Latest News 4/6/21
Not Forgotten Perform at Dunkirk Memorial House
Residents of a care home in Bishops Lydeard were treated to an uplifting afternoon of entertainment as part of a special Springtime Special sing-along concert tour organised by a British Armed Forces charity.
Abiding by current social distancing regulations in UK care homes, residents and staff at Dunkirk Memorial House, a Royal British Legion Care Home in Bishops Lydeard, Somerset, gathered for a fun-filled afternoon of music, song and dance.
The Not Forgotten professional entertainment team brought a party atmosphere into the home. The charity which supports serving and ex-servicemen and women launched their ‘Springtime Special’ series of free nationwide outdoor concerts to boost the morale of 1000’s of care home residents across the nation, who have been some of the hardest affected by loneliness and isolation during lockdown.
Residents clapped their hands, tapped their feet and sang along with smiles on their faces as new memories were created listening to familiar feel-good favourites from the 60s and 70s ranging from ABBA to Elvis and the Beatles.
Anne Lewin, home manager at Dunkirk Memorial House said: “We are pleased to welcome back the Not Forgotten Association to perform at our Home.
“The residents always enjoy these joyous and heart-warming performances, which lift the spirits of all who live with us.”
Brigadier James Stopford, CBE, CEO of The Not Forgotten said: “We’re thrilled to embark on this morale-boosting tour, building on the enormous success of last year’s events which had such a positive impact on so many care home residents during the pandemic.
“According to Age UK, there are 1.4m chronically lonely older people in England and many more across the rest of the UK.
“Our Springtime Special tour will enable us to connect with many of these people, bringing joy and entertainment into their homes as sadly, extreme loneliness and isolation is set to endure throughout 2021.
“Music provides such a boost to individuals emotional wellbeing and over the years we have seen incredibly positive reactions from residents who delight in the entertainment and the connection of interacting, at a safe distance, of course, with our performers.
“One hundred years ago soprano Marta Cunningham founded The Not Forgotten based on the principles of providing entertainment and recreation to those who have worn their nation’s uniform and now suffer and we are delighted that to this day, a big part of our work continues to bring entertainment to those we support across the UK.”
In a week of celebration, the hard-working teams across the RBL Care Homes group created countless events to commemorate the RBL’s centenary. Special events, visits, and centenary challenges were to the fore along with some inspirational talks on the history of the Royal British Legion.
The Royal British Legion’s centenary is just over a week away, so all our media channels have a distinct focus on our history. With the “Telling our Story” Project now live online, the Legion Magazine Centenary Edition now online and the “We Are The Legion” book now on sale, it is rewarding to see the pride of place our homes have in the history of the RBL.
Residents, staff and volunteers all feature, demonstrating the continuing impact our homes have on the quality of life of all our beneficiaries; indeed the wider communities in which they are located. As a proud Legionnaire of many decades, it is a source of great pride that all our homes continue to evolve and innovate, much like the RBL, to match the everchanging needs of the veteran communities we serve. Here’s to the next 100. Cheers!
The game’s afoot: Follow your spirit, and upon this charge. Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’ Henry V by Wm. Shakespeare
No comedy of errors or much ado about nothing recently, just good old-fashioned flag-waving celebrations. In a week when we celebrate Warwickshire’s popular playwright and a venerated saint. Shakespeare’s loyal, rallying words have an extra resonance this year with the Queen’s birthday alongside the sad passing of HRH Duke of Edinburgh.
It has been uplifting to follow our homes’ social media platforms picturing cream teas, fair princesses, fire-breathing dragons, and knights of old appearing everywhere. Part of the joy of supporting our homes, especially so in our centenary year, is witnessing the proliferation of old-school values; such a vital part of the award-winning care on offer in all our homes.
With RBL’s Centenary barely three weeks away various events are being planned across the group and with the launch of the “Telling our Story” online exhibition this week we can be sure of starting our second century in style.
Enjoy the sunshine and stay safe,
Spring has well and truly sprung across the six RBL care homes, with visits from some shiny new lambs and the arrival of a new family of ducks. Doughnut tasting along with indoor games gave succour to body and mind and we joined the rest of the world in moments of silent remembrance and respect. Plus a special gift from NASA for Galanos House’s first Martian explorer!
Sea Scouts in Warwick bring cheer to Royal British Legion care home residents this Easter
In the past, Scouts visited residents to write Christmas cards; but last year, due to Covid-19, they sent Easter and Christmas cards instead. Members of the sea scouts in Warwick have helped bring cheer to residents at a care home in Southam. The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts is proud to have Royal Navy recognition, and also support the local Royal British Legion, having close links with Galanos House, which is a Royal British Legion Care Home.
This year, Thomas, one of the Beavers, came up with his own idea for Easter. Thomas encouraged Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and neighbours to decorate plant pots, he then filled them with compost and an iris bulb, and had enough to give one to each resident at Galanos house. Thomas said: “I wanted to do something to help the elderly, so I asked people to help by decorating a pot. “I then planted a bulb in each one, with a bit of help from grandad, and went to drop them off with a ‘Happy Easter’ message.”
Thomas’s family have a long history with 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts, with his grandad, Neil Pitchford, having been involved with the group for many years as a leader. Neil was instrumental in shaping ideas for their new HQ, when he first began the drive for a new hut for the group over 10 years ago when he was Group Scout Leader.
Neil Pitchford, who is an assistant scout leader, said: “It is amazing to see the new hut about to be completed. “It’s great that the future of the group will now be secure and that my grandson, Thomas, a Beaver in the group, will have a new hut to see him grow through the group, so he can also benefit from the opportunities that my children have had at 2nd Warwick.”
The Sea Scouts are also running an online raffle over Easter to help them finish their new HQ. Janette Eslick, fundraiser for the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts, said: “We’ve just had four tickets to Pub in the Park added to our online raffle, to go along with a horse archery lesson at Knights of Middle England and vouchers for meals, local shops, days-out or other activities. “Buy a ticket for £1 before April 12 from www.2wk.org.uk” For more information email: [email protected] or visit www.2wk.org.uk/new-hq or follow on Facebook:
Latest Photos 29/03/21
Mothers Day 2021
Latest News 7/03/21
350 days ago the UK entered the first lockdown, a situation beyond comparison in peacetime and yet creating challenges reminiscent of the two world wars of the twentieth century. The first of which led directly to the increase in awareness of veterans needs and challenges, generating many charitable societies that evolved into the British Legion in 1921.
Tomorrow, March 8th will see the first steps back to a new set of normals that will see the lessening of the restrictions we have dealt with over the past year. During this time veteran’s care has again been a focus, with the vulnerabilities of post-service life in the spotlight. The Armed Forces and Veterans Charity sector has raised its game in ensuring that disadvantaged veterans have been able to access the extra support and guidance needed due to the pandemic.
As you know, over the last twelve months I have tried to give you a flavour of the extra challenges all of our homes have faced, with all of the staff going far beyond any expectations. Giving our beneficiaries the very best in veterans care and welfare. Doing so, whilst striving to manage the needs of our residents’ families, has created innovative ways to capitalise on the digital media explosion across the care homes sector. On a personal level, I have witnessed countless fundraising initiatives met in full by the supporters and members of the Royal British Legion along with the wider communities that consistently rally to the call.
It is important to remember that the operational changes to visiting, starting tomorrow, whilst enormously welcome; represents a continuation of the additional duties the pandemic has generated. This will be the case for some time to come, so our homes have some way to travel before their pandemic load lifts, even a little. In line with the countless words of thanks and praise, you have written to me in support of our homes, l wish all six of them continued strength through the next phase of the un-lockdown and on behalf of all of you, a massive thank you.
The recent news cycles have brought a new normal closer to all of us. Whatever shape that takes is very much something to look forward to. Across all our homes, one to one visiting will commence under the current guidelines during the second week in March.
As part of the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Project, all the constituent parts that make up our award-winning charity, have been invited to submit contributions for the “Telling Our Story” project. Any part of our past including the history of our branches, members, volunteers and community work to sharing related records, artefacts, experiences, personal stories and more tell our story better than any ad campaign.
The team at Galanos House have contributed the story of their world record attempt celebrating their 50th Anniversary alongside the video that accompanied the event. Galanos House World Record Attempt Video
All of our homes reflect the areas in which they are based, so generating support can be challenging at times; however, the good fortune that led Galanos House to be based in South Warwickshire has always been a huge bonus to everyone associated with the home. As of today’s date, submissions are still being accepted so if you have any stories to tell do so via this link. Telling Our Story Project
Preparations for Chinese New Year, a celebration for long service, a Mama Mia performance and a drink in the bar watching the rugby with friends. All is well!
Our homes have had a lot to think about this week, indeed it has been a momentous week for the Royal British Legion as a whole.
Alongside the regular testing and Covid precautions, the vaccination roll-out has continued at pace. Birthdays have been celebrated, plans were drawn up and preparations made for Burn’s Night, all the usual fare for a Royal British Legion Home.
Individually and as teams, the extraordinarily unselfish efforts are continuing across the group. Those of us standing on the sidelines can only watch with admiration as this flood of challenges is met head-on.
The homes are making plans for events surrounding the Royal British Legion’s Centenary in May, information on the interesting ideas being discussed will be published over the coming weeks. As for the Royal British Legion, the re-branding project started nearly three years ago, with a postponed launch in early 2020, will reveal all on Wednesday. The final briefing before the launch was held earlier this week with a concise and informative presentation online.
Christmas is back in the loft until December, everything has been tidied up and 2021 is slowly unwrapping itself to reveal a very similar set of challenges to last year, perhaps?
The homes, including five with specialist dementia care, are designed to be a home from home for our residents and visitors. They have created warm and welcoming atmospheres, with spacious rooms, beautiful outdoor spaces and relaxing lounge areas. As care homes designed for veterans and their families, there is also a unique camaraderie and their residents often establish strong friendships and bond over their shared experiences.
As part of the affiliation, RBL St James’s Branch will be designating substantial funds annually, to support all the amenities teams in achieving satisfactory funding levels. The Operations Directorate along with the Head of Care Services will field all funding requests to St James’s and prioritise them by the perceived benefit to our residents. This will ensure that we will be able to target funding more efficiently.
Just as importantly this page has been created to enable all of our care homes to promote their award-winning initiatives, the unique events and activities they provide for their residents and demonstrate why all our homes have a unique place in the care and support of our veterans along with their families.
Whilst this affiliation does not supersede any relationships that any care homes have with RBL Branches local to them, it does offer membership to our residents/families should they want to join the Royal British Legion where there is no local option available.
We hope that we have many opportunities to tell our members about the countless stories that reinforce the notion that the Royal British Legion Care Homes are amongst the very best in the sector.