Sonnet Care Homes (Essex) Limited, Braintree, Essex
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Staff at two Braintree care homes have unveiled an array of musical talent to entertain residents during the coronavirus lockdown.
From an Elvis tribute to belting out summer sounds, team members from The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court in Bocking have kept residents in high spirits with their in-house entertainment.
With safety paramount during the pandemic, all external entertainment and visitors had to be cancelled. The award-winning Sonnet Care Homes’ activities team responded quickly, taking advantage of the sunshine to arrange garden parties in the homes’ spacious grounds.
Step forward ‘The singing director’ – Finance Director Jo Moore has been singing in bands ranging from rock and roll to function bands since she left school and was soon persuaded to provide live music.
During the recent heatwave, the team arranged a Hawaiian cocktail and mocktail party, with staff dressing up in grass skirts and floral print shirts and Jo entertaining residents with numbers including Sunny Afternoon, Summer Holiday and Surfin’ USA.
I’ve really loved it, it’s been such a privilege and a nice change from looking after the finances!
“It’s been a difficult time and our residents have really missed going out and seeing family as well as our usual entertainments programme. It is lovely to see everyone singing along and tapping their feet, it has really brightened their spirits.”
Jo loves singing Elvis numbers and was in for a surprise when activities team member Russell England made an entrance in full Elvis costume to belt out three favourites.
The talented team also features care worker Clair Tomalin, who demonstrated her skills playing wartime classics on the flugelhorn at the residents’ VE Day party.
Sonnet Care Homes CEO Julia Clinton said:
Our whole team has been focused on keeping residents safe during the lockdown and I’m proud that they’ve gone way beyond the call of duty to bring fun and happiness to our community.”
Last year the care homes’ activities team won a national Activity Organisers of the Year award at the Great British Care Awards.
Catch up on the team’s in-house entertainment on facebook: at
Photos: 1. CEO Julia Clinton (first left) with Sonnet team members Kirsty Anderson, Michaela Clifford, Fran Prentice and Janet Preece join in the Hawaiian Party fun
2. Jo Whitehouse performs with Elvis tribute act Russell England
Dedicated staff from our Care Home in Braintree were shortlisted for no less than six different awards.
Terri Pike from St Mary’s Court was a finalist for the Care Home Manager Award at the Great British Care Awards, Eastern Region, and Matron Joan Sirett was shortlisted for the Frontline Leader award.
Jo Whitehouse, who won the Care Home Activity Organiser award last year, was again a finalist in the Activities category. Trainer Mandi Randall-Cramp was shortlisted for the Workforce Development Award and the Maintenance Team was a finalist in the Ancillary Workers category.
In Essex County Council’s quality awards, the Prospers, St Mary’s Court is shortlisted for the Community, Partnership and Collaboration Award, which recognises its partnership work with health providers and community organisations to achieve the best outcomes for residents.
Julia Clinton, CEO of Sonnet Care Homes which also includes the neighbouring New Deanery Care Home, said: “These nominations recognise the dedication of our entire team to providing first-class care and supporting all our residents to live full and interesting lives.”
The awards celebrate excellence and innovation across the care sector and pay tribute to individuals who are outstanding within their field of work.
Regional winners of the Great British Care Awards were announced at a Gala dinner in Peterborough in October, with the Prospers’ winners being announced at Chelmsford Racecourse on 26 November.
The latest award nominations came hot on the heels of St Mary’s Court achieving the National Gold Standards Framework (GSF) for the quality of care it provides to residents in the last years of their lives.
St Mary’s Court is the first care home in Braintree to receive the accolade, which recognises the organisation and quality of end of life care, leadership quality and the dignity and respect afforded to residents.
To find out more about accommodation, respite care, and day care at St Mary’s Court Care Home, please call 01376 328600, or visit www.stmaryscourt.co.uk.
Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse has won a prestigious award for her work providing a creative and varied programme of activities to brighten the lives of care home residents in Braintree. Read More
View all our current vacancies at St Mary’s court on www.stmaryscourt.co.uk
The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes have scooped three more awards, being judged Care Employer of the Year for the second year running.
The homes in Braintree won the accolades at The Great British Care Awards, East of England, and now go forward to the national finals in Birmingham next year.
Joan Sirett won the Dignity in Care Award, and Patricia Natel Barroso of St Mary’s Court received the Good Nurse Award. Read More
More than £180 has been raised by residents of the award-winning The New Deanery and St Mary’s Court care homes in Braintree, and their families, at a fun quiz night. The event, which was attended by over 40 people, was organised by the homes’ resident Activities Manager Jo Whitehouse and her team, and held during national Dementia Awareness Week. Read More
The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff team are always our top priority. We have therefore put in place comprehensive plans to ensure a robust response to the coronavirus outbreak in the UK. Our plans are being kept under regular review and updated as advised by the Government, Public Health England and associated advisory bodies.
This page details some of the steps we have taken in The New Deanery Care Home. This information is intended for our residents, their family and friends, our staff team, and any other potential visitors to our care homes.
For comprehensive information about the coronavirus itself, please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please click here to find out more about our arrangements for family and social visits.
Our staff team observe strict infection control precautions, including the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We have good supplies of PPE, including face masks which are being routinely worn for all care and support.
Visits from the local community and external entertainment into the homes are suspended for the foreseeable future. Our activities team works across the seven day week, and they have successfully adapted their programme to offer a diverse range of pastimes and activities whilst promoting social distancing. We are also making full use of our extensive grounds during fine weather.
We have adapted our mini-bus outings to short rides to the countryside and local beauty spots, where residents can enjoy a change of scenery and a short walk if they wish without fear of breaching social distancing guidance. Other than this, residents are being asked to stay on site. The only reason for leaving site being to seek urgent medical care. We have postponed any non-urgent appointments and await guidance regarding when these can safely be rescheduled.
Our Coronavirus Outbreak Leadership Team meets weekly as a minimum to review the measures we have in place, the latest government guidance, and to agree any new actions required.
We have been overwhelmed by the fabulous support we have received, and take this opportunity to sincerely thank our team, our residents, and their loved ones.
If you have comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.