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Avante News Spring/Summer 2013

Spring is here at Avante!

Perrygrove, included on the Eden Alternative registry High Tea at Bridgewood Manor Page 18

Annual Stars Awards

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– Governance and Quality Standards, including Clinical Standards. This will The financial provide claritychallenges of purpose, faced by ourthe local authority recognising support partners in particular needs of our services. The financial challenges financial challenges areThe significant, and we faced byby our local authority faced our local authority understand the need for partners in in particular From April, theparticular name of partners usare tosignificant, play our part in and wewe are significant, and the Directorate will supporting them to change meet understand thethe need forfor understand need from ‘Practice Development’ their reduction usus tocost play our part intargets. to play our part in to ‘Governance and Atsupporting the samethem time, towe meet supporting them to meet Quality Standards’. remain totally committed their cost reduction targets. their cost reduction targets. Importantly, several job toAtensuring that wewenot thethe same time, At same time, we titles within theto Directorate only continue provide remain totally committed remain totally committed in to mine, will toaddition ensuring that wewe not the highest quality services to ensuring that not only continue to to provide change. Richard Macintyre possible, but strive to only continue provide thethe highest services improve the quality quality ofservices highest quality will become the Head of possible, strive to toto possible, but our services. In strive order Care and but Welfare and improve thethe quality of of improve quality achieve this we are asking Sophie Murray will become our services. In order to to our services. In order ourselves tough questions the Head of Nutrition and achieve thisthis wewe areare asking achieve asking about what we do, how Hydration, these questions reflecting ourselves tough questions we ourselves do it andtough whether we the changes within thehow new about what we do, how about what we do, can do it more efficiently. Jacqueline Morris CQC I know wewe doframework. it and whether wewe do it and whether Cedric Frederick - Chief Executive We remain very ambitious can dodo it more efficiently. both Richard and Sophie can it more efficiently. Director of Governance and Quality Standards for the organisation, the Cedric We remain very ambitious CedricFrederick Frederick- Chief - ChiefExecutive Executive Wewith remain very ambitious along other colleagues people we care for and for the organisation, to the organisation is ‘Fit for the organisation, in the Directorate willthethe As a elcome charity, Avante Partnership is for support and our wonderful people wewe care for and people care for and summer edition of Purpose’ and ‘Fit for continue to maintain the As a charity, Avante Partnership is staff who work so hard to As a charity, Avante Partnership is support and our wonderful ‘apolitical’ in that we operate outside of support and our wonderful Avante News, the content the Future’ we have positive work already being achieve the results and staff who work so hard to staff who work so hard to ‘apolitical’ in that we operate outside of ‘apolitical’ injust thatthe webenefit operate of achieved. of this newsletter shows concluded a review of politics, working for ofoutside our outcomes that we want. achieve the results and achieve the results and how politics, busy everyone within for what, November working the benefit ofofour politics, working for thesince benefit our Yes, outcomes that wewe want. we make mistakes service users with whichever political outcomes that want. Avante has been during the 2010, has been known to As part of Avante’s Yes, wewe make service users with whichever political and we do notmistakes get itthree right Yes, make mistakes service users with whichever political party in control at aeveryone national, past fewis months. as theregional Practice and we dodo notnot getget it right year dementia strategy, every time, but when and we itthings right party is in control at a national, regional party is in control Development at a national, regional one Directorate. every time, but when every time, but things ofgo our was don’t asobjectives well aswhen wethings or local level. don’t go asawe well asas wewe to level. I wasor asked if I would like The Directorate remains don’t go as well orlocal local level. would like, are quick to develop Dementia would like, weour areare quick to to would like, we quick t is not the country’s first coalitionwith to write thefor introduction committed to working acknowledge mistake Advisory Panel, made t ist is notnot foror the country’s first coalition acknowledge our mistake for the country’s coalition acknowledge our mistake organisation any government infirst 70 years. for the next newsletter, care Home Managers and and commit to learning of commit professionals and organisation any government in in 7070 years. and to to learning organisation or any other government years. up and commit learning individual itorto However, likemanagers almost every so thought I’dwithin takewithin this senior lessons andexperience; working hard experts by to individual it to However, like almost every lessons and working hard within it to part of However, like almost every lessonsthat and we working havehave aindividual view on the our society, Avante to ensure get it hard right opportunity to update you across the organisation to share ‘best practice’ and to part of of our society, Avante a view onon thethe to ensure that we get it right part our society, Avante have a view to ensure that webeing get it right results oftwo the General Partnership feeling the ininthe future. That all with of news support our is ambition tothethe support results ofpieces thethe General Partnership is is feeling the development of thethe future. That being results of General Partnership feeling in future. That being Election onmy May 6th 6th andand continuously effects of of thethe coalition said, Idementia very pleased to relating to our effects coalition Election onDirectorate. May said, Iam am very pleased to effects ofimprove the coalition Election on May 6th and future services. said, I am very pleased to government’s key policies the momentous events that say that we get it right much thethe momentous events that government’s key policies services, as a result, saysay that wewe gethas it right much momentous events that government’s keymy policies This that get itbeen right much objective and their efforts to reduce have taken place since, more often than wewe getget have taken place since, and their efforts reduce more often than get itit it have taken place since, Directorate and their efforts to reduce In April, continuing the will be to split into more often than achieved with thewepanel deficit. with thewith formation of the thethe thethe thethe formation deficit. wrong. wrong. formation the deficit. wrong. themewith to ensure our of of two distinct work streams meeting three times a year,




Jemmett joined Avante Partnership April ayleaaylea Jemmett joined Avante Partnership ininApril aylea Jemmett joined Avante Partnership in April 2010 asas part a scheme called ‘The future jobs 2010 as part ofpart aofscheme called ‘The future jobs 2010 of a scheme called ‘The future jobs through County Council. She started fund’fund’ through KentKent County Council. She started fund’ through Kent County Council. She started herher role a Trainee Administrator working with as a Trainee Administrator working with her role asrole aasTrainee Administrator working with thethe team in in thethe Community Support department, which Community Support department, which the team inteam the Community Support department, which she found interesting. she found very interesting. she found very very interesting. Members of:

• National Housing Federation • The National Care Forum • The National Care Forum • The National Care Forum • Kent Community Care Association • Kent Community Care Association • Kent•Community Care Association IAHSA • IAHSA • IAHSA

A Company Limited by Guarantee (Registration No.No. 2565021, England) (Registration 2565021, England) (Registration No. 2565021, England) A Registered Charity A Registered Charity A Registered Charity (Registered No.1002727) (Registered No.1002727) (Registered No.1002727)

Working with: Working with:

Working with:


Established 1990. Avante Partnership

Established 1990. Avante Partnership Established 1990. Avante Partnership

Working with:

Cedric Frederick Jacqueline Morris Cedric CedricFrederick Frederick Director of Governance Chief Executive Chief ChiefExecutive Executive and Quality Standards

More recently Kaylea has been working alongside thethe More recently Kaylea has been working alongside More recently Kaylea has been working alongside the Chief Executive’s Karen Flynn, where she has been Chief Executive’s PA,PA, Karen Flynn, where she has been Chief Executive’s Karen Flynn, where she has learning about thethe organisation as aawhole. ofof learning about the organisation asas One learning about organisation awhole. whole.One One Kaylea’s many tasks was to help with this edition ofof Kaylea’s many tasks was help with this edition Kaylea’s many tasks was toto help with this edition If you would like to receive the Avante News which she has really nextenjoyed. edition of Avante News as an E edition Avante News which she has really enjoyed. Avante News which she has really enjoyed.

Members of: Members of:

• National Housing Federation • National Housing Federation

most recently in late April. The last meeting focused on the role of our Admiral For many, theAssessment highlight Nurse; Care of the summer should and Technology, have been England highlighting how progress ForFor many, thethe highlight many, highlight returning fromcan the support World in technology of the summer should of the summerthat should Cup clutching gold have been England not only people living with have been England trophy. As we know, it returning from the World returning from the World dementia, support staff didn’t quitebut work out like Cup clutching that gold Cuprecord clutching that gold with keeping. that. The team didn’t trophy. AsAs we know, it itgel trophy. we know, and too many players didn’t quite work out like didn’t quite out like Currently thework advisory under performed. Perhaps that. team didn’t gelgel that.The The team didn’t panel has 7 members; Fabio Capello should and tootoo many players and many players have as the role of the panel taken a leaf out of the under performed. Perhaps under performed. Perhaps gathers pace should Avante will Fabio Capello have Avante Partnership book Fabio Capello should have taken a leaf out of of the expand membership. and popped into Amherst taken ait’s leaf out the Avante Partnership our newestbook 112 Avante Partnership book IfCourt, you are interested in and popped into Amherst and popped into Amherst bed residential care joining the panel, orhome know Court, our newest 112 our newest 112 inCourt, Chatham formay some someone who have the bed residential care home bed residential care home advice about teamwork, required expertise, please in Chatham forto some in Chatham for some commitment excellence feel free to contact me – advice about teamwork, advice about teamwork, and achieving the goals JMorris@avantepartnership. commitment to excellence commitment to excellence you set for yourself. Fabio and achieving thethe goals and achieving goals only had a squad of 23 you setset forfor yourself. you yourself.Fabio Fabio footballers to think about, only had a squad of 23 onlyI had squad of 23 May takeathis opportunity whilst my colleagues Tracey footballers think about, think about, onfootballers behalf to ofto Avante’s Jones and Geoff Ward led whilst my colleagues Tracey whilst my colleagues Tracey management to thank aJones team ofGeoff literally hundreds Jones and Ward ledled and Geoff Ward for their ofteam toliterally achieve what aeveryone of of literally hundreds a people team hundreds involvement and support isof a people fantastic result. of people to to achieve what achieve what this summer isinis aproducing fantastic result. a fantastic result. edition newsletter. Congratulations and ‘thank Congratulations and ‘thank Happy you’ to reading! everybody who has Congratulations and ‘thank you’ to to everybody who has you’ everybody who hasa worked so hard to deliver worked soso hard tohome. deliver aa worked hard to deliver great new care Kind regards great new care home. great new care home. As ever, I hope you enjoy AsAs ever, I hope you enjoy ever, I hope enjoy reading this newyou look reading thisthis new look reading new look editionofofAvante AvanteNews. News. edition edition of Avante News.

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New business team

Well done to all at Perrygrove for several years before moving back to Kent to start a family.

We are pleased to announce a fourth Avante returning to work Care & Support home hasOnce been included in after having her son the exclusive Eden Alternative Diane Registry continued of hercare HR career in private sector homes. Perrygrove care home, Rectory Field, companies before moving Charlton, passed stringentinto assessment to bewhich the public sector ers Rog ne Dia included in the registry; an industry-recognised included Kent Police for 6 Operational HR Manager years and prior to joining mark of care quality. Diane was born in Kent and after college moved to London where she started her HR career in the hotel and hospitality industry

Gary Bartlett

Regulation Manager

Gary was born in London and spent his primary school years in Australia. Most of his working life has been in the

Avante Partnership, Kent Fire & Rescue Service. Diane’s hobbies include cooking, DIY, reading and shopping!!!

care sector. Indeed, he worked as a Care Assistant at Barnetts when it was owned and operated by Kent County Council and which now, of course, is one of our homes! After a varied career which included working in KCC’s area finance and contracting sections, Gary became an Inspector with Inspection and Registration in 2000 and regulated care services throughout the various incarnations of NCSC, CSCI and CQC.

Janys quickly realised this was far too stuffy a career path for her and left to join Tesco. After a brief stint in den UK, who evaluated the wellbeing of the residents and staff during a recent visit, thatoffice Perrygrove thesaid cash to usehas those achieved its objectives. The staff’s to personbank dedication skills, she was given centred care can be seen throughout home withtoatrain strongin the the opportunity emphasis on Perrygrove’s Philosophy of Care, address the of HR and that to was the start issues of helplessness, loneliness and Perrygrove her boredom. 24 year career in HR. ss care and support provides 24-hour for has people living with Janys Ne This included roles with dementia. HR Manager other retailers, both high street and independent, The Eden Alternative is based on the core belief that ageing to the Biotech and Having left school at should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather Pharmaceutical industry sixteen Janys followed than a period of decline. and more recently in family tradition and went supported living for adults into banking and joined with learning disabilities. Nat West in the West End of London.


where she worked as Group Marketing Manger for Highlands and Islands Airports Caroline is reacquainting herself with marketing colleagues within the area.

Caroline Williams Marketing Manager

Caroline has joined Avante Partnership’s Property and Business Development Team Caroline is married, and as Marketing Manager. enjoys anything to do with travel, motor sports, historical Having just moved back sites and walking. to Kent from Scotland,

and Malling Housing Association. In more recent years she has worked as a Registered Residential Home Manager and Area Manager Residential for a private sector company.

Belinda Watson Operations Manager

Belinda began her career in the care industry 15 years ago as a relief Sheltered Scheme Manager for Tonbridge

Belinda has an NVQ 4 in both Health and Social Care and the Registered Manager Award. She would like to study for a Diploma in Dementia, an area that is close to her heart.

Her previous marketing roles have included working for Eurotunnel, P&O Ferries, Leukaemia Research Fund and DMB and B advertising agency.

Carmel Stevenson Operational Manager

Lyn was born in Buckinghamshire and moved to Essex when she was 8 years old to complete her education.

On leaving school she married and had 5 children. When her 3rd child reached 6 months old she worked as an Auxiliary Nurse at her local NHS hospital. Lyn went from there to a private domiciliary care provider as a carer and worked her way through the ranks to become a registered manager at a Kent branch. She was then lucky enough to be offered a new challenge as Operations Manager at Avante Care and Support. 3 3

Community Engagement News Partnerships

Volunteer Numbers grow

ASDA Superstores have been generous to our residents at Amherst Court and Parkview, where their local ASDA store has donated funds, gifts, Easter Eggs and other goodies. This forms part of ASDA Community Life Programme to contribute to the life of the local community around each store.

ver the past year the number of volunteers within Avante services has grown to a total of 91 from 54 the year before, not counting our 13 Trustees, who give many hours of their time and expertise as volunteers, with overall responsibility for the direction of Avante Partnership.


This year our volunteers were part of the Avante Stars Award evening in April and each volunteer present received a certificate of appreciation after enjoying the excellent dinner and entertainment.

Time for a Cuppa Dementia UK’s ‘Time for a Cuppa’ campaign in March was celebrated by 6 Avante care homes and at the Head Office in Faversham, where a total of £695 was raised for the work of Dementia UK’s Admiral Nurses who give vital support to those living with dementia and their carers. Abundant tea and cakes, entertainment with music, quizzes, games and a variety of activities combined to provide both fun and funds.


Volunteering Partnership at Hevercourt


new partnership is developing between Hevercourt Care Home in Gravesend and Cobham Hall School, just a few miles away. Emma, Samirah and Noemie, pictured here with Susan Illott, brought some international colour to the St George’s Day celebration in April, when the residents participated in a day filled with Spring, some very English music, a variety of hats, meals and refreshments. The 3 girls are volunteering their time one afternoon every week as part of their International Baccalaureate studies and service in the community, which is part of the school’s ethos. Under Susan’s guidance they are learning about dementia and engaging with residents in various ways of benefit to both.

Serving the community at Weybourne


nother wonderful example of school partnership is happening regularly at Weybourne in Abbey Wood, where a group of children come and engage in various projects, such as gardening, painting murals in the corridors, playing games with residents and raising money too. The children ensure each resident receives a birthday card and a gift on their birthday too. Weybourne was also the venue, at the end of April, of some very professional entertainment, again generously provided by the Not Forgotten Association. Mickie and his friends sang and danced, played the violin, and delighted their audience for more than an hour with songs and tunes from days gone by, many from wartime including part of a famous speech by Winston Churchill. Several residents were brought to their feet and swept around the dance floor; the dining room had become a respectable nightclub for the afternoon, as Mickie serenaded some of the ladies and some gentlemen received their peck on the cheek from the singer in the shimmering dress.


Riverdale I Court news

t’s been a busy beginning of the year at Riverdale Court. In March one of our residents celebrated her Diamond wedding anniversary and a party was held for the happy couple and their friends and family. Sylvia and Peter had a lovely time and celebrated by receiving a card from the Queen and dancing the Anniversary Waltz. In April Katie (Kit) celebrated her 100th Birthday. Her family and friends enjoyed celebrating with a glass of Champagne and joined in wishing Kit many more birthdays to come. Kit enjoyed showing off her telegram from the Queen and also a telegram from the tax office.





Party time We at Riverdale Court do not need a reason to have a party, whether its rain or shine the residents enjoy a good old sing song, with help from the staff there’s always a reason to smile and have fun.

A night at the ballet Recently at Riverdale Court we were lucky enough to go and see The Secret Garden ballet at London’s Peacock theatre. This was performed by the London’s Children’s Ballet. Everyone enjoyed the show and bought a programme to remember their lovely trip to the Ballet.

Night at the dogs The residents at Riverdale Court had a flutter at Crayford dogs too, thanks to staff who volunteered on their day off to take them out for a morning of fun. Everyone was a winner!

Sylvia & Peter’s Diamond Wedding Celebrations 6

HR news F

or me, as someone working in Human Resources (HR), social care is the best sector to be working in because it’s rewarding and I feel good about it. It isn’t necessarily about what we do in HR everyday that makes me feel good, it’s the people I work with across the organisation and, most importantly, the work undertaken by all our colleagues who every day deliver valuable services to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Like all of you, I know social care work isn’t without its challenges. Everyday the Newspapers, TV, Radio and Internet tell us that society expects vulnerable people to be well

supported, cared for and protected. So this means we in HR must strive to deliver the best we can to support you to deliver great services. We have to always respond to the challenges we face and in doing so HR has been going through a period of change. Recently, two HR colleagues left us to work in the Manufacturing sector and so we are recruiting a different mix of skills to strengthen our team. We think this will fit well with our relatively new Health & Safety (H&S) and Learning & Development specialists and I would like to tell you a little about what they do for all of us in Avante.

Health & Safety It’s stating the obvious to say that a safe working environment is important to all of us, but it doesn’t happen by itself and therefore our H&S Advisor, Craig Crockford, is revitalising our management of H&S. Over recent months, we have increased the level of H&S inspections and training that has been undertaken in workplaces. Our H&S Committee members have received accredited H&S training so they can support us

all to manage workplace hazards and risks. Along with this and behind the scenes, Craig is working with colleagues every day to improve our H&S management systems in a process of continuous improvement for the good of those who use our services, all of us as employees and anyone else who visits our premises.

Learning and Development


nowledge and skills are key to delivering great services and Catherine Thomasson and Nicole Shilling are supporting the vital area of Learning and Development. Catherines work focuses on supporting managers to identify staff training needs and collating and analysing training data, so we have a clear picture about where we are and what we need to do to improve skills levels across the board. To complement this, Nicole’s work revolves around the delivery of training, whether by supporting other training providers or individual trainers, or by personally delivering bespoke training and coaching as required. For all of us across Avante, the work is important; the work is challenging, but we are all part of a big team with each of us having our part to play in continuously developing and improving our service delivery to vulnerable people. Best wishes

Derek Lindars

Director of Human Resources


Carole Knight

Carer of the month awards Avante Community Support is proud of its strong workforce of carers and continually invests in new training and support to ensure their carers are trained to the highest level. Avante Community Support introduced an award scheme to help recognise and thank carers who have gone that “extra mile” with their work. Each month a carer is recognised as ‘Carer of the month’ and is awarded a £15 Love to Shop voucher and a certificate. Pictured are just some of the carers of the month since the scheme began.

Well done to you all!

Donna Mann Daphne Harrison

Turkey Mill Office

Bexley Office

We have appointed 4 x new Senior Care Workers at our Turkey Mill office – congratulations to them all!

Avril has worked with the organisation for 28 years and began her career as a Care Worker and has progressed through the company to become one of our valued Field Care Supervisors. Avril works in a team of 3, managing in excess of 170 care workers. Avril has gained her NVQ 4 in Leadership and Management in Social Care.

Amanda Penn, Carol Knight, Glynis Sharp, Tracy James

In her new role Avril, working closely with her team, ensures the smooth running of the field and her role includes undertaking spot checks, supervisions, appraisals and preparing new care plans and risk assessments for new and existing service users. New field Care Supervisor – Avril Clarke


Staff at Avante Community Support getting behind the National Red Nose Day

A Day to Remember!


receive up to 150 emails a day! Some are from people who just want me to know that they’re doing the right thing (can I ban the cc button?), many are the email equivalent of junk mail and some are the usual work related stuff, but once in a while I get an email out of the blue that just grabs my attention! And so it was with an email from one of our community carers. It started with ‘I know you are aware of some of the issues in the community at the moment and would like to invite you to shadow me…’… It then went on ‘…This would give you chance to get a feel for the community side of things and also meet some of our lovely clients. I look forward to hearing from you’. Now, in my defence, I’ve been out with our community carers before. I’ve even worked a shadow shift in one of our residential care homes and regularly spend time in our homes and services, so whilst not suggesting that that makes me an expert, I feel that I’ve developed a good understanding (by CEO standards!) of the services we provide and the lot of a carer. Presumptuous of me? Err…maybe a bit! Anyway we met at 7.00am and the carer, who from now on I’ll call B politely declined my invitation to drive saying that she knew her round and it would be easier if she drove. I took one look at her very small car and wondered, with my dodgy back and knees what fun lay ahead folding myself in half to get in and out of her car several times during the day! As we set off to our first call, I asked B what the plan was for the day ahead. ‘Oh, just a normal day’ she said. ‘We’ve got calls through ‘til about 12.30 to 1.00, then a break. Then we’ll meet again at around 4.30, and continue until around 9.30 or so’. Before I could contain myself, I let out an involuntary ‘you’re kidding right’? Without taking her eyes off the road she said in a tone of voice that clearly suggested she was thinking that after 5 minutes she’d made a huge mistake inviting her whingeing CEO to shadow her, she said ‘Nope, just a normal day’! The rest of the short journey to our first call continued in embarrassed (mine!) silence. I won’t go through all of the calls we made during the day and evening in detail, but I can tell you I was gobsmacked at the sheer diversity of support needs in the community that a single carer, and three of her ‘double hander’ colleagues worked with during the course of what was a ‘normal’ day. Normal maybe, but certainly no two days seem to be the same. During the day we (can I say ‘we’?) supported an elderly gentleman who was funny and engaging, but not as funny or engaging as his wife! We then went on to support a woman with physical disabilities, an elderly gentleman with a significant visual impairment whose good humour and ability to laugh at himself humbled me to a point of self reflection that forced me to stop and just think! We made three calls in the day to one lady who was able to describe to me how important to her B’s calls had become. Her powerful personal testimony left me in no doubt that our carers in many instances become a significant part of the clients ‘family’ with a level of trust and reliance that must be difficult at times to cope with, but they do! We supported others too, all of whom were clearly special to B.

remain cheerful and positive during every call, and her ability to initiate and maintain conversations and chat with every client throughout each call! How did she remember all of those little details about clients and their families and friends? Heaven knows. How was she seemingly able to read the mood of each client and effortlessly and intuitively adjust her approach to each? I have no idea! B seemed to encourage, cajole, chastise (in a very nice way) and support at the right time, every time! I bet my SMT colleagues wish I had that skill! Our last call of the day was the third visit of the day to one particular lady and was a ‘put to bed’ call and it seemed a fitting end to our day. As I folded myself in half to get into her car one last time, I allowed myself a quiet moment of self congratulation! I’d made it through the day. No, I hadn’t done a lot. I’d cleaned windows, dusted, washed up, supported someone to make breakfast and even made fruit salad. I’d talked to families and clients, I’d made copious notes with questions to ask colleagues, and I had learnt so much. I’ve always believed in our carers and their commitment to their clients and families, but to be frank, after a day in the company of B and her colleagues, I was in awe of them all and felt humbled and a little angry that society does not seem to realise what an amazing job these people do and how without them hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country could not survive in their homes and communities. As we chatted in the car, B refused to accept that what I had witnessed was special, it was just her doing her job; a job she loved, and she made the point that I could have gone out with any carer on any day and would have seen and heard the same things. You know, I believed her. Her final observation as I moaned about my sore back was that she’d be doing it all again the next day and was looking forward to it. You know, I believed her even more. The next day I sent B a ‘thank you’ email and received the following response, ‘Thank you too for taking the time to come and see how we work in the community. All the clients said how nice and most of all approachable you were. Hope you enjoyed your glass of wine and I bet you slept well!!’ You know what B? I had two glasses of wine and slept like a baby!

The families without exception wanted me to understand how much they appreciated the care and support provided by our staff and wanted me to know that they were all doing a great job. By 8.30pm, I was starting to flag, but B was still going strong! How? By then, I was struggling to understand B’s ability to

Cedric Frederick, CEO


AVANTE PARTNERSHIP ANNUAL STARS AWARDS On Thursday 25th April 2013, Avante Partnership held their Annual Stars Awards at Gillingham Football Club, Priestfield Stadium. The Stars Awards are held for staff that have been recognised for going that ‘extra mile’ within their work and are looked at as being an Avante Star for 2013.


vante Partnership values their staff and believe “We are our people”. The Stars Awards have been held every year for the last three years to say a thank you to their highly committed work force. This year volunteers of Avante Partnership were also recognised for their hard work and time that they so generously dedicate to our services on a regular basis. This year’s host of the Stars Awards 2013 was Heart FM DJ James Heming.

Below are the award, winners and runners up on the night Avante Care and Support Care Worker of the Year 1. Christine Parsons, Barton Court 2. Tamsin Dixon, Honeyfield 3. Wendy Ford, Pilgrims View Avante Partnership Colleague of the Year 1. Susan Price, Perrygrove 2. Elaine Cox, Payroll at HO 3. Nick Bennett, IT at HO Avante Community Support Care Worker of the Year 1. Petra Foster 2. Jeanette Baker 3. Dawn Phipps


Avante Care and Support Hotel Services Worker of the Year 1. Suzy Payne, Court Regis 2. Elaine Harris, Amherst Court 3. Maureen Smith, Honeyfield

Stepahead Support Keyworker of the Year Joint 1st: Kelly Coombes, Steve Page, Phil Jordan Avante Partnership Manager of the Year 1. Dawn Dwyer, Community Support 2. Lesley Edwards, Amherst Court 3. Andrew Holden, Finance at HO Avante Partnership Supporter of the Year 1. Tim Harris, Practice Development at HO 2. Jeanette Spooner, Willows Day Centre at Court Regis 3. Rachel Miles, HR at HO The Mountbatten Award 2012 Winner: Court Regis

The Mountbatten Award 2013 was presented by Lady Northbourne for “Above and Beyond – Creativity at its best” for the team, group of staff or individual that turned an idea into reality, nominated by the Manager of the Service.

Two twinkling stars! During the evening of the Stars awards, Award winner Susan Price had another celebration of her own. A few miles away, her first Grand Daughter Sloane was entering the world weighing in at 6lbs 2ozs. What a great double celebration for all of the family well done!


Community Impact News Every Wednesday between 4.00pm and 6.00pm Community Impact host a drop in for girls aged 11-16. The group provide a safe environment after school where girls can visit and enjoy craft making whilst making new friendships and sharing their thoughts. The girls share their skills and learn traditional skills such as sewing, knitting , painting, jewellery making, baking and so on.

Every week the group offer the choice of activities and the girls choose what they would like to do.

Pick and Paint a Pot with Community Impact During February half term break, young people and their families attended an activity at the pick and paint a pot centre in Cliftonville. This was very well attended and families were able to meet, socialise and spend time together, whilst creating their own pieces of decorated pottery. This activity is always a popular one that has been asked for again at the last Project Council meeting. Community Impact have booked another session for the May half term break.

Urban Art Workshop At the beginning of 2013 Stepahead Support combined with the Urban Art Workshop organised a number of sessions of Urban Art. The classes were facilitated by local artist Mark Willis who has a number of years experience in the field. These classes gave the opportunity for young people to release their creative side in a safe environment, with expert support on hand if needed. Each young person started and finished their piece in the sessions and took great pride in their efforts. It was great to see the young people engage in the process, that took a lot of concentration and effort and it was noted by Mark that a few young people seemed to have a special talent! Due to demand from the young people, we have organised another two sessions for the young people to attend and improve their skills.


Ben Bowles, Social Work Student

Mediation service

Stepahead Support has been commissioned by Kent County Council to deliver a Kent Wide Mediation Service supporting vulnerable families to make lasting improvements to the quality and functioning of their relationships. The service provides families with person centred interventions that confront areas of difficulty and conflict. Enabling families to identify strengths, improve communication, well-being and build greater resilience to address challenges they may face in the future.

Our approach • Our approach is person centred and solution focused • Children, young people, parents and carers are fully integrated players actively involved in their support • Support is tailored to meet individual and family needs • Using a holistic approach Stepahead Support looks to engage the whole community around the young person and parents/carers including their extended family and peers • We are committed to working with other agencies to achieve the best outcomes for families

We use transformative and facilitative mediation models


• Facilitative mediation enables family members to analyse their situation and find their own mutually agreeable solutions • Transformative mediation is based on empowerment and recognition then encourages greater understanding of each other’s needs and views

Access to the service is via the Common Assessment Framework in each district.


Avante staff choose to exhibit at Choices4U



Staff from across the services exhibited at the two day Kent Choices 4U event at the Detling showground, using an extremely creative and interactive stand for visitors to take part and try, including a bed and bed hoist, quiz and ‘understanding dementia’ training sessions’ facilitated by Frances Lake.

The two day event was a great success with many young people asking questions about caring as a career.

Anne Child, Head of Pharmaceutical Care and Clinical standards with Avante Partnership, has been appointed to also support the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Anne, who joined Avante in October 2012, is a Pharmacist specialising in the study of care home medication management and dementia. She supports the CQC as a Specialist Advisor to the Care Quality Commission, at a time when its role is being expanded to include GP and other primary medical services. The Commission checks and reports on over 18,000 care homes and is responsible for monitoring all domiciliary care services in England, ensuring they meet the required standards of care and welfare. Avante Partnership is a leading provider of dementia-based care homes and domiciliary care services for older people and people with a physical or learning disability in Kent and South East London.

Anne Child said, “It is a real honour to be asked to help the Commission. The work they do in checking, monitoring and reporting on the delivery of care and health services in England is vital. They have a key role in ensuring standards are maintained in over 18,000 care homes and are responsible for monitoring all domiciliary care services in England, I believe my experience with Avante and the industry-leading work we do in the field of care for those with dementia will allow me to play my full part in the Commission’s work.”

his year the focus was on Avante Care and Support and Avante Community Support, inviting visitors to look at caring as a career.

Special thanks for staff teams from Court Regis and Amherst Court for supporting and taking part in the event and coordinating transport for the bed and hoist – this was a fantastic pull for the public to get involved and allowed our staff to have a hands on approach when talking about moving and handling.

Bridge Haven

Gardening, snuggery opening and trips to the zoo!

Fancy a drink? April 2013 saw the grand opening of the new ‘Haven Snug’ bar at Bridge Haven, where residents can pop along for a drink and catch up with other residents in the home.

A wild day out Residents at Bridge Haven have been taking advantage of the ‘pay once visit free for the rest of the year’ entry ticket at the local Zoo. Staff and residents have made Howletts Zoo a regular day trip out. The residents not only enjoy visiting the animals but also smelling all the blossom on the trees that surround the Zoo.

Don’t just believe what we have to say about The activities that Bridge Haven provide are extensive. Mum got her hair and nails done, she received reflexology and hand massages, as well as lots of trips out, which she loved. The staff are incredibly welcoming and supportive, both to me and to mum. They showed her great respect and patience, good humour and cheerfulness, something that I sometimes found hard to maintain because of the pressures of caring for her full time.

One of our family members speaking about her experience using the flexible respite service ‘My Time’ at Bridge Haven for her mother.


became a full time carer for my 83 year old mum with dementia. Although it was a privilege to spend time with such a lovely lady, it was incredibly draining due to her condition. I initially found respite at a local day centre where I was able to take mum for a few hours most days. The staff were very caring but sadly due to mum’s dementia she was unable to interact with the other attendees. I decided she needed somewhere to go where she could receive more dementia focused attention, and I found that at Bridge Haven. Bridge Haven provide a short term respite service called My Time, which is a fantastic, flexible approach to respite care. It is flexible in that I could leave mum there for anything from 2 hours to 24 hours according to our needs.

After a few months of mum attending on a day basis I had to return to work, which meant that mum’s stay at Bridge Haven extended to weekly stays whilst I worked. Mum came home when I didn’t work. The fact that mum had had such a positive experience during her attendance, previously meant that her transition to longer stays was much easier for her and a lifeline for me. Bridge Haven’s flexible approach to respite care made it possible for me to consider returning to work, happy in the knowledge that mum was receiving really good care and stimulation, which is so important for her well being. I am so grateful to all the staff at Bridge Haven for their kindness and support, giving both me and mum a better quality of life.

A Fletcher


Royal Connection started with a wish A wish came true for an Amherst Court care home resident, and ended with a 500-mile trip for her sister’s birthday and a very special Royal souvenir. Marjorie was delighted when Activities Coordinator, Dawn Christopher, pulled the wish from the Wishing Well, at Amherst Court. The wish, among many placed in the well by residents and their families, read, “I would like to visit my sister Susie

in Exeter, who I have not seen for ten years”.

Arrangements were made for the 500-mile round trip, to coincide with Susie’s birthday, which was a further surprise for Marjorie, and Marjorie set about her journey with two staff members.

On 20th April Amherst Court took three residents to the Riverside Country park to join in the English Festival. The sun was shining and the sky a clear blue with just a few white fluffy clouds. This was the backdrop for the day out! Phyllis Morrison ( a practical joker) with an old time Policeman - Phyllis said “only time I have met a Policeman and not been told to slow down !”

“After a long but enjoyable journey, we arrived at Marjorie’s sister’s house; it was obvious they were delighted to see each other again after 10 years. Marjorie presented her sister with a birthday cake, the candle on the cake was lit and Susie was asked to make a wish. She promptly said “I wish this day never ends”.

Dawn Christopher, Activities Coordinator said,

Susie invited the carers to look around her garden and gave them a cutting from a plant called Mertyl, to take back to Chatham for Marjorie. The plant, which is a symbol of love, was grown from a cutting taken from the wedding bouquet of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, Princess Victoria. Susie said, “Queen Victoria grew the plant at her home Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and after the wedding, the Princess’s Lady-in-Waiting asked the Queen if she could take a piece of the Mertyl to grow. The cutting grew and after a time, further cuttings were taken, one of which was passed to me by a friend, who was also a friend of the Lady-inWaiting’s family.” Mertyl is a symbol of love, and has been used at every Royal Wedding since, including last year when Kate Middleton married Prince William, with Mertyl stems from the same Osborne stock in her bouquet. After a great time visiting her sister, Marjorie was delighted to take this very special gift back to Amherst Court.

This is just a snippet of what the family members from Amherst Court have posted to ‘The dedicated staff that you have at Amherst court are fantastic, well done to them all. Many thanks from all the family’. ‘A first class provider can’t fault it Mum has been at Amherst court nearly 2 years now, and she is very happy the staff are 1st class, the rooms are lovely and cleanliness is very good’. ‘This is a well run establishment providing specialist care for clients living with dementia.’

Phyllis honing her skills with a mace, much to the amusement of the weapon owner.


Trying on a Queens crown - one size fits all :)

‘The 1st good impression came when I popped in, without an appointment, and was given a full and infromative tour of the home’ ‘After looking at several dementia care homes, we looked around Amherst Court and came outside and decided straightaway this was the home for Dad.



Pilgrims View 3


1 May Day celebrations. Residents and staff dance around the May Pole 2 An afternoon at the ballet, beautifully performed by Patsy Taylor & Susan Illott 3 Peggy Simms enjoying the ballet and being part of the orchestra 4 Unique entertainment. Wonderful afternoon of sing and dancing with these flirty singers

Gardening in the Willows!


vante Care and Support are proud of the day care and respite services that can be found within many of its care homes across Kent and SE London. The day care centres within the homes are safe and secure environments with both organised and spontaneous activities, influenced by ‘our’ Philosophy of Care. The day centres offer the opportunity for service users to integrate with new people and encourages new friendships to be formed.

1x 2” brush

Meet Jeannette Spooner, Day Care Officer at the Willows day care centre, Court Regis, talking about the activities that have been taking place at the Willows,

A rag for cleaning when finished

‘Well the sun has popped out for us all to see briefly mind, but even still staff and service users have started preparing for summer at the centre. Last week our service users planted out the hanging baskets so the plants could start to become established and I was given a shopping list from the service users so that they can start work out in the garden,

Fred Beake, John Trower, Keith Beevis and Otto Van Zutphen worked hard at sanding and preparing the wood ready for treating with oil and stain.

Also a big well done to the Willow day care centre for winning £50 Love to Shop vouchers for taking part in the suite naming competition for Puddingstone Grange.

££11000 ££1100 £1

1x1” brush 1x tin teak stain 1x pack sandpaper-mixed (coarse, medium and fine) 1x bottle brush cleaner 1x bottle teak oil And last but not least plenty of tea for the workers! So off I went shopping with my list and then the work commenced on the garden furniture. We are optimistic that we will have a summer. at some point….even for a day or two………maybe!!


Surfing the web! This is Marion from Keats suite at Northbourne Court, she is often found sitting behind a computer screen surfing the web or emailing her daughter. Marion is nearly 95 years old and has a great interest in the Internet and being able to communicate to her daughter via email. Team Leader Naomi Maxim regularly sits with Marion whilst she is surfing the web and picks up a few computer tips from Marion along the way!


Residents enjoy a High Tea at Bridgewood Manor On Monday 13th May residents and staff from Amherst Court, Chatham and Pilgrims View, Snodland, gathered together at Bridgewood Manor hotel, Chatham to enjoy a High Tea fit for royalty. The homes plan regular events to entertain and stimulate their residents to provide different experiences helping to eradicate loneliness, helplessness and boredom in people living with dementia. Activities Coordinator Julia said “Bridgewood Manor were kind

enough to invite staff and residents to the hotel for the afternoon to enjoy a selection of tea and cakes. It has been great for the residents to take time out in a new environment spending time with each other and meeting new people from other homes in the group.”

During the afternoon residents took place in activities including reminiscent games and singing old songs. One resident Peggy said, “I’ve really enjoyed coming out to the hotel today, it’s been such fun”



St. Pauls Academy raise £150.00 for charity

Weybourne was delighted to receive another cheque from St. Pauls Academy for £150.00. This was raised as part of the massive Charity Raising effort made by all of the staff and children at the school. This has been one of several gifts of money to the home and the benefit of the residents. It should be said that the school supports a wide range of other National Charities such as Cancer Support – Clean Water and many more, too many to mention here. In all they have raised £86,000.00p. What a tremendous effort. The students from the school come to the home here weekly and engage with the residents in various activities, much to the pleasure of the residents. Terry Heslington, Home Manager, 20 Weybourne

A Big ‘THANK YOU’ to St. Pauls A cademy from all the Residents & S taff of Weybourne.

The Court Regis Monthly


his month Court Regis has seen the introduction of ‘Bright Shadow’, a theatre group who specialise in activities for people with dementia, set along certain themes such as the beach or Chinese New Year. There have been welcome returns this month, firstly for Fred who has been reunited with his service medals from his time in the RAF which saw him serve in North Africa and Italy. He’s even been interviewed by the press about their return. It’s good news for Violet too, she has just been reunited with paintings that she did nearly twenty years ago. They were found in a local charity shop that Violet supported and now hang in our visitor’s room where she is often found sitting with a cuppa. And finally, several residents headed to Chatham’s Brook Theatre for a special matinee screening of the classic musical, ‘Singing in the Rain.’ Needless to say Violet and Jean sang along to every word.

We’ve definitely been in the party mood this month, firstly celebrating our Debbie’s 50th where staff and residents all helped prepare a surprise party for her.

Residents found themselves celebrating (in the pub again) Malcolm from The Three Hats, who raised over £500 for Court Regis thanks to his Quiz Night. All money raised this year will be going towards a holiday for our residents this summer.

Our residents have not been letting this weather get them down either, battling all conditions to do their shopping, visit friends and get out for the odd coffee, ensuring to greet every drunken snowman they saw on the way. Wrap up warm ladies!

The party atmosphere continues as our Annie celebrated her 101st at the beginning of the month and for the third time in a year (yes, really) she has been front page news! Here she is pictured in the local paper with her trademark pint of Stout!


Health and Wellbeing I

am really pleased to be writing my first article as there has been lots of activity in the field of Nutrition and Hydration in recent months. Firstly one of the Head Cooks won an award at the Star Awards this year (well done to Suzi Payne from Court Regis). I have been lucky enough to sample her food and be witness to her calm kitchen with her can-do-attitude staff members. I don’t know how she remains so humble and unaware of her skills but this is quite typical of the Cooks that I have the pleasure of working with. They have been on quite a journey and are very much part of a strong team to inject some new and improved nutritional tasty recipes in to the mix. We had our Smoothie Challenges in the homes in March as part of National Nutrition Week, resulting in some fun and some fabulous taste testing as well as deciding which smoothies to make regular additions to the menus. Look out for tasting the smoothies if you visit the homes! Using the residents feedback, I have been working with the Cooks as well as a Chef and a Home Economist to put together the recipes for the menus for Spring and Summer. It is impossible not to feel hungry when tweaking recipes like Homemade Scotch Eggs, delicious Coconut and Lime Curry and Beetroot and Orange Salad. The firm favourites still remain in the menus too such as Fish and Chips, Meatloaf and Steak and Kidney Pudding, but they have strong contenders for favourites now as we have taken the best of the best recipes to make them even tastier.

Health Benefits in these recipes Salmon This fish is an oily fish and it is rich in Omega 3 which is an essential fatty acid. Omega 3 is important for brain health as well as cell functioning. Salmon is milder that some of the oily fish so has proved really popular in the menus. Turmeric Whilst mild in flavour, this spice has been hailed a super food by some as it has been linked with a number of health properties including digestive function support, immune support including anti inflammatory properties. As we age we naturally become more inclined towards inflammation and so it is more important to support in this area. With the summer upon us and in line with Hydration Week, we also have a number of hydration events coming to the homes and we are currently updating water coolers to plumb in to all of the homes. I shall update you on them next time…

Sophie Murray

Head of Health and Wellbeing

I thought I would share 1 of our top suppers with you, Summer Fish Cakes that as a Nutritionist I am really impressed with too.

Summer Fishcakes Recipe

Makes 4

Ingredients • 200g salmon • Milk to cover salmon for poaching

• ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs OR polenta flour • 2 anchovy fillets

• 200g potatoes

• 1 tsp Dijon mustard

• 2 tsp fresh chopped dill

• 1 tsp Turmeric

• ½ small egg

Preparation method 1. Peel and Cook the potatoes until cooked but firm. Drain and leave to cool 2. Poach the salmon fillets for 6 minutes until cooked through and drain 3. Mix all ingredients together 4. Dust each cake with flour and dip in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs, making sure they’re well-coated. Chill for 20 minutes or until needed.


5. To cook, heat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas 6. Fry the fishcakes in a little oil and butter until lightly coloured on both sides, then cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until thoroughly heated through.


is a short term respite service for people living with dementia, whilst offering support for the carer. The new service can be booked and paid for online at to suit the times and needs of the client and carer.

My Time

helps young people who are finding life’s problems difficult to overcome. Support is provided for young people living at home, in foster care, leaving care, who are homeless, in council or private accommodation. The services we provide include one-to-one confidential support, advice and help, group workshops, mediation services and special outdoor events for fun and friendship. Our approach is person centred, tailoring support to individual need. We look to engage the whole community around an individual, including their family and friends as appropriate.

Stepahead Support

has 14 care homes specialising in dementia care across Kent and South East London and 1 care home in Woolwich specialising in mental healthcare. The team of well trained staff and volunteers across the business exceeds 1800 people, with the quality of our services assured by Investor in People and ISO9001 accreditations.

Avante Care and Support

is a long established and ambitious charity that primarily supports people with high quality domiciliary care in Kent, Bexley and Greenwich, but also supports children, young people and families with learning disabilities.

Avante Community Support

was established in 1990 and is a not for profit charitable organisation and one of the largest Social Care providers in the South East. Avante Partnership is a large, complex, intergenerational organisation, so in order to simplify our various service offerings we have structured the organisation into separate business units, creating a virtual group structure. Through this structure, we believe we are best placed to respond to the particular needs of each of our customer and Service User groups, commissioners and the communities in which we work.

Avante Partnership


Avante serves the community by providing support that puts people first

Proud to be one of the largest social care providers in the South East

Avante News - Spring/Summer 2013  

Avante News - Spring/Summer 2013 Edition - Welcome to our latest newsletter with news, stories and recent events from across the organsiatio...