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Newbus Grange Raises Over £5000 for Charity

Newbus Charity   

Service users and staff at Newbus Grange, one of our services near Darlington, have shown their charitable spirit and raised more than £5,000 for good causes during 2016.

Hazel Southern, service manager at Newbus Grange, kick-started the fundraising when she bravely had her hair cut to donate to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that provides real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair during cancer treatment. Colleagues supported her by making donations to support the charity’s work.

Sarah Llewellyn, a support worker at Newbus Grange, was so moved by the story of Hartlepool youngster Bradley Lowery, who has touched the hearts of the nation with his cancer battle and ‘bucket list’ of wishes, including breaking the world record for the number of Christmas cards received, she organised a fundraiser for his appeal.

Another great initiative saw staff at Newbus Grange, who were keen to help people who faced spending Christmas alone, donate the money they would have spent on Christmas cards for each other to Darlington Town Mission, a local charity aimed at enriching the lives of elderly people.

While in the Christmas spirit, the team also collected gifts to pack into shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, run by the Samaritan’s Purse. You can see how full they were in the image above!

Dogs Trust was another charity to benefit when staff members rallied together to raise funds to buy dog food for the Darlington shelter.

Many other fundraising events took place throughout the year to enable the hospital to make a real difference to good causes across the region.

Newbus Grange is an independent hospital providing specialist assessment and rehabilitation for men on the autistic spectrum with associated complex needs.

    Hazel Southern Colour Web Size

Hazel Southern, service manager at Newbus Grange said: “I’m very proud of the team here at Newbus Grange; they never let me down when it comes to supporting good causes and have some great ideas.

We had everything from sponsored runs, raffles, a garden party and cake sales. We even had a dress down day for National Fish and Chip day, we basically used any excuse to fundraise!

“There is a more serious side to it though and it is important that staff and service users are an integral part of the local community. This is a key part of that philosophy.”

Click here to see more about Newbus Grange

Fighting Fit at Toller Road

12 Toller Fitness1   

Toller Road has been working on a new initiative to get service users more active and improve their overall wellbeing and fitness. This initiative has been led by Activity Co-ordinator, Penny Watson.

They have been working with Adam Chambers, a fully qualified personal trainer and advanced instructor who owns Primal Fitness in Melton Mowbray. Adam has created individual sessions pitched at the right level and ability for the service users at Toller Road, with the emphasis on getting fit whilst having lots of fun.

    12 Toller Fitness2

Everyone looks forward to these weekly sessions and they are already beginning to see health benefits. The team at Toller Road are hoping to build upon this success by getting service users involved in local parkrun events. Cate Ball, Service Manager at Toller Road, regularly volunteers at the parkrun event in Melton Mowbray and some of the service users from Toller Road will be joining her on 17th December 2016. The team all recognise the importance of healthy living, and other initiatives are currently being worked upon.

Well done to everyone at Toller Road for getting involved in such a fab fitness scheme! What a great start to build on!

Click here to see more about Toller Road

Whorlton Hall Learning for Life

    04 Whorlton Writing

In November a new letter writing course began at Whorlton Hall. The course is being run in conjunction with Darlington Borough Council’s Learning and Skills Service, Learning for Life. The course tutor, Grainne, has a great deal of experience in teaching life skills to people with learning disabilities and is looking forward to working with Danielle, David and Andrew over the length of the course.

Andrew said, “I like this, I can write to Grandad.” David and Danielle are also going to write to family members. Danielle and Andrew have written letters in the past to family members, but this is something new for David, who is looking forward to writing to his brother. Everyone agreed that it’s nice to receive a proper letter from someone we care about.

The course will be running for 5 weeks, following which they are starting a Christmas Crafts course, again with Learning for Life.

04 Whorlton Interview Prep Edit   

Interview Practice
In November, Andrew and Christopher also took part in a mock interview to prepare for interviewing new staff. Andrew and Christopher were supported by Audrey and Caitlin, who helped them to choose and ask questions using the booklet ‘Recruiting Staff Support Workers’.

To make the exercise ‘real’, they recruited Simon Bell from Governance to be the person being interviewed. Andrew and Christopher found this very worthwhile and look forward to carrying out interviews “for real” in the future.

Click here to see more about Whorlton Hall

Click here to read more about the Learning and Skills Service at Darlington Borough Council

Healthy Living at Ranaich House

Ranaich House are in the process of applying for The Healthy Living Award. This award is given to Scottish organisations that are committed to ensuring that their catering facilities meet the following targets:

    Fruit
  • Keep the level of fat and oil to a minimum
  • Keep the level of salt in food to a minimum
  • Keep the level of sugar in food to a minimum
  • Make fruit and vegetables clearly available
  • Make starchy food the main part of most meals
  • Support healthier eating through promotion
  • Ensure at least 50% of the food meets the criteria

It hasn’t always been this way; when Margaret (Service Manager) and Dawn (Chef) were appointed in 2015, they noticed that a lot of the food offered to service users had been deep fried. Margaret commented, “We worked together to plan out how we could still offer tasty foods but without deep frying. We started using Spray-Lite to either bake or grill instead of frying. As it happened, no one noticed the difference!

“As this was such a huge success, we decided that the deep fat fryer was no longer needed and we got it taken away completely. Now we don’t have the opportunity to deep fry at all and no-one has missed it. In actual fact we receive positive comments not only from the service users, but recently a neighbour has commented that he could tell when dinner was being prepared because of the delicious smells coming from our kitchen…

    Breakfast

“When we heard about the Green Apple Awards/Healthy Living Awards, we thought that as we had already made a real start, let’s try and get formal recognition for it!”

The people at Ranaich House are going to be making a trip to visit a local fish market, a butchers and their usual fruit and veg shop. They will then be holding a tasting session for staff and service users to try some new healthy food that they may not have had the opportunity to try before.

In addition to this, the staff are creating games and competitions based on the healthy living topic, ensuring that service users are involved in meal preparation, comparing the amount of sugar that is in a selection of fizzy drinks and looking at the amount of fat that is in a selection of popular snack foods.

Good luck to everyone with the award and we look forward to seeing pictures of your efforts.

Click here to see more about Ranaich House

Raymond Shows His Artistic Skill

Raymond at Thors Park would like to show you his artistic talent, with a picture he painted that he is very proud of. He has a creative flair with a strong imagination, and is being supported to maintain and build on these skills using the variety of resources and seasonal opportunities available. Some of these he has particularly enjoyed were creating a picture of a witch for Halloween, and more recently some great paintings and a banner for Christmas.

He has also created some wonderful seasonal pictures using paints, wood and textures, using all of the resources Thors Park has to offer. Below is a picture of Raymond with a painting he particularly enjoyed creating, which shows a garden scene with lots of birds and some amazingly intricate detail.

    03 Raymond Painting Oct 16

Raymond moved to Thors Park in August 2016, and was asked about his experience of moving. We are happy to hear that since he has been there, “boredom has never come into it.”

He is busy all the time and says he is “very happy at Thors Park.”

He loves meeting new people and was really pleased to attend LD Today, the biggest learning disability conference, in London a few weeks ago to support our team exhibiting there. He was particularly pleased to see how many free pens were being given out, and stocked up his art materials supply considerably! Raymond enjoys getting involved in the regional forums, and has even stood up and presented there on behalf of Thors Park service users.

We’re glad Raymond is happy at Thors Park and are looking forward to seeing more of his beautiful paintings.

Click here to see more about Thors Park

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