Last year, a total amount of £90,404.80 was awarded from Anchor’s legacy fund, to support projects and to provide goods and services across Anchor locations. Outcomes from all these successful bids will enhance the quality of life for older people living at Anchor locations around the country.

Sometimes customers, families, friends and others who have seen the benefit of the services we provide decide to donate money to Anchor or make provision to leave money in their will. These generous gifts go into the legacy fund and are used to support community-orientated activities.

In 2015 the quarterly meeting Legacy Panel awarded money to a very wide range of projects, here is a summary of how it was allocated and what it will achieve.

2015 legacy fund summary

Dawson Lodge care home in Southampton was awarded money to ensure that they could continue with their regular visits to Hampshire cricket ground. Here they worked with the club’s community officer to establish some of the first uses for the stadium’s community room. As a result of this partnership, the stadium has become a dementia friendly stadium, and stadium staff were trained by colleagues from Dawson Lodge. One of the residents, who is a lifelong cricket fan, was invited to watch a match and meet the players.

Westbourne retirement housing scheme in Haslingden worked with the charity ‘Veterans in the Community’, to establish raised beds around a patio area, which will allow customers to be able to enjoy gardening and socialising. The veterans worked really hard and the result looks great. The daffodil bulbs that they planted are now in full bloom. A grand opening is being planned at which the Veteran’s choir will sing.

Tolson Grange care home in Huddersfield applied for a jukebox, reminiscence area and dress-up rail. This will further enhance residents’ social activities.

Outdoor space is very valuable in enhancing well-being. Northbourne care home in Gateshead were delighted to receive funds to develop a sensory garden. Customers have been involved in the design and planning. With some of the funds they bought some sensory birds which tweet when anyone walks past. They are currently making bird boxes to go in their new garden. They have formed a gardening club and are planting fruit and vegetables. The local school has offered for some of its students to visit and help maintain the plants.

Hallcroft retirement housing scheme in Shipley improved a little used outdoor area by creating a new access point, and transformed the garden by making it more accessible, with raised planters and seated areas. They also requested memory boxes for each of their customers to personalise.

Leasehold housing estates often lack communal areas. Clough Fold estate in Bolton wanted to establish a communal outdoor space, and asked for funds to create a flagged area with raised planters, where leasehold customers could sit and chat. This has reduced isolation for customers, including a 100 year old lady living at the estate.

Lambourn Court in Newbury found that planning their legacy application brought together many customers who had really not spoken to each other before. Customers aged from 55 to 98 years old were involved in preparing the application, which aims to create a level access garden. The result will allow those in wheelchairs, or with mobility problems, to move around the garden. The new design will attract wildlife and encourage people to socialise.

St James Court in Nottingham simply wanted a sun awning, so that everyone could sit outside, safely protected from the sun.

In London, Waterside care home’s bid was more ambitious. Their ‘Art in the Park’ project enabled residents to develop their heritage skills. The project provided the opportunity to engage with local residents and reflect on changes in the local area. Residents had creative opportunities to design artwork for inclusion in regeneration developments. The project included walks and visits to local sites, led by experienced walk leaders, and was supported by Southwark Local History and Archive Library.

Also in the capital, Rose Court care home is going to take part in the ‘Food Art’ project. The project aims to transform an unused outdoor area into a growing space, which will be enhanced with a variety of artwork. Vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit will be grown. Art activities include painting, ceramics, mosaic and woodwork.

Funding was also agreed for a 6 month pilot, across 12 care homes, to develop an Anchor branded app. This can be used with the iPad and will deliver a variety of regular activity resources, and offers the potential for families to have an insight into what is happening each day in the home.

Silk Court care home bid successfully for funds to support their ‘Streetwise’ project – an innovative project matching residents with local street names. Residents will be involved in researching the history of their street name, as well as visiting the locations. We are delighted that the contractor - Hawksmoor is supporting this project by providing volunteers.

Wellington Lodge in Manchester secured funds to start a gardening club and buy a greenhouse.

In Lancashire Ashian Lodge had a successful bid to establish a wildlife garden.

Penfield Court retirement housing scheme in Bristol simply asked for a raised planter. This was used last year for growing strawberries, chillies, herbs, and young pumpkins. All the produce is handed out, when mature, to tenants and external groups who use their facilities. Further to this, cakes and soups are made, by the tenants from the produce grown, and enjoyed by the external groups and tenants alike.

Legacy funding was able to provide activity kits, from the Active Minds company, who recently won awards for their products, which deliver a creative approach for people living with dementia. The kits contained activity, reminiscence and exercise resources, and were delivered to 20 Anchor locations along with training from NAPA (the National Activity Providers Association). Colleagues from the Operational Services team are now replicating the training across other Anchor locations extending the positive impact.

Research shows that pets can provide great comfort, and has specific benefits to some older people. After a successful trial by the Operational Services team, the Legacy Panel agreed to fund a project which will see every Anchor care home receive comfort pets in the form of a robotic cat and dog.

Other successful bids last year included hearing loop systems and a snooker table.

Find out more about Anchor's legacy fund

Any Anchor customer, colleague or group can apply for legacy funding. Colleagues and customers are encouraged to work together to come up with a great idea that requires funding to get it up and running. Awards are made for the ideas and initiatives that demonstrate the greatest opportunity for enhancing the quality of life for our customers, at our locations. 

Find out more about our legacy fund here.

Brenda Metcalfe is Anchor’s Customer Engagement Manager

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