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Piotr’s Blog – Raising Awareness

This month I have been impressed how active our services have been in raising awareness for issues close to our hearts.

It was Mental Health Awareness Week 8-14 May and our Waterside Lodge Recovery Centre in Leytonstone held a barbecue on Tuesday 9 May to celebrate how to thrive when living with mental ill health.

The focus of Mental Health Awareness Week this year was ‘thriving or surviving’ and the people living at Waterside Lodge are definitely thriving!

They enjoyed the barbecue along with music, dancing and generally had a wonderful time.  All of this took place in their newly renovated garden which was revamped by volunteers from Natwest Bank who kindly offered their services earlier this year.

It is so important to raise awareness and it is exactly these kinds of events, celebrating positive mental health, that show that people can lead amazing lives, working towards meaningful goals to support them on the path to recovery.  We encourage people to take more control of their lives so that they can move on to more independent living.

image of customers dancing at Waterside Lodge for mental health awareness week

Foxburrow Grange, our specialist nursing and dementia care home in Colchester, was also busy this month, holding an interactive workshop session for 14 year old students who are interested in a career in care, as part of Dementia Awareness Week 14-20 May.

It is important to raise awareness with everyone but it was a delight for us to be able to speak directly to young people and to explain to them what dementia is and what it is like living in a nursing home.

We talked about how we live by our values and outlined what makes a good care/support plan. Sheila Davis, our Board Member and a Dementia Friends Champion, came along to support the session.

The students all had a go at writing a ‘one page profile’, summarising what is important to each person and the key risks so that staff would know how to deliver safe and compassionate care tailored to the individual’s needs.  At the end of the session they spent some time with residents.

Their enthusiasm was infectious and highlighted how raising awareness particularly with young people will go a long way to making our society more inclusive and responsive to the needs of people living with dementia.

image of students from Thomas Lord Audley school at Foxburrow Grange

Both events went really well and I am sure those attending will remember them for a very long time.