Care for the elderly in Northumberland.

Rhianna chooses Charlotte Straker residents for her “well-being” bags

By 6th July 2020

Rhianna Mills, a 13 year old from Corbridge, applied for a “Caring through Crisis” grant from Foresters Financial for well-being bags for older people who are living on their own during the Covid19 crisis.

Rhianna was successful in her bid and was awarded a grant for £240. She decided to choose individuals in the supported bungalows at the Charlotte Straker Project as well in the RE-engage charity.

Each bag was carefully packed with a card from Rhianna plus lots of goodies including fresh fruit, luxury biscuits and teabags, a magazine, a pot plant, chocolates, cake and toiletries.

Our Registered Manager, Marilyn Hunter, distributed the bags to each chosen recipient in the Charlotte Straker Project.

Marilyn said, “This was a really thoughtful gesture and the ladies that received the “well-being” bags were absolutely delighted by Rhianna’s idea. Life has been monotonous and even a bit lonely under lockdown and it was lovely seeing their faces light up when they received the gifts. Rhianna has made a difference to each of these elderly ladies, and we want to thank her for applying for the grant and choosing the Charlotte Straker Project.”

Rhianna added, “I just wanted to do something to help the local community, and I loved the fact that everyone was so happy with the gifts and it made them smile. It was great to do, and I loved buying all the different items and writing the cards and packing each bag.”

Marilyn Hunter giving a well being bag to Jean Carr, one of the residents at our supported bunglows.

Rhianna with all her packed “well-being” bags!

We have raised over £9000 for the Isolation Unit Appeal so far!

By 2nd July 2020
Thank you to our wonderful local supporters, this week our fundraising total for our Covid19 Pandemic Isolation Unit Appeal is standing at over £9000!
The photo shows our Deputy Manager Claudia Ionita in front of our fundraising thermometer, demonstrating that we have passed the £7000 mark.
You can read more about our campaign and donate here
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us so far.

Cancelled Charity Fashion Show for Corbridge Youth Initiative and Charlotte Straker, March 2020.

By 1st July 2020

As it seems unlikely that this is event will be held in the near future, anyone holding a ticket who would like to reclaim the ticket money, please take the ticket to the shop from which it was purchased to claim the refund.  The refund process is open until July 25th after which any remaining money will be donated to the charities.

The Fashion Show raffle will be drawn at the beginning of the week beginning July 13th

A video from our Chair of Trustees to launch our new appeal

By 29th June 2020

Our Chair of Trustees, Berenice Groves recorded a short video to help launch our Isolation Unit Appeal – you can watch it here:

Thank you to Ian Wylie, for recording the video!

We have raised £5,570 towards our Isolation Appeal unit so far!

By 25th June 2020

Great news! So far we have raised £5,570 towards the Charlotte Straker Isolation Unit Appeal (CSIU). This includes a £5000 grant from the National Emergencies Trust via the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland and £570 in donations. We are awaiting approval from Northumberland County Council for a further £5,330 specifically for the CSIU as part of the government’s Infection Control Grant. If successful this will bring the total raised for the CSIU to £10,900, which is a superb start to this appeal!

You can donate to our appeal at the following link

The picture shows Marilyn Hunter (Registered Manager), Ian Duthie (Registered Nurse) and Berenice Groves (Chair of the Trustees) in front of our new fundraising thermometer.


By 22nd June 2020

Marilyn Hunter, Registered Manager, Ian Duthie, Registered Nurse and Berenice Groves, Chair of the Trustees in front of our fundraising thermometer.


We knew we needed to move quickly when the pandemic emerged in the UK to keep our vulnerable residents safe and well. The Charlotte Straker Trustees and Management decided to set up a new Isolation Unit to keep the home free from Covid-19.

Now we need your help to raise £70,000 to keep the unit open and running until September.
The special unit has been used to isolate any unwell resident and any with suspected Coronavirus infection. We have had no cases of Covid-19 to date. It will also be used to quarantine any new resident who joins the home or any residents returning after a hospital admission.
It also has specific staffing arrangements to stop any potential spread of the virus to the rest of the care home, which has access to testing. All staff and residents have tested negative.
The Isolation Unit will continue to operate until the threat of Covid-19 infection has passed for care homes with the charity paying the direct costs of setting aside the rooms involved.
“There is, unfortunately, a considerable additional cost to our charity of providing this Isolation Unit,” said Berenice Groves, chair of the Charlotte Straker Trustees.
“It comprises of four adjacent rooms in the east wing of our home, separate from the rest of the building. We have sacrificed the income we would normally receive from these rooms to keep everyone safe.”
The government Coronavirus support grant will only cover a fraction of the cost of the Isolation Unit, providing some help with additional staffing costs.
“There is a continuing need in our local community for the residential and nursing care provided at Charlotte Straker House. But people have been reluctant to be admitted due to the perceived risk of Covid-19 infection,” added Berenice.
Our isolation unit not only protects those already in our care and reassures their families but it also provides reassurance for those who need to be admitted to care.”
Added Berenice: “We have very close ties to the local community we serve and beyond. People have been fantastic in their support in the past. £70,000 is a lot of money to raise but we are asking for their help again.
“We have done everything in our power to keep those in our care safe during this awful pandemic and must continue to do that.
“It is heartening to know that this small Northumberland community is doing its utmost to protect those who are most vulnerable and frail. Charlotte Straker staff and trustees have worked closely with our village community to protect our residents to ensure we all emerge from this crisis safely.”


Saying Goodbye to Christine, our Senior Care Assistant

By 5th June 2020

We said goodbye to our staff member Christine Dawson last month. Christine started work at Charlotte Straker House in March 2008 as a Care Assistant, and was promoted in 2010 to become a valued Senior Care Assistant. She worked for seven years as part of the day shift care team, and five years on the night shift.

We asked her what changes she saw at Charlotte Straker House, and her favourite parts of her job.

She says “During my time at Charlotte Straker House I saw the introduction and removal of the palliative care unit, plus the introduction of the successful Community Respite Care Bed. It is the residents that I will remember most: Billy S for his wry humour, dance moves and lovely smile; Molly R and her pride when receiving her award for the work she did at Bletchley Park; Brian J for his wonderful comments on my eyes looking like “pools of deep blue sea”; and of course Gwen W, Lily S, Audrey J and Joan J, who was the longest-serving resident.

As far as staff, I will miss them all, but especially Claire MacDonald and Eleanor Graham for their guidance and support when I first started at Charlotte Straker House and Kerri Smith and Sandra Brothwood for their support and guidance when I transferred to the night shift. And of course Sarah Findlay who, sadly is no longer with us. She had a heart of gold and was a ray of sunshine and I miss her dearly.

I’ve enjoyed the diversity of the job and the feeling that I made a difference in peoples lives. Working both day shift and night shift gave me a greater appreciation of the work involved over 24 hour period in the Home.

I am very much looking forward to retirement and spending more time with my family. We are expecting a new puppy (Alaskan Malamute) in the near future and I’ll be working on my ongoing garden projects, plus walking, brushing up on photography and of course enjoying some holidays!”

The Trustees and Management of the Charlotte Straker Project would like to thank Christine very much for her years of hard work at Charlotte Straker House, and for her commitment, professionalism and wonderful care of our residents. We wish her all the best in her future life and sincerely hope she enjoys her retirement!

Knitted hearts help our residents and their families

By 3rd June 2020

Our volunteers have knitted and crocheted over 30 little pairs of hearts, with the aim of giving one of each pair to our resident, and sending another to their families, as an idea to help them and their loved ones manage the pain of separation over lockdown.

Over 15 of our residents were keen to join in and we visited their rooms so they could choose a pair of hearts.

The knitted hearts have now been posted to families, and includes a small message from our staff and management – we hope you enjoy receiving them!

(The message we sent each of the families

“We hope that this might bring a smile to your family during this difficult time. The staff are also sending our love to you and to reassure you that we are doing our utmost to make sure your loved one is safe and happy”.)

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