Celebrating acts of kindness: local radio station surprises staff and residents at care home

22 February 2019 . United Kingdom

Residents and staff at an Oxford care home were delivered a surprise treat by their local radio station as part of a celebration of acts of kindness.
Bupa Green Gates acts of kindness

The crew at BBC Radio Oxford visited Bupa Green Gates care home in Oxford this week with boxes of cupcakes. The surprise visit was part of the radio station’s celebration of National Random Acts of Kindness Day on 17 February. Throughout the week the station has been surprising various members of the community and on Wednesday it was the turn of Bupa Green Gates.

During the visit, BBC broadcaster Annie Othen heard about acts of kindness by colleagues at the home as she personally delivered cupcakes to staff and residents.

Activities Co-ordinator at Bupa Green Gates, Wendy Putt was recently presented the Dignity in Care Award after being nominated by the community. She was commended for her dedication to maintaining friendships with Age UK and elderly people in the wider community. Thanks to her efforts, many elderly people in the community are regularly included in the care home activities and enjoy weekly tea and coffee afternoons. Wendy has also established links with local schools with children now often visiting the home, as well as organising regular trips and activities including an upcoming visit to Blenheim Palace Flower Show.

Wendy said: “It was an absolutely wonderful surprise. We could see from the expression on the residents’ faces how surprised they were and some of them shared how simple acts of kindness improve their day.”

Meanwhile, Receptionist Trina Grierson, who has worked at the home for 10 years, often goes above and beyond by spending time with residents who do not get many visitors. She trims nails and pampers them during her own time. Housekeeper Helen Finch also often gives up her free time to take residents to dental and hospital appointments.

Trina added: “It was lovely for the residents and for the carers to also be recognised for the hard work they do. I really enjoy spending time with the residents and have developed close friendships with some of them, so I don’t mind giving up my time to help the carers.”

Alison Parry, Home Manager at Bupa Green Gates, said: “There are many colleagues here who go above and beyond to ensure things are done well and residents get what they need. It was lovely for the residents to be surprised with some cupcakes and also for colleagues to be surprised as a return act of kindness. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Annie Othen, BBC radio and TV broadcaster, commented: “Carers do a remarkable job selflessly for others, so we just wanted to celebrate the work they do.

“Random Acts of Kindness is basically what it says on the can, being kind, thoughtful and making a gesture. It was lovely to come to Green Gates to meet, not only the staff, but the residents, share some delicious cakes, have some fun and spread a little kindness.”

Elsewhere, Rodney Shepherd has become a regular volunteer at the home after his mother, who passed away in May 2017, was a resident for nearly three years. He visits the home two to three times a week and keeps the residents company as well as helping around the home including refurbishing the garden furniture.

He said: “Bupa Green Gates has a family environment with a number of long-serving colleagues who continue to create a positive, friendly culture where residents feel at home. I will be eternally grateful to the home for the support and care my mother received. Long-serving staff members, such as Trina and Wendy, not only constantly care enough to always be friends to those when they need it, but always go the extra mile to ensure that the wellbeing of the residents is always the priority.”

Resident Audrey Skeats added: “It was a lovely surprise. I’m very fortunate to be in a place like this and to be looked after. I used to come here for exercise classes before I moved here so was aware of the home and some of the staff.”

Situated on Hernes Road in Summertown, Bupa Green Gates is a beautiful Victorian building. While it has been modernised to provide the highest levels of comfort and care, it also retains many original features – including the impressive stained-glass windows in the entrance hall.

Providing both respite and long-term care for up to 36 residents, the home puts a focus on activities and regular days out and has been rated as ‘Good’ in all areas by regulators, the Care Quality Commission.