the following steps:
- – To wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- – To avoid touching the face, nose or eyes with unwashed hands
- – To catch a cough or sneeze in a clean tissue and to dispose of it promptly, and washing hands immediately afterwards
St John’s Winchester continues to follow advice from Public Health England, the NHS, CQC, and the local authority Health Protection Team. We will post regular updates to residents, volunteers, residents’ families and staff and will be updating our notice boards and staffing areas regularly with information, support and advice.
Although the spread of Coronavirus is inevitably going to cause disruption, we must not lose sight of the fact that, despite the worry and the extra planning and hard work, our people continue to offer exemplary support and do the most extraordinary things in their daily jobs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, queries or concerns.