WELCOME to our Springtime newsletter. We thought we’d cheer you up with this wonderful picture of our oldest resident on her 109th birthday.
Gladys Gathergood was born in 1913, sharing a birthday with the Queen, and the staff at Springview put on a wonderful party to celebrate a long life, well lived. She is distinguished as one of the 25 oldest people in Britain. It is amazing to think that Gladys was a 13-year-old girl when our 96-year-old Queen was born.
There was an abundance of cards, a delicious cake and, naturally, a message from Her Majesty herself. Gladys, who was made queen for the day, wore a tiara and looked very glamorous. “Thank you so much for all the brilliant care everyone has given me,” she said. Gladys also starred in a story about her in the local newspaper, the Enfield Independent. You can read it here https://tinyurl.com/y7jucvc2. Many Happy Returns, Gladys!
Life has been busy in the homes. Last week our CEO Michael Williams joined more than 100 people who turned out at the Camden Art Centre in Finchley Road to celebrate an art project created by our Spring Grove residents. Curated by the prestigious Royal College of Art, it was the fruit of a collaboration between artists, students and our very talented residents.
“It was a wonderful and touching occasion,” Michael said. Titled “It Matters What Happens Next”, artists Youngsook Choi and Eva Freeman helped create a dialogue about care, exploring themes such as vulnerability, strength and resilience. The residents reflected and shared stories whilst engaging in various forms of artistic practice such as sculpting and watercolour painting.
Pierce Eldridge, curator for the Royal College of Art, said it was “really brilliant working with your residents. Everyone was truly impressed. And our team loved coming into your home. It was so clean!” And Matt Williams, curator at the Camden Art Centre, observed: “It was great seeing young and old work so well together. It was a truly inter-generational venture.”
We’d especially like to thank our very own Odile Kidd at Spring Grove for helping make it all happen and all the residents who joined in the workshops so enthusiastically. The RCA and Camden Arts Centre teams will be back soon to share stories with all the residents about this very remarkable project.
Meanwhile, we are introducing more outside entertainment now we have thrown off the restrictions of Covid. The venerable Roddy Skeaping keeps folk entertained with his ever-versatile musical repertoire. We have booked a live music season at Spring Grove over the summer with musicians arranged by the brilliant charity Live Music Now. They have also announced they are coming to Spring Lane, too.
There have been some other fantastic activities, the highlight of which was a cocktail afternoon at Spring Lane, at which some tasty mocktails were mixed and served from a proper bar. Cheers, everybody, and thanks to Emily who was our mixologist par excellence!
With the early summer sunshine so brilliant, it has been a lovely time to walk in the gardens, too, and we are hoping for some glorious weather so folk can get outside more. Everyone agrees that the clematis and jasmine at the front of Springview are quite sensational.
But the highlight of our forthcoming calendar will be the celebrations for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in early June. We are veterans at royal celebrations, and we are certain this one will be better than ever, with “street parties” in every home and much joy to be had by all. There will be union jacks all round and a glass of Pimm’s for a royal toast. Neighbours and families will be invited. And, for Her Majesty, there will be cheers to the rafters from all at Springdene!
Meanwhile we have had some good news from our sponsored Medical Detection Dogs puppy Spring who recently celebrated his first birthday – and what a busy year he’s had. Over the last six months Spring as been out and about as much as possible as he continues his assistance dog apprenticeship.
While most puppies are just learning to catch balls in the garden and bring toys back to their owners, Spring is learning to save lives. He has been doing well with his public access training and has mastered good behaviour during his sessions in a variety of scenarios – including supermarkets and high streets: exactly the kind of environments he might go to with whomever he is eventually partnered.
with. Of course, he is still very much a cheeky and inquisitive puppy when he isn’t working and loves nothing more than chasing a ball or playing with his handlers when off duty.
Spring has all the basic behaviours well-rehearsed and is now moving on to some of the more advanced training such as retrieving to hand, off-lead control and recall. His handlers are focussing on Spring’s use of nose by introducing regular search games with his socialisers and will continue to introduce exciting and fun scent games to continue his development of these vital skills.
He can look forward to trying to find hidden tennis balls in odd places as well as on people and finding the ball is reward itself, as he gets to play fetch. In time, we hope this will later be changed to finding the odour of a particular illness or disease such as Covid or type 1 Diabetes.
You’ll know from his previous update that Spring was rather distracted by other dogs, and we are pleased to say that this area of his behaviour is much improved. He still loves a good walk and free runs and is very happy character.
We are really proud of Spring and all he has achieved so far. He still has a long way to go, so we would like to thank you once again for supporting his training. If you would like to donate and help medical science, please contact Kathy Dunn at email@example.com
Lastly, you should by now have received a satisfaction survey from us in your inbox. We know you probably feel somewhat bombarded by such things, but this one is very important as it helps our regulator, the Care Quality Commission, to rate us. Please fill it in and return to us. It will only take a few minutes If you haven’t got one, please contact Zoey Baik at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you in advance.