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A marvellous Care Plus team

Care and support director Les Clarke describes how a fabulous team always ensures excellence.

Each year, I think that the marvellous Care Plus team – the care and support workers, coordinators, retirement living staff, tenancy sustainment team, our office administrators and managers – can’t do any more.

And every year they amaze me; excelling themselves to deliver even better care, support and retirement living for our customers.

New HomeLife service

We maintained our growth in the last 12 months, welcoming the HomeLife team to the Care Plus family. HomeLife is a support service aimed at people who are happy living independently but who need a little help with things like cooking, ironing and cleaning or even walking the dog. The team can also help customers get out to do their shopping, attend appointments or simply to keep connected with friends.

HomeLife offers the potential for a different kind of support for older people. It’s part of our strong focus on customers and communities and provides fantastic development opportunities for trusted and caring staff.

Ambitious target for Dementia Friends

During Dementia Action Week in May, we set an ambitious target to become one of the region’s most influential Dementia Friends.

Our drive to create more dementia friends in local communities kicked off with eighteen Dementia Friend workshops for staff, customers and volunteers. We have now trained almost 200 new Dementia Friends, including customers, their friends and family members alongside our own members of staff.

Securing Sustain services

We were very pleased to secure continued funding for the Sustain floating support services in Shropshire. Sustain is a consortium of providers including Care Plus, helping vulnerable people of any age to develop the skills and experience to live independently.

A great year for At Home care

It was another remarkable year for our fabulous At Home care team, with the continued development of the service in Shropshire and growth in demand for our dedicated care and support in Staffordshire.

Increasing numbers of older people are choosing to retain their independence by living their best lives in their own homes with the care and support that they need to do so. This year that meant that we doubled the care hours we delivered, from 62,000 to 135,000, changing lives and relieving worries for customers and their families.

We were also delighted to see the dedication of our At Home care team recognised with a prestigious award this year. Amy Bardi and Jenna Dubil – memorably pictured digging their way through snowdrifts to reach people in need – were jointly presented with the Home Care Coordinator of the Year prize in the regional finals of the Great British Care Awards. I am incredibly proud of everyone at Care Plus and it was exciting to see Jenna and Amy scoop one of the night’s top awards in very well deserved success.

Continued investment

I am delighted to see the high level of investment that continues to go into our retirement living communities.

This year we have invested around £1million improving retirement living accommodation in Staffordshire and Shropshire.

One of the schemes to benefit from this investment was Cross Hill Court in Shrewsbury, where residents have seen the redecoration of communal areas, new fire doors, lighting and fire alarms and homely carpeting to replace old vinyl flooring in corridors.

That was just the start.

Because we understand that the scheme kitchen is the hub of much of the social life at Cross Hill Court, we extended and upgraded that area. We introduced new storage and charging facilities for mobility scooters and improved the equipment in the laundry. We also invested £90,000 fitting a new lift, complete with automatic doors and speech module. The lift installation involved significant construction work and I’d like to thank the residents, visitors and staff for their patience during that project.

Cherry Tree Court has seen some changes, too, with the addition of a stunning garden that shows what can be achieved when a community works together. We are also providing a new toilet on the upper ground floor level, a much-needed facility for people who use the new garden and the first-floor lounge – it can be a long walk back to the flat and that has meant that some of the facilities were not being used to their full potential.

Vibrant communities

I’m proud of our continued growth, of our investment in retirement living accommodation and of the awards that recognise outstanding staff. What delights me most, though, are the pictures I see each day on the Care Plus Facebook page. If you don’t already follow us on Facebook I recommend that you do so, to enjoy fabulous photographs and stories of vibrant communities, inspiring volunteers and of course the awesome baking that’s the secret of so much successful fundraising!