Good neighbours become good friends

Hartford Care’s Quality director Nicky Barnes explains how we fulfil our commitment to connecting with communities


We are extremely proud of our close ties within our communities; we are committed to ensuring that our homes are actively engaged with their neighbours, and with the people who live and work in the villages and towns where we are located.


Our commitment to community outreach interlinks with our company ethos of ‘creating caring communities’; our philosophy of care is underpinned by creating places that are friendly, kind and welcoming of everyone, caring for each other and celebrating individuality by recognising that everyone needs something different to thrive – and this isn’t just pertinent to the community inside our care homes, but our wider neighbourhoods too.


We connect to communities by inviting people into our homes, donating to local charities, supporting food banks, and sponsoring local initiatives. Most recently, we hosted an open house event, where people could take a tour and meet our teams. We often link events in our homes to calendar events such as Shrove Tuesday when we invited people along for pancakes and Blue Monday to ensure people didn’t have to spend the day alone.


It’s incredibly important to remember the majority of our residents continue to reside in the same places where they’ve previously lived, so if they were a part of the community before, then they still should be now. Our residents generally like a busy, vibrant community and we offer a range of different activities and events in our homes, such as visits from local nurseries, visiting entertainers, and friendship groups, meaning people can decide on what they’d like to take part in for themselves, and there’s truly something for everyone.


We enjoy getting out and about and supporting local causes and in December we shared a £5,000 charity donation between our homes and central office, each selecting a charity of their choice. We also support a set charity which changes every few years, via a staff vote, so it’s a collaborative approach. Following the most recent vote, we’re currently supporting Shelter.


We help our residents to support their chosen charities. Last year, Marguerite, a resident at The Elms in Bembridge, completed a six-mile walk to raise money for the Isle of Wight Mencap, supporting people with learning disabilities.


We want to be able to help those less fortunate in our localities and beyond, and many of our homes regularly donate to local food banks. Alongside this, last year many homes provided a base for donations for Ukraine. Sponsorship is also a big factor, and we support many local initiatives, such as Maidenhead FC youth team.


The response to everything we do is extremely positive. Local NHS workers were very grateful to be recognised when we invited them to our homes for a New Year’s lunch. Our residents and their families particularly appreciated being invited to spend Christmas lunch together, with free meals for family members.


The most recent shining example that our hard work in the community is paying off occurred at West Cliff Hall in Hythe. The home had a water outage for around 72 hours, so we posted on a local Facebook group and many local people came along and dropped off water supplies for our residents and kept us going throughout – we’re incredibly grateful. Most of all, we’re proud to continually bring people together.

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