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Newsletter 6 June 2013

• Establishing links within local communities • Have you seen our brand new website? • Our customers enjoy coaching from an inspirational paralympian • Don’t miss us at our events throughout the summer. • It’s praise all round for David in his new job

I have found my first three months at Essex Cares very interesting, there has been a great deal to learn about the organisation, the staff that deliver front line services and the positive impact that Essex Cares has in the local community. I wanted to meet as many people as quickly as possible and found visiting each location to be a very rewarding experience, one thing that stands out is the commitment and passion shared by the staff, they are exceptional and I’m delighted to lead a company where the work ethic is so strong. There is no doubt in my mind that they are completely focused on delivering person-centred solutions that enable and empower individuals; allowing them to remain in their homes and be more independent and engaged within the community. This outcome based approach is

integral to our values and behaviours – essentially the customer and increasingly the community is at the centre of everything that Essex Cares does. On 12th June we will be attending the HealthInvestor Awards where we have been shortlisted as Community Support Provider of the year for 2013. A true testament to the services delivered to our customers right across the business, I hope that in the next newsletter I will be able to inform you that we were successful. Liz Chidgey Managing Director

We’d love you to join us at some of our events over the summer: 21st July: Family Fun Day at Roundwood Garden Centre, Bocking. Free event - call 01376 551728 for more information.

24th August: Band Night at Greenacre Garden Centre, Chelmsford. Call 01245 477280 to book your £5 advanced ticket.

3rd August: Band Night at Roundwood Garden Centre. Call 01376 551728 to book your £5 advanced tickets.

1st September: Back by popular demand - Classic Car and Scooter Show at Roundwood Garden Centre. Free entry.

More information about all of these events are available on our website at 0800 035 9770

Essex Cares Newsletter June 2013

Establishing links with the local community Students from Alec Hunter Humanities College in Braintree, rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in working alongside adults with learning disabilities at Work Based Training site Roundwood Garden Centre, as part of the school’s Volunteer Day. The students worked with the Essex Cares trainees tending to plants and serving refreshments in the café to learn more about the skills needed in the horticulture and hospitality industry. Julie Dallison, Training & Employment Locality Co-ordinator, said: “Roundwood gives adults with learning disabilities the real life work experience and training they need to develop skills and independence to progress into voluntary or paid employment. The Volunteer Day was a great opportunity for our trainees to work with young people and demonstrate their skills and abilities.” Lisa Artus, Community Development Co-ordinator at Alec Hunter Humanities College, said: “Alec Hunter students have been taking part in ‘Volunteer Day’ for over three years and have enjoyed supporting and getting to know people from all walks of life within their community. We believe that ‘Volunteer Day’ allows our students to understand the value of volunteering and at the same time supports our student’s social skills and self esteem. It also allows them to learn and share new skills and gives them a sense of satisfaction in supporting someone else.” Another volunteer day is planned to take place at Roundwood in July.

Improved sensory accessibility – we worked closely with our in-house sensory team to In April, we launched our brand new company ensure that the site was accessible for the visually impaired – a new feature is a colour contrast option website. which will make it easier for many visitors. You will notice some immediate differences in the design of the site, but there are also some extra Care Locator – we have added an improved benefits and improvements all aimed at making it search function to find a specific service or location. The Care Locator is prominent on all pages and you easier and more user friendly: can add a town or postcode to find services, then Responsive design – the site has been developed you are able to refine your search by even choosing so that it works on smart phones and tablets as well the type of service you are looking for. as traditional computers. Magazine format – the site now shows all our Targeted information – the site has been divided literature and newsletters in an easy magazine style so that it has a professional and a public section, format that is interactive to use. Take a look at our with a clear colour coded format, which enables literature page in the resources tab customers, whoever they are to see information which is relevant to them. When we asked some Why not go and find out for yourself, visit of our customers to test it they were really pleased We’d welcome comments about this feature and the ease in which they could and feedback so please email our marketing team at find the information they needed.

Our new website is officially launched

Essex Cares Newsletter June 2013

Bowled over by paralympic athlete Paralympic athlete, Therese Hunt, is coaching a group of adults with learning disabilities from Chapter House Wellbeing & Activity Centre in Maldon, in a weekly Boccia Club aimed at improving their physical wellbeing. Paralympic athlete and coach Therese, who has cerebral palsy, competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and has a degree in sports coaching. Boccia is similar to petanque and bowls and involves players sitting in a chair or wheelchair throwing or rolling the ball as close to the ‘jack’ as possible. She runs the club each Monday from 1:30pm – 2:30pm at the Blackwater Leisure Centre in Maldon. Jill Thompson, Community Support Team Leader, said: “The customers absolutely love the boccia sessions and it’s a fantastic way for them to learn new skills, work as a team and take part in physical activity. As boccia is a sitting sport it means all of our customers can take part and enjoy the activity. We hope to involve other clubs and customers, possibly starting a league in the coming months.” Boccia Club costs £2 per person and sessions are now open to members of the public. If you’d like to find out more, contact Chapter House on 01621 841121.

Customers from Chapter House Wellbeing & Activity Centre are coached by paralympian Terese Hunt (front centre).

Essex Cares has a busy summer ahead with several events, exhibitions and shows coming up. Make sure you don’t miss us: 12th-13th June: Health+Care show at Excel Centre, London 12th June: HealthInvestor Awards 2013 at The Grosvenor Hotel, London 14th June: National Sensory Conference at the Radisson Blu, Stansted. 18th-20th June: College of Occupational Therapist’s Annual Conference at the SECC, Glasgow

David joins the daily grind at Broomfield coffee shop. David, a customer of our ECL Supported Employment Service, started his job at Fontanella in Broomfield Hospital in October, following a series of work placements and training with employment advisor, Dave Todd. David, who has learning disabilities, has been praised by his support worker and colleagues for his enthusiasm and dedication in his new role. Dave, Senior Training and Employment Support Worker, explained: “David was very eager to learn and after several work placements “I really enjoy my job and training he decided and I’m learning new that he’d like to work within a catering environment. We skills all the time” then approached Fontanella to see if they had any suitable roles - David and they were pleased to offer David (centre) with Support Worker David a permanent position. Since starting his new role he has Dave and Manager Vikki really come out of his shell and become much more confident in himself.” David works at the cafe two days a week and is learning new skills and tasks in the kitchen. He has also taken part in a food safety level 2 qualification and a health and safety course. David said: “I really enjoy my job and I’m learning new skills all the time. Everyone is really friendly “He is an exemplary and helpful.”

member of staff and we are so proud of him.”

Vikki Heath, General Manager at Fontanella, admits that although it was a difficult decision to take on David, she has been overwhelmed by his contribution to the team. She said: “It was a tough decision to make as we work in a very fast paced and high pressured environment and I - Vikki, General Manager was unsure if we could give him the support he needed. Luckily I made the right decision as he has been an absolute superstar. He has come on leaps and bounds since he first started and is really hard working and always willing to stay on and do over-time. He is an exemplary member of staff and we are so proud of him.” ECL Supported Employment Service currently supports nearly 600 customers a year to find or remain successfully in paid employment.

Volunteers are very valuable to us as an organisation and enable us to deliver the very best service possible to our customers. If you, or anyone you know, would like to get involved in volunteering at Essex Cares, please contact our human resources team on 01245 343 050.

Essex Cares Limited Victoria House Victoria Road Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1JR 0800 035 9770

External newsletter 6 june 2013  

External newsletter 6 june 2013