Latest News 8/9/21
Galanos House Goes Global Once again
Yesterday the team at Galanos House launched this year’s attempt on the Road Worlds for Seniors. This fantastic initiative has proven benefits including:-
Improves mobility and self-efficacy
Reminiscence and social interaction
Better strength and balance, prevents falling
Increased appetite, while reduced overweight
Better sleep, less pain, less medication
Improves physical and mental wellbeing
With a history of success in this global event, Galanos House will once again be hoping to finish top of the rankings in October. we wish all the members of the Galanos Family the very best in this year’s event.
The surefooted way in which RBL’s six care homes have navigated the impact of the pandemic is continuing to make the best of differences to all our beneficiaries. I hope the photographs/news on this page have shown the sector-leading care available to our residents and the life-enhancing opportunities they enjoy?
The high standards achieved by RBL’s care homes group are far from the norm in our sector; the perfect storm created by Covid-19 has lead to increasing calls for change in many areas. Social care is becoming a recognisable topic to a wider audience, the disproportionate effect the pandemic had on the sector has highlighted the need for root and branch changes in the system. Lobbying and Policy groups are conducting wide-ranging investigations leading to reports on ambitious ways to improve the nature and effectiveness of outcomes for the hundreds of thousands of people who need support.
One such organisation is the British Geriatrics Society , to my mind an innovative group that is the only society in the UK offering specialist expertise in the wide range of healthcare needs of older people. A lot of the reports they produce are an insightful perspective on the necessary changes required for all our futures. Let us all hope that the winds of change will bring the necessary improvements to the sector and give everyone the chance to have access to standards of care that the Royal British Legion’s homes consider normal.
Resident at Royal British Legion care home in Southam who helped Britain’s Second World War effort celebrates her 101st birthday
Ethel Ferguson, who lives at Galanos House, remembers the days throughout the Second World War when she worked in a munitions factory from the age of 19 and she would have to take shelter during air raid warnings on a daily basis.
A former wartime munitions factory worker has celebrated her 101st birthday at Galanos House in Southam. Ethel Ferguson had a party with staff and fellow residents of the Royal British Legion’s purpose-built care home for the armed forces community and their families on Wednesday (July 21). She was treated with cake, bubbly, decorations and phone calls and visits from family.
In 1939 when World War Two first broke out, Ethel wanted to join the Land Army, but was unsuccessful at joining. Instead, she went to work in the inspections department at John Wrights Munitions Factory in Birmingham, where she would inspect the ammunition bullets to ensure they were made correctly. Ethel worked in the factory from the age of 19 up until the end of the war in 1945, leaving at the age of 25.
Recalling her time working at the factory, Ethel said: “I really enjoyed working there. We all wore the same overalls, and I made some good friends. “At 10am and 3pm every day they would play music for us to work to, and I always used to sing along. We would start work at 8am, have 1 hour lunch and finish at 6:30pm.” Ethel added: “But the air raid sirens would go off nearly every day, and we would have to down tools and head straight for the air raid shelter, which I never enjoyed!”
After the war ended, Ethel went on to work in Jane’s Clothes Shop in Yew Tree, Birmingham, as a Sales Assistant, which she enjoyed the most because she loves clothes and fashion. She later worked at a butcher’s and restaurant. In the September of 1944, Ethel met Ken, a Paratrooper, whilst he was on leave from the Army, at a dance hall on Broad Street, Birmingham. Nine months later, on 2nd June 1945, they wed in Birmingham’s St Chads Cathedral.
Ethel has four children, five grandchildren and five great grandchildren – one of which was born just a couple of weeks ago. On her 100th birthday, Ethel was gifted a ‘book of your life’, by her grandson Andrew, which she loves as it gives her the opportunity to look back at her old photos. She also received a birthday card from the queen, which she says, “she loved receiving” and “is really special”. Ethel still has the card to this day, which is on permanent display in her room. When asked what the secret to living to see her 101st birthday is, Ethel says: “Trust people and love your family no matter what.”
Denise Goodwin, wellbeing manager of the Royal British Legion’s Galanos House, said: “We love to celebrate all our residents’ birthdays, which we do by throwing parties complete with balloons, decorations, and a homemade cake fresh from the kitchen. “It’s become a more important tradition over the last year, as residents have been unable to spend it with their families due to the Governments Covid guidance for care homes which have been put in place to keep residents safe. “Being a part of our residents’ birthdays is a really special occasion for all the staff and relatives to get involved in, and we are really looking forward to helping Ethel celebrate such a big birthday this year.”
Mais House has the talent to go global!
Thanks go to Lee Owen at Mais House for sending the latest set of photos of events from RBL’s care home in Bexhill-on-Sea.
We held a Zoom talent show where the residents and staff performed in the dining room and the relatives at home from all across the world watched them. The relatives also joined in and performed for our residents by playing the piano, reciting poetry and doing dramatic readings.
We also put on a special birthday party for one of our residents and broadcast that over zoom so her family could join in from all across the world. For Pamela’s Birthday, we hooked the TV up to Zoom and broadcast the celebrations around the globe including Europe and America.
D-Day celebrations were supported by the wonderful Not Forgotten Society.
With further entertainment in the month provided at the Summer Garden Party by duo Glashin with further entertainment from the patio.
Away from all the partying, work in the garden continued and there was a trip to the Harley Davidson shop and warehouse.
The world continues to turn in so many delightful ways, very well done everyone.
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.