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Danshell Indoor Sports Day

Untitled designOn Friday 5th February, at the Dolphin Leisure Centre, Darlington, approximately 20 enthusiastic service users were gathered with their support staff to take part in various sporting activities for the Danshell Indoor Sports Day. The ‘Move More’ team provided activities such as bocce, shuttle runs, table tennis, indoor golf, chair aerobics and trampolining. Service users rotated around in groups ensuring they tried as many of the different disciplines as possible.

All activities were well received by the service users, and staff were pleased with everyone’s enthusiasm. Some of the attendees enjoyed the day so much that they asked for future trampolining lessons for one of the services, and also that another sports day be held soon! One of the activity coordinators is looking to potentially create a lesson plan around Chair Aerobics after the session as they believe it would be ideal for some service users who find it hard to leave the unit.

At the end of all the activities, the groups were brought together to receive certificates for participating. Service users who were only able to spectate received a certificate also, ensuring that everyone received recognition for what they have achieved and to serve as a reminder of the great day they had. The Sports Day has had a positive effect on staff and service users alike.

The reason behind the Sports Day was to create a safe environment where those we serve can try new sporting activities and also socialise with other people in Danshell. Sport for some of our service users may bring back negative memories so events like this will help remove those anxieties. The focus is having fun and trying something different, whilst also helping to promote participation and enjoyable exercise. This will help people become healthier and also help with integration into the community in the long term.

We would like to thank everyone who attended and organised the event. It was a great success and we look forward to seeing more of them in the future.

100% of Danshell Services Receive GOOD Rating From CQC

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We are proud to announce that 100% of Danshell services are rated GOOD by the Care Quality Commission. Danshell recently appeared in the Community Care Market News on the list of ‘Top 20 younger adults residential care providers ranked by % of homes fully compliant with CQC standards’.

One Inspector, who carried out her CQC inspection on Victoria House in January, gave fantastic feedback on the quality of the service. She said she was “extremely impressed with everything” and complimented the whole staff team on creating such a positive and pleasant environment. Extra credit was given to a number of staff at Victoria House for their professionalism.

The Inspector complimented staff on their excellent health and safety knowledge, their brilliant activities evidence and folders, and their knowledge and thorough audits programme. Sarah Whitaker, Interim Service Manager for Victoria House was extremely happy with the inspection results, and complimented the team on their hard work and the fantastic feedback.

Andrew Murray, Chief Executive Officer commented, “At Danshell we always aim to create a safe and supportive environment for those we serve and this is underpinned by industry leading governance systems. I am delighted that all 23 of Danshell’s services are rated GOOD and would like to thank all staff for their hard work and dedication to ensuring we maintain these high standards.”.

To find out more about the services we provide please follow this link: 

Peoples Parliament Attend Inclusion North Meeting

Three service user representatives from ‘Peoples Parliament’ (the service user forum for Danshell’s services in the North East) attended the Confirm and Challenge meeting organised by Inclusion North last week. The meeting, held at Sunderland People First’s office, was attended by service user representatives, and their carer’s and family representatives from all over the North East of England.

The Danshell reps, who were chosen at the previous week’s Peoples Parliament, were Damien and Catherine from Hollyhurst, and Paul from Redlands. The forum aloud all of the attendees the opportunity to meet with other service users groups from across the North East and discuss different points that were important to them. 

Inclusion North

The agenda included how to communicate the Transforming Care programme more easily to everyone. Everyone liked the idea of making a video with people in the NE to express their own opinions and feelings about using understandable language. There was also a discussion with a GP about ways to make medication more understandable by making its purpose and side effects clearer to all.

Inclusion North is an organisation that promotes the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families, and carers. They want people with learning disabilities to live fantastic lives, and they support their members to make sure that dream becomes a reality.

Sunderland People First is an independent champion for people with learning disabilities and autism in Sunderland. They aim to promote the rights, equality and diversity of people with learning disabilities and autism. Sunderland People First has been recognised both locally and nationally for improving people’s lives.

A big thank you to Inclusion North and Sunderland People First for organising the meeting and we look forward to more of your forums in the future!

Whorlton Hall's Winter Activities!

Winter is a great time to wrap up warm with a hot drink, sit by a fireplace and get cosy… for us less adventurous people anyway. When asked what activities he would like to try, David from Whorlton said he would like to try surfing! Unfortunately this country is not renowned for its warm seas and pearl white beaches, especially not in December. But our staff don’t give up that easily! After some thorough research the staff came across ‘FlowRider’!


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FlowRider is an indoor surfing pool at Heworth Leisure Centre that lets you experience the thrill of catching and riding a wave indoors! David and all the staff had a great time, and are already planning future trips!




Surfing wasn’t the only activity on the agenda this month. Christopher and Andrew have recently started going to 'Rock Antics', the climbing wall at the Newton Aycliffe leisure complex! Both of them thoroughly enjoy the sessions which are not only fun but also great exercise. Andrew said I really enjoy it, it is hard work, tough and I go out for tea!


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Our services have dedicated activity co-ordinators who supports service users to have individual person centred plans. The wants, needs and interests of each individual are established through a variety of sources of information and communication with key people. Service users are supported to participate in social activities that may be of interest to them through the well-established network of community based groups.

Everyone at Whorlton Hall, in the beautiful surroundings of Teesdale, wish you a Happy New Year for 2016.

Newbus Grange Is Feeling Festive

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The Christmas season has arrived and with it, plenty of festive cheer. Celebrations, gift giving, singing and decorating are already on the agenda with a fun packed month for everyone at Danshell across the country. Those at Newbus Grange have wasted no time, already designing and making their own Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is made out of individual stars, each designed by the service users, making a fantastic centre piece.  It even has flashing fairy lights! A big thank you to Della Bastin, Lauren Sharpe and Mark Jones who supported everyone in the process.

The staff and service users at Newbus Grange are also having a ‘Christmas Jumper week’, raising money for the Darlington Mission. The charity supports the elderly and lonely living around Darlington, a fantastic cause, especially with Christmas coming up. If you are visiting Newbus Grange this week you will have the option to support the fund raising event, and be sure to bring your flashiest Christmas jumper as you will have a lot of competition for being the most festive person in the building!

Newbus Grange is an independent hospital situated near Darlington, County Durham. It provides assessment and intervention for up to 17 men living with autism, a learning disability and complex needs. It provides a structured, positive, empathetic and low-arousal environment with good links to home and outside agencies.

Everyone at Newbus Grange would like to wish all of Danshell’s friends and families a very merry Christmas.

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