Skip to content

St David’s House and Queens Cottages, an Extra Care housing facility in Batchley, has been praised for its commitment to the wellbeing of tenants during the coronavirus pandemic.

As highlighted in a recent article in the Telegraph, St David’s have done their utmost to improve the wellbeing and happiness of residents even under difficult and somewhat scary circumstances, by providing a safe and distanced entertainment programme.

Unlike traditional care homes, residents living at St David’s House and Queens cottages own their own properties but are provided with additional support to live independently for as long as possible with a range of facilities on the premises and 24-hour care services should they be needed.

As part of this package, St David’s employs Gillian Talbot, Activity Coordinator, to provide a programme of entertainment. The purpose of these activities is to reduce the likelihood of social isolation and keep residents physically and mentally active.

Under normal circumstances this might include a film afternoon, memory workshop, pancake day feast, gardening club and lunch club to name but a few.

During the pandemic, the nature of these activities has had to change for the safety of the residents. In the last six months residents have been able to get involved in socially distanced outdoor performances with live music, an Easter Egg Trolley Run with a personalised Easter Card for each Tenant, VE day ‘in-room’ parties, in-room quizzes and singalongs and a socially distanced Rock and Roll event with live music (for more in-depth details of the activities see notes to editors).

As per the Telegraph article, specialists and doctors from across the country have agreed that activity is very important for more vulnerable people in the current circumstances and to quote the residents at St David’s “it has kept us going”.

Gill said: “It’s been a really difficult time for a lot of our residents because they couldn’t see their families or even their other friends/neighbours at St David’s. I know many of our tenants felt scared, alone and unhappy when lockdown hit, but their resilience never fails to impress me. We have a wonderful community here.

“I don’t think you can put into words what this sort of entertainment and activity can do for people. You can almost see a physical change in them.

“We’ve had to think outside the box and do workarounds because of the new rules but I’d like to think my colleagues and I rose to the challenge!”

Cllr Craig Warhurst, whose portfolio covers Housing Services, said: “Unfortunately, in recent months, care homes and sheltered housing services have received a lot of negative press due to Coronavirus, with the hard work of front-line care workers often going unnoticed or unreported. Now as we potentially head back into a second wave and reduced visiting, I want to highlight the work that the staff at St David’s have done and continue to do.

“Having personally lost someone close during the pandemic, I understand the dread and turmoil felt by many families right across the country; afraid of passing anything on and unable to do anything to help the wellbeing of their relations. Our team have gone above and beyond to give peace of mind to tenants and their families in what has been a terrifying time for anyone with vulnerable relatives. They have gone out of their way to maintain the physical and mental wellbeing of their residents and deserve absolute recognition for this.”

More details about Extra Care Housing in the borough are available on the council’s website.