Springdene Newsletter August 13 2022

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Springdene Newsletter August 13 2022

HOW have you been enjoying this lovely weather?  Although it’s not to everyone’s taste, there’s no doubt that a sunny day lifts the spirits, helping erase to memories of the dark days of the Covid pandemic.  And what of our residents – how are they coping in what has been quite astonishing heat?

We were asked this question by a TV station this week, and we we’re happy to report that everyone is content and well-supported.  As you know, all our public areas benefit from air-conditioning.  Walks in the gardens – which are in beautiful bloom at the moment – take place at the beginning and end of the day so no-one gets too hot.

During the heat of the day, staff take care to draw the blinds. And there are plenty of cold drinks and delicious ice-cream and lollies.  We have a happy group of residents who are enjoying their summer!

However, there is a cloud on the horizon.  You cannot fail to be aware of the dire state of the economy, with interest rates rising, inflation at more than 9 per cent and predicted by the Bank of England to rise to 13 per cent next year.  According to the Bank, a recession may be imminent.

Here at Springdene we are by no means immune.  Our costs are rising exponentially, and our bills are soaring.  Here are a few examples of how our bills have risen over the past few months:

  • Our insurance premiums have risen by 70 per cent, reflecting the risks identified by Covid.
  • Our food costs have doubled.  Producing three meals a day from fine-quality ingredients is not cheap.  We cannot economise on this, believing well-prepared, nutritious menus are a cornerstone of care home life.
  • Our labour costs have risen by 15 per cent, reflecting our payment of the London Living Wage in order to attract the best people.  But still recruitment remains difficult in a capital city where living costs are very high.
  • Our heating and lighting costs are set to become astronomical.  We have been fortunate up till now to be on a fixed-term power contract for heating and lighting, but when it comes to an end, our costs are due to rise by 600 per cent. (Yes, that is correct!).  As our CEO Michael Williams observed in a newspaper interview this week, unlike ordinary households, you cannot turn down the thermostat in a care home.

We have tried to mitigate our costs in all sorts of ways, including our directors taking a 25 per cent cut in their salaries.  However, we have come to the conclusion that further action needs to be taken.

The consequence is that we are increasing our rates by 10 per cent forthwith and you will receive a letter to this effect next week.  While this will not be welcome for many of you, this is only half the average rate of increase imposed by care homes across the country, according to a survey by a major national newspaper this week. See here:


We know how much you rate the quality of the care in our luxury homes – your testimonials demonstrate it.  We hope you will continue to support us in upholding the highest standards.

On a happier note, we have a lovely story from Springview this week.  The husband of one of our residents popped in brandishing a card from The Queen.  Eric Arnold had come in to share the news with his wife Mildred that Her Majesty had congratulated them on their 70th wedding anniversary.

Eric, who visits his wife almost every day, shared the story of their life together – which is a period vignette of traditional working-class life in north-east London, now almost vanished.

Mildred and Eric met when they worked together after the war. Mildred was a sample machinist, aged just 17.  They married in 1952 when she was 19 at All Hallows Church, Tottenham.

They lived locally with her mother until they saved enough money to buy their first house, in Waltham Abbey.  They built up £250 as a deposit and paid £2,225 for the house.  They moved several times, ending up in Enfield.  Eric worked for 17 years  as a skilled craftsman in the local shoe industry, eventually being made redundant because of the rise in cheap Chinese imports.  Eric and Mildred had no children.

Eric, who now lives on his own, said he and his wife have been very happily married for 70 years and don’t normally celebrate anniversaries as they both had everything they needed.  “But now, thanks to the Queen, we have a cause to celebrate!”

Very happy anniversary, Eric and Mildred!

Just to let you know, by the way, that from now on this newsletter will appear quarterly, but we’re still keen to hear all your news and views:  Get in touch at m.williams@springdene.co.uk.  Look forward to hearing from you!

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