Care Home Community Project

Upper Beeding - West Sussex

In mid-2020 we saw an appeal for help from a local care home called Valerie Manor in Upper Beeding, West Sussex. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated restrictions they were having a major issue with families being able to visit their elderly relatives. It was not possible to allow non-residents into the building so all visits had to take place outside, with masks on.

This was not going to be sustainable with increasing inclement weather coming into winter so the team at Valerie Manor launched an appeal for help in raising money to build a visiting “pod”. Somewhere separate from the main building where relatives could meet safely in order to ensure visits could continue all year round.

We were in a fortunate position to be able to offer our help in building this garden room. We had some excess materials left over from other jobs and of course the expertise to build something suitable but we needed more materials and volunteers to donate their time in order to get the project off the ground.

What then started with some local businesses providing the materials we needed and the local rugby club keen to get involved, quickly grew to a large team of volunteers who all generously gave their time and even those that couldn’t help with the construction bringing a huge amount of food and refreshments to keep us all going.

The project quickly gathered pace and in the space of 3 weeks in October the pod was ready to host the first family visit.

Since then it has continued to provide a valuable lifeline for the residents and their families to enjoy much needed contact. The building is separated internally by a full screen with audio assistance so that masks are not necessary, which has really helped many of the residents be able to communicate comfortably with their loved ones.

We are so pleased to have been a part of this wonderful project and are delighted with the response from everyone who has had a chance to use it.

We owe a debt of thanks to all those that helped out with supplying materials, food and of course their time in order to make this possible. So a big thank you to Benchmark Windows, Gardner & Scardifield, Southdown Flooring, Steyning Rugby Club, Kelvin Maddox, Ryan Geal, Al Beazley, Matt Hodson, Dave Neale, Peter Carter, Alex Bishop, Ben Midgeley, Cameron Baldock, Tom Owen, Ashley Dawe, Tony Yeowell, Tim Yeowell, Ben Cooper, Nigel Howell, Malcolm Quigley, Bradley Hampton, Adam Cliffe, Martina Osei-Bobie, Hilary Stevens, Kay Kennedy, Jayne Williams, Kate Hewitt, Lanie Whiting and Neil Pringle.

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