Sajid Javid’s Valentine’s visit to Willows
Residents and staff were delighted to welcome Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for an early-morning visit on Valentine’s Day. He was joined at the home by Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, and Andrew Rosindell MP for Romford, and our very own Laird MacKay, Chief Operating Officer at Canford Healthcare.
Mr Javid chatted with residents and staff about their experiences of the pandemic and spoke to the home’s wellbeing team about the importance of keeping up residents’ morale by organising meaningful and enjoyable activities, and supporting them to stay connected with their families. The team had been ably assisted in this by the home’s characterful and much-loved hens, introduced in collaboration with the creative charity Equal Arts as part of their HenPower scheme to promote good health and wellbeing in older people.
The Secretary of State had a lively exchange of stories with residents Peggy and Iris who presented him with some sweet treats and cheered him on as he broke open a large heart-shaped piñata to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Mr Javid learnt about the home’s ‘Grazebox’ snacks that are provided to our dementia residents. These meals offer a balanced and nutritious alternative throughout the day for residents who find it difficult to eat a large meal in one sitting, and evidence shows that this helps older people to maintain weight.
“It was our great pleasure to welcome Mr Javid, Professor Green, and Andrew Rosindell, to Willows Care Home,” says Laird. “They were interested to hear about our experiences of the pandemic, the challenges that we faced, and the support that we feel is needed within the sector moving forward. We have wonderful staff at the home who talked with pride about the care they provide and the opportunities to create a fulfilling career within the sector”.
Mr Javid also spent time talking to staff members Benjamin Obi, our quality and training co-ordinator, and Sarah Williams, our trainee assistant practitioner, who spoke about her training programme and her passion for her new-found career.
At the end of the visit, all were shown displays showing the home’s involvement with initiatives such as World Kindness Day and Postcodes of Kindness.
A memorable day for the us all and we’re so pleased to be chosen as the first care home for the Secretary of State to visit on his Road to Recovery tour!