A Britten Court lifestyle coordinator, who harnessed the power of the beach for a seriously ill care home resident, has won an Unsung Hero award from a national magazine.
Julie Robinson, lifestyle coordinator at Britten Court, will receive the award from the Caring Times magazine for her creative use of activities to support the wellbeing of residents.
It was for one example that she stood out from other nominees. Home manager Chloe Swarbrick explained: “One resident was very ill and no longer able to visit the seaside she loved. Julie went to the beach and collected sand and shells, along with some sea water. She also recorded the sounds of the beach, so she could recreate a sensory seaside experience for the resident back in her room.
“The resident, who had grown up by the Suffolk coast, was able to turn her head as she heard the waves and she gave a lovely smile. It was incredibly moving and shows just what can be accomplished from the simplest things.”
Colleagues say Julie is a never-ending source of creative ideas and energy. She gets to know every resident before creating truly person-centred activities.
Julie, who comes from a catering background, has created a recipe club, where residents select recipes that they, their mothers or grandmothers used to cook. The kitchen team then prepares them for everyone to share and reminisce over.
She has also developed a memory path in the grounds of the home where every resident is invited to decorate and lay a stone in the path, to show that they are an integral part of the home.
Julie said: “I was delighted at receiving the award. I love my job. Every day is different and every resident has an amazing story to tell - the recipe club shows that. One resident was a cook at Somerleyton Hall and she shared with us an incredible scone recipe. She watched over the chefs as we cooked and was not slow to tell us when we were not doing it to her high standards!
“Another lady shared her grandmother’s Christmas cake recipe with us and it was so good we have adopted it as our standard home recipe.”