Care for the elderly in Northumberland.
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Our fabulous Charlotte Straker Summer Fete returns this year on Saturday 8th June from 2pm onwards, with many stalls and attractions including: a tombola, children’s games, book stall, plant stall, craft items, cream teas, ice creams and stalls from many other local charities and organisations.
We’d be VERY grateful if you could donate any unwanted items to our tombola stall, second hand books for our book stall, plants for our plant stall and any home made cakes and bakes for the afternoon.
All items can be left in the Charlotte Straker office at any time before 8th June. Thank you very much for your help!
Yesterday we held an afternoon tea with a difference.
Our residents, staff and trustees invited all our volunteers to thank them for giving up their time to help us at Charlotte Straker House.
Volunteers bring so much to our organisation, including skills, advice, experience, friendship and care. Their commitment and energy is inspiring and very much appreciated by us all.
Lesley Thirlwell, our Deputy Chair of the Trustees, gave a speech and presented “long service” certificates and badges to Janet Earnshaw, Jennifer Wright and Liz Nisbet for their long service as volunteers in our charity.
“Long service” certificates and badges will also be given to Heather Wilson, Barbara Shaw, Suzette Milne and Warwick Milne, as they couldn’t attend this afternoon.
Lesley’s speech in full…
“Our dedicated volunteers are a major strength of the Charlotte Straker Project. Without their contribution of time and energy, our organisation would not have accomplished so much or succeeded in becoming such a vital resource for our surrounding community.
They have a measurable and meaningful impact on the day to day life at our care home and we are immensely grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment.
Some individuals have volunteered for a considerable number of years and have become essential cornerstones of our organisation. We are so grateful for their continued advice and contribution to our charity.
Our helpers volunteer for many different reasons, but for whatever motivation they generously provide their time, skills and support without any expectation of reward.
Today is a chance for the trustees, staff and residents to thank our volunteers for sharing their skills and knowledge and for the positive impact they make on our residents’ lives. We are genuinely grateful for the energy, enthusiasm and dedication they bring to their roles as volunteers and the fact they make our overall mission of “care according to need” that much easier to achieve.”
Last week our residents enjoyed an afternoon of flower arranging, demonstrated by our resident Maureen.
Maureen is very talented and explained to our residents how to create a beautiful display.You can tell how much everyone enjoyed the afternoon.
As well as flower arranging, we also had a games afternoon with a difference: a chance to try quoits plus a traditional tin can alley. This was a big hit with all the residents, and some were in fits of laughter at the attempts to knock down the cans.
We absolutely love all these photos, as it shows our wonderful residents really enjoying themselves and taking great delight in it all.
Last month we said a goodbye to John Upton, our handyman, who retired after many years’ service to the Charlotte Straker Project.
John has been instrumental in maintaining Charlotte Straker House and ensuring the home runs as smoothly as possible.
Our registered manager, Marilyn Hunter presented a retirement gift from all the staff at Charlotte Straker House (vouchers to John’s favourite hotel) during a retirement ceremony.
Everyone at Charlotte Straker would like to extend our thanks to John and to wish him a healthy, happy and relaxing retirement.
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 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.”