Residents' group supports home’s fundraising campaign
From beer bottle openers to bird feeders – male residents at Langford View in Bicester, operated by The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT), are now taking orders for the hand-made items they make during weekly activity sessions.
Members of The Journeymen male-only group meet every Tuesday to assemble and paint a range of wood and metal household items, many of which can be engraved to make lovely personalised gifts.
At the home’s autumn fair products made by the men raised £200 towards an interactive magic table for residents with dementia, and the group now has an order book on the go for special requests.
Home Manager Farida Ait-Tales and Activities Co-ordinator Beverley Cotton came up with the idea for the group to encourage more of the male residents to take part in activities.
Bev said: “We find generally that it’s the ladies who attend the activities that we put on and the gentlemen aren’t as keen to join in, so we came up with the idea of doing something just for the men to see if that worked. From the start we wanted it to feel like their group, so we asked them what they wanted to do and what they wanted to get out of it.”
At their first meeting the group voted on a name, choosing The Journeymen, which means craftsmen, and then they decided what they wanted to work on first.
So far members have made a range of items including bird houses, coat hooks and picture hook plaques as well as coasters using old bath tiles and beer bottle tops.
Eight residents regularly attend the group, and relatives are also welcome to take part.
Graham, who comes every week to support his father-in-law, said: “They all seem to really enjoy coming and it was especially nice to see them selling their items at the fair, they were so happy and proud to show off what they’d made.”
The group is also supported by Paul, who attends with his dad, and who kindly arranged group aprons for the men to wear, and Bev’s partner and Graham who both prepare and cut up the wood ready for the group to work on.
Resident Ron said he looks forward to The Journeymen’s meeting every Tuesday.
“I think the benefit of this is that we get the chance to do something constructive, rather than just watching TV in the lounge. It’s nice to be making useful things and helping to put a bit of cash back into the home.
“We do all get on very well. It’s a good thing to do, we all look forward to it each week.”
Bev said it was the combination of the company and what they were doing that they enjoyed.
She said: “I’m so proud of them all, I love seeing them concentrating and totally engrossed in what they’re doing. They also talk about all sorts – it’s so lovely hearing them chat away.”
Home Manager Farida said she was delighted with how well the group was going.
She said: “The difference it has made to them in terms of their approach and their confidence is just a pleasure to see. They are feeling useful and proud of what they have made which is so good for their self-esteem and well-being.”
Farida is now looking at how they can continue to develop the group, possibly by arranging additional regular trips out for members, and would also like to set up more groups like it.
She added: “I am really keen to help challenge the perceptions of care homes, and to help show that moving into a home can actually be a really good opportunity to try new things and make new friends. Groups like this are such a good example of that and how people in our care can continue to live full and active lives.”
If you would like to support the work of The Journeymen by placing an order for one of their products please contact Langford View on 01869 252343.