Care for the elderly in Northumberland.
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We had a special visitor this week.
Charlotte is a 3 week old orphan lamb from a local farm, and she came to see us at Charlotte Straker House.
Charlotte was the third from a set of triplets and her mother didn’t have enough milk to feed her, so she has been bottle fed since birth.
Pet therapy is proven to reduce anxiety and we have regular visits from therapy dogs and horses, however, this is a first with a pet lamb!
It was quite a complex thing to organise and we have needed approval from Trading Standards to transport the lamb here.
However it has definitely been worth it, as many of our residents lived and worked on farms, and seeing the lamb now, helps them reconnect with their past.
Meg said “I love her. She is so pretty. And tiny too. I think the best thing is her nappy. Thank you for bringing her in.”
Spring was definitely in the air when a party of residents, carers and volunteers visited High House Farm in Matfen last week.
Our Marketing Coordinator, Sally Urwin, showed us around her lambing shed and we met Scabby the sheep, Hatty the ewe and Candy the Shetland pony.
We also had the chance for a cuddle with (newly named) Charlotte and Straker the pet lambs!
Sally will be bringing Charlotte the lamb to Charlotte Straker House in the near future, to meet the residents who couldn’t make it up to the farm.
In the afternoon we all visited the High House Farm Brewery tearooms for a scone and a cup of tea in the sunshine.
As you can see from the pictures, the weather was glorious – long may it continue…
The Charlotte Straker Project are delighted to announce the appointment of Mark I’Anson, MBE to the Board of Trustees at the Charlotte Straker Project.
Mark is a Northumbrian based business person, entrepreneur and philanthropist and brings a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge to our Board. He sold his his own NASDAQ listed computer company (Integrated Micro Products) in 1995, and became Vice President responsible for Sun Microsystems Telco Platform Groups from 1996 to 2000.
After retiring, Mark joined the Boards of a number of local SMEs and is currently chairman of the Northumberland Community Bank, the Haydon Bridge Development Trust and is a director of the Northstar Foundation. He is a past director of the Community Foundation serving Tyne, Wear and Northumberland and the County Durham Community Foundation. Mark was appointed as David Goldman Visiting Professor of Business Innovation at Newcastle University, and was Chairman of the University Council until 2017. Mark was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2013 for services to entrepreneurship, community engagement and higher education.
Berenice Groves, Chair of the Trustees commented “I am absolutely delighted that Mark has agreed to join the Charlotte Straker Project team and I know that we will hugely benefit from his immense business experience, plus obvious passion and enthusiasm for the charity sector. Mark joins us at an exciting time for the Charlotte Straker Project, with the success of our charitably funded respite care bed and proposed extension to our residential home.”
Mark I’Anson added, “I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining the team at the Charlotte Straker Project. I’ve come across the charity often over my years in the region, and I have always been impressed by the dedicated and caring attitude they show in all their work. I’m keen to to start building on the successes to date.”
Thank you to all those who came to our Charity Race Night at Corbridge Corstopitum Club on Saturday night, organised by our Activities Coordinator Jayne Purvis
The evening raised an amazing total of £710!!
Thank you to all the businesses who donated a prize to our raffle (Gb Motor Engineers, Stobo’s Fruit and Veg, The Blue Bell, The Wheatsheaf Corbridge, The Golden Lion Corbridge, Corbridge Garden Room, Acanthus, La Suite, JD Hall Butchers plus Tesco and Waitrose in Hexham).
Thank you to those who donated, and who sponsored a race card and those who sponsored a race.
Jayne would also like to thank Harry Chandler, Peter Purvis and the Bar Staff from the Corstopitum Club, plus Gillian Dixon, Susan Tulip and Margaret Dixon.
Our residents, volunteers and staff had a wonderful trip to Matfen Hall last week, where they enjoyed a sumptuous afternoon tea with cakes, scones and pastries in the Library.
This is one of our favourite outings and is always very popular, and we had some lovely feedback from our residents about the wonderful, historic surroundings of the hotel and the delicious food.
Thank you, as always, to the Matfen Hall staff for looking after us so well.
Our current Community Respite Care resident is Mr Arthur Burgess, who for 23 years ran the Post Office in Corbridge with his wife Mary. Mary sadly died three years ago and Arthur now lives in Crofts Avenue in Corbridge.
Arthur came to Charlotte Straker House for a short respite care break. He told us, “This week has been incredibly good, and everyone has been so helpful and kind. One of the nicest things is having nice meals, prepared and served to me. Now I live on my own, I cook for myself, so it’s a wonderful thing to have tasty meals each day.”
Arthur was born in Cheshire, but moved to Corbridge with his wife and children and was very involved in the village, having many friends in the community. It’s wonderful to see him at Charlotte Straker House especially as so many of the staff recognise and remember him very well.
The photograph shows Care Assistant Jacqui Chilton and Mr Burgess.
Did you know that our charity receives regular grants from the Community Foundation, made in the name of a philanthropist who lived locally? We are in recipient of regular generous grants from the Community Foundation’s Roland Cookson Fund, thanks to a unique, ongoing, arrangement between the Charlotte Straker Project, the Community Foundation, and Roland’s friends and relatives.
The Roland Cookson fund was established in 2004 upon the wind up of the RA Cookson Charitable Trust, which was itself established by Roland Cookson, a Tyneside industrialist who lived in Corbridge and died in 1991. The former trustees of the Trust continue to act as advisors to the Community Foundation on grant-making from the fund, and in 2016 they asked the Foundation to refocus this, and offer regular support to the Charlotte Straker Project. The Community Foundation agreed an approach whereby the fund makes quarterly grants to the Charlotte Straker Project. In theory, the relationship could exist in perpetuity thanks to the Foundation’s endowment model by which it is primarily investment income with which we make grants.
Since the arrangement was agreed, the fund has made more than £150,000 in grants to our charity, with the funding representing an average of around 6% of our annual income. The majority of funds are put towards direct care costs, and physical improvements to Charlotte Straker House and its surroundings.
Berenice Groves, our Chair of Trustees, welcomes the additional funding provided by the Roland Cookson Fund: “Given our ethos that care is given according to individual need and that lack of means should not be a barrier to receiving care, the gift contributes enormously ensuring no-one is denied access to care because of lack of means.” Bill Cunningham, the Trustee responsible for the relationship with the Roland Cookson Fund at the Community Foundation said: “Increasingly there is a financial gap between what it costs the charity to care for a resident and the money we receive. Regular, guaranteed, unrestricted funding like that we now receive in Roland’s name, is vitally important to us.”
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by the Charlotte Straker Project to be outstandingly well led, following a surprise inspection in December 2018.
The care home was rated “Good” for Safe, Effective, Caring and Responsive and “Outstanding” for Well-Led. Inspectors praised staff and management saying, “The board members and registered manager had a clear vision for the organisation and service which put people at the heart of it. Staff were very well-supported by the management team. Staff were highly skilled and knowledgeable about each person they cared for and they were extremely committed to making a positive difference to each person. They were enthusiastic and believed passionately in the ethos of the service.”
The Inspectors also commented on the “person-centred” vision and value of our service, commenting, “People were extremely well-cared for, relaxed and comfortable. Staff knew the people they were supporting very well and we observed that care was provided with great patience and kindness. The service went to great lengths to ensure people’s privacy and dignity were always respected. Everyone we spoke with complimented and praised the staff team and gave examples of the outstanding care that was delivered.”
Marilyn Hunter, Registered Manager of the home, said: “We strive to create a welcoming home from home feel at Charlotte Straker House and I’m so pleased our continued efforts have been recognised by the CQC’s inspectors. Everyone here works incredibly hard to provide residents with compassionate, person-centred care, and to be rated “good” and “outstanding” shows just how committed the team is to making a positive difference to resident’s lives each and every day.”
Deputy manager Iwona Proszowska added: “It’s first and foremost a huge thank-you to all our staff; these people are the team at the Charlotte Straker Project who come in everyday of the year to care for, and provide our residents with care, and an outstanding quality of life.”
Berenice Groves, Chair of the Trustees said: “The Charlotte Straker Project has a culture where the provision of consistent, high quality, compassionate care is at the heart of its operation. It’s clear that the staff and management are committed to providing individualised care and treating people with dignity and respect.”