The new manager at Bonchester Bridge, Debbie Redpath has only been in her role for a few months and has already implemented many new and exciting ideas around the home. We talked to her about the new refurbishments, activity schedules, and plans for the future.
Debbie has worked for St Philips Care for over six years, with much of this time being spent at Buccleuch and St Margarets Care Centre in Hawick. Here, she developed into her role as Deputy Manager and was recently offered the position of Manager at Bonchester Bridge, which she said she knew she had to take.
When asked about the new activities that she had introduced over the past few months Debbie said,
“We have lots of ideas for the home and have implemented a board displaying photos of residents taking part in some recent projects”. “Our activities coordinator, Denise Lissoni, is highly motivated, and constantly coming up with new ideas including coffee mornings, live music sessions, and even an ice cream van, which now visits us once a week”.
Debbie explained that there were also plans for Mother’s Day and of course, the King’s Coronation in May.
One of the sensory activities Denise had worked on talked about coconuts; where they grew and what they could be used for. Residents were given a coconut so they could feel the texture, smell it and even shake it to see if there was any coconut water inside. The activity then went on to discuss who had eaten raw coconut and who had used it in cakes etc. Denise explained that projects such as these promoted conversations and helped with dexterity too.
Debbie then talked about a new weekly Church Service which had also been introduced at the home. She said the service had gone down a storm with the residents, many of whom would have regularly attended church when they were younger. Debbie added
“Allowing them to be present at a service like this provides residents with a sense of community, creates conversations and also improves wellbeing, especially when singing the hymns”.
The old and tired heating system within the home has recently been taken out and replaced with a modern and more efficient system and there are plenty of other improvements already in the pipeline, which will be carried out in phases, according to Debbie. These include the refurbishment of the dining room and bedrooms, and new shower rooms will also be added.
“Our new maintenance man Kevin Brydon is really keen to create a sensory garden with a water feature within the grounds, and we are asking residents to get involved in the planning. Hopefully, some will be able to help with the planting too”.
“I’m really happy with all the new plans for our home” Debbie concluded. “The team is excited about the future, and we are looking forward to working together to create a wonderful community, enriching lives and improving the wellbeing of both our residents and our staff.”