A care home in Horsham is celebrating after being named as a finalist for a national award.
Care UK’s Skylark House, on St Marks Lane, has been shortlisted in the ‘Best for Nutrition, Food and the Dining Experience’ category in the Care Home Awards.
The national awards recognise and reward excellence and innovation in UK care home management, operation and delivery.
The nomination is the result of the dedication and focus of Head Chef Shaun Pattenden, who joined the team in January 2020, and the strong catering team he has built up. He has taken a person-centred approach to his role, meeting every resident to design menus around their preferences and clinical needs. Shaun and his team also lead baking activities, food tasting sessions and cater for themed days and events designed to entertain and engage residents.
With the team’s support, residents are enjoying better health and wellbeing. When one new resident would only eat sandwiches, and another only vanilla ice cream, Shaun cooked dishes especially for them to build up their interest in food. Now they eat everything on the menu and are enjoying a balanced diet.
The team at Skylark House understand that supporting residents to maintain their independence is key to enabling them to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle, and food can be central to that. Residents help around the home by peeling veg with the team, washing up on their suites, or working with the hosts to set tables and fold napkins.
Residents love food-related activities, and the team support with these too. One 92-year-old lady’s wish was to cook roast dinner for all of her suite – 20 residents plus the team. She gave the team a shopping list of everything she wanted and then cooked the entire meal herself.
Food can also be a great activity for reminiscence. Shaun and his team often adapt dishes or try old recipes that residents suggest. It helps residents to feel valued and involved, and the team enjoy learning from residents.
Dorota Woloszyn, Home Manager at Skylark House, said: “We are delighted to have made it to the finals in the ‘Best for Nutrition, Food and the Dining Experience’ category in the Care Home Awards.
“Being shortlisted is testament to the team’s hard work and passion to ensure every resident leads a happy and fulfilling life. The last year has certainly had its challenges, but the team have gone above and beyond to maintain as much normality as possible for residents, and food and meal times have played a huge role in this.
“I’m incredibly proud of our team and everything they do to ensure Skylark House is a fantastic place to call home. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a win later this year!”
Once restrictions allow, Shaun is looking forward to organising an à la carte night, teaching residents how to cook on the barbecue, and getting them more involved in their food choices by growing their own fruit and veg, which can be used in the kitchen.
The winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony taking place on 10th September 2021.
Skylark House has been designed to deliver the very best standards of care and to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives. The home provides full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite and palliative care.
For more information on Skylark House, please call Customer Relations Manager, Beverly Jordan, on 01403 887 578 or email email@example.com
For more general information, please visit: careuk.com/skylark-house
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Wed-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm, Sat 8:30am-5pm,