2014 Conference and 25th Anniversary

We are pleased to announce the date of our 2014 Conference. It will be taking place on Thursday 15th May at The Richardson Mews, Northampton NN2 7BH. The theme of the conference will be ‘Behaviours that Challenge’ and we are expecting some interesting debates.

As it is our 25th anniversary this year, we will also be using the occasion to celebrate this milestone. Some of our service users have been with us since the beginning – they are the reason that we started the business – so it’s an important milestone for them too.There will be a delicious lunch and some more light-hearted activities in the afternoon. We do hope that you’ll be able to join us for at least part of the day. More details will follow later.

Louise Pittam

Admissions and Referrals Manager Louise Pittam at the 2013 Conference

New Year skills and training

Firstly, I’d like to wish you a happy and fulfilling 2014.

As the New Year starts we often think about developing new skills or improving the ones we have already. At The Richardson Partnership for Care, training and skills are priority all year round – for both our service users with acquired brain injury or learning difficulties and our staff.

We have a low turnover of staff in our care homes, which means continuity and stability for our service users. We also encourage staff to increase their learning and develop their skills, and they often come to us with requests to study in areas relating to their work.

For example:

  • Karen Hurrell, Manager at The Mews, and Wendy Coleman, Manager at 32 Duston Road, are starting a Brain Injury Management level 6 course this month.
  • Louise Pittam, Manager of our Admissions and Referrals Team and Dexter Griffin, our Maintenance Manager, will be taking part in leadership courses to assist them in their management roles
  • In December, Jacky Johnson, Manager at 144 Boughton Green Road, and Service Manager Jane Payne, completed a three-day intensive top-up course in Crisis Prevention. This enabled them to reinforce and update their skills in managing disruptive situations in a respectful, non-invasive way. It also ensures that they are certified by the Crisis Prevention Institute and can provide training in Crisis Prevention to our other staff members.

We’re proud of our team and welcome their requests for additional training.

A Day Out At The Sealife Centre in Birmingham | Experiential Service User Outings

Clown Fish image (courtesy of www.visitsealife.com)A group of our Service Users from The Mews went on a day trip to visit the Sealife Centre in Birmingham. They took a tour around the whole of the centre and got to see a wide variety of sealife including:

  • Bowmouth Guitar shark
  • Clownfish
  • Native Ray
  • Octopus
  • Asian Short Clawed Otter

Of course they bought souvenirs in the gift shop and then opted to go for a spot of shopping at the Bullring Shopping Centre in the Birmingham City Centre. A lovely Italian lunch was enjoyed to close off the outing.

We encourage many different kinds of experiences for Service Users and welcome their own suggestions for things they are interested in. The purpose of this Sealife Centre visit was to provide a change of environment – for pure enjoyment and to strengthen relationships with each other and staff. The visit also enabled our Service Users to learn more about sea life (and perhaps peak their interests!)

We have made a note that the ladies wanted to spend more time shopping than the men so that can be changed for next time!

If you would like to learn more about the life in our Homes, and about the variety of experiences we offer our Service Users, please contact our Admissions and Referrals Team on 01604 791266 or Tweet them on @RPC_Residcare

Sound and Music: Keys to Promoting Well-being And Self-Expression for People With Learning Disabilities

We try to seek out organisations, charities or community activity groups who would be of interest for our service users – in helping them in a myriad of ways that impact their social and life skills growth. They are invited into our home (normally the Richardson Mews…because we have a beautiful big space which is perfect for activities) to give our service users a class or session.

We have started working with a charity called Soundabout (established in 1997) who, amongst other things, deliver training packages to organisations (like ourselves) who work with people with learning disabilities. In their own words “through making music we help people with learning disabilities develop their ability to communicate and interact with each other and the world around them – and have a lot of fun along the way”.

It’s not just about “making music” though – its more about using sound as a starting point for a wider opportunity for learning. We found that the sessions our service users participate in with Soundabout – have provided an invaluable addition to our sensory and communication curriculum. They definitely give our service users a wider access to music and raises their own standards of learning achievement. The techniques that Soundabout use help to stimulate communication, learning and self-expression – enabling our service users who may be unable to hold an instrument or speak – to make their own unique contribution. Soundabout make use of vibration boards, sound beams, musical instruments, sound, silence, voice, music and story telling.

Music | Courtesy of 123rf.comThe session(s) enable our services users to experience the impact of sound to stimulate creative expression; communicate meaningfully in their own way; experience a sense of wellbeing; enjoyment in shared relationships; express preferences and choices; expand their understanding of control over their environment; as well as explore body awareness and self-motivated  movement.

So far our service users are clearly enjoying these Soundabout sessions and while having a good time, have also become alert, aware and engaged – building their confidence and self-esteem.