Showing support for Ukraine

We’re proud to hear that so many of our teams have shown incredible generosity in supporting people affected by the war in Ukraine. This week alone, we’ve received two heart-warming stories about the difference our staff are making for families impacted by the conflict.

Firstly, Joanne Brannen has let us know about a charity fundraiser which took place in Monica Court on Saturday. The Comfort Call team at the Extra Care scheme in Eccles arranged a buffet and a singer to entertain everyone. The team raised an impressive £464 for the children in Manchester hospital who have been brought from Ukraine for treatment. Joanne told us that, “everyone seemed to really enjoy it! Well done to Chantelle and the team from Monica Court.” Secondly, Sandra Walker, Regional Manager for the North East, shared this photo of flowers received by the team at Darlington. Branches across the north east – including Comfort Call, Careline and HSG – collected donations to send to families in Ukraine.

A colleague, who is from Ukraine and whose family live in Kyiv, sent the flowers and a message to show her appreciation for the donations, writing:

“I wish to thank all of my colleagues and others who have been very kind hearted by donating all the essentials and warm clothes to the unfortunate victims of this awful war in Ukraine. You have been so very kind and generous.”

We couldn’t have out it any better. Thank you for everything you are doing across the City & County family to support the people of Ukraine.

World Hand Hygiene Day 2022

World Hygiene day is 5th May. Hand Hygiene is the most effective but inexpensive solution to prevent infection. This year the theme is focused on quality and safety through encouraging healthcare staff to cleanse hands at the right times with the right products.

Because of this, our Complex Care division have assigned a group of Champions who will be doing a Hand Hygiene Campaign at ten complex care branches over the coming weeks.

If you’d like to get involved, the branches are:

  • Croydon
  • Brighton
  • Colchester
  • Cardiff
  • Peterborough
  • Nottingham
  • Rochdale
  • Tees Valley
  • Telford

Each branch will have activities on the 5th May so come celebrate with us where you can win a prize, be shown how to, and when to attend to Hand Hygiene.

Let’s Talk About Stress: Stress Awareness Month 

Stress Awareness Month is held every April, to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures for stress.

We all experience stress—at any age and throughout life. The right amount of stress, like a deadline coming up, can be motivating and just what you need to get energised. But too much stress can affect your health and wellbeing and can cause symptoms such as sleep problems, stomach aches, headaches, irritability, feeling anxious, and more.

It’s important that we take time to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.

Here are some ideas to help you take the first steps on a stress awareness journey.

The 30-day challenge

Join The Stress Management Society’s 30-day Challenge, which encourages you to pick one action each for your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing to carry out every day throughout April.

To help we’ve attached a template and examples of the variety of ways we can support ourselves in recovering from daily stress.

It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits. The 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural changes. Why not start today!

What else can I do during Stress Awareness Month?

  • Talk about Stress and its effects – lets work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues.
  • Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about and in the meantime, it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
  • Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.
  • Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self–care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.

Additional External Support

Praise in Preston for calm heads in a crisis

Ross McCrann, Branch Manager for Guardian Homecare in Preston has asked us to share his appreciation for the local Crisis Support Team this week.

After the team quickly stepped in to support a client in the area, a representative of the local Adult Services team got in touch with Ross to share the client’s thanks, writing that the team “were ‘lovely’ and ‘so helpful’ and amazing people”.

Ross commented, “It’s great to receive such positive feedback and kind words about our care staff who are consistently under pressure at the minute, but still able to make such a positive impact and impression on people”.

We couldn’t agree more Ross, sounds like the team made a real difference in a difficult situation for this client, and it’s always amazing to receive such praise from our Local Authority partners. Well done everyone.

Recognition for the team in Durham

Finally, Kim Elliott, Branch Manager at Human Support Group in Durham has asked us to help her recognise some of the amazing work being done by the teams in the Durham area.

First of all, Kim has shared this fantastic picture of the local recruiters from Human support Group and Comfort Call Durham.

Kim told us that the team has made a big impact at local recruitment fairs, and commented, “Keep up the good work ladies”.

Kim has also asked us to share her appreciation for their well-deserved carer of the month, Pauline Paton.

Kim tells us that Pauline – who is pictured here with her prizes presented by the branch – is an incredibly dedicated and valued member of the team. Kim said that Pauline “always goes above and beyond in her role”. Well done Pauline!

Is your team doing anything unique to recruit and retain staff that you’d like to share across the City & County family? Let us know and we’ll include your ideas in a future Weekly Roundup email.

United for Ukraine in Sunderland

Nicole Donoghue, Registered Manager for Comfort Call asked us to share a recent activity in the North East to support families impacted by the war in Ukraine.

Nicole told us,  “The Sunderland team have been collecting items to send over to Ukraine. All of the office staff and care workers have really pulled together and donated so many items such as clothes, blankets, toiletries, baby products and sanitary products.

“Everyone was so happy to help and to donate anythi

ng they could – I am so proud of our Sunderland Teams”.

Such amazing generosity everyone. We’re certain that your donations will be hugely appreciated by the people affected by the conflict.

Chilling out at Monica Court

Comfort Call’s Chantelle Rowlands recently organised an ice cream van to visit residents at the Monica Court extra care scheme in Salford. Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, sent us this amazing pic:

Joanne told us, “I could just eat one”! We totally agree Joanne – very jealous!

A magnificent mural for Westbourne Park

Service users and staff at London Care’s Westbourne Park Dementia Day Centre were extremely lucky to have the opportunity to design a personal mural for the day centre. The project took place over an eight week period in partnership with Creative Art.

Joanna Budhu, Day centre coordinator at the centre sent through this striking picture of the finished mural. The mural was painting directly onto the wall and included plaster casts of hand prints.

Joanna said that “the process was messy but lots of enjoyment!” We’re sure it was great fun Joanne and it looks like the mural adds a real dash of colour to the centre. Such amazing creativity from everyone involved.

Communicating care at Meridian FM

Katie, the manager of the Lingfield Lodge extra care scheme in East Grinstead, along with our Local Regional Recruiter, Mark Piper, took to the airwaves of Meridian FM today to spread the word about care recruitment.

Katie spoke about the kinds of service we provide at the scheme, with Mark covering the benefits of working in care and working for London Care.

Mark told us, “It was a great session with Clare at Meridian FM and it went really well. It was great exposure for our new extra care scheme in East Grinstead and I am positive this will spread the message in the local area.”

What a creative way to get the word out about care recruitment Katie and Mark. We’re looking forward to seeing how the local community respond to your appearance – hopefully including plenty of new recruits to the City & County family.

Mental health and wellbeing

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), good mental health is related to mental and psychological wellbeing.

Over the next three months we’ll be looking to build our awareness and understanding of mental health. We will also provide tips and strategies to help learns ways to manage our mental health and wellbeing, from relaxation techniques, to the importance of self-care and how to build confidence to talk about mental health concerns.

Watch out next week as we acknowledge the start of Stress Awareness Month.

You tell us what matters

We are building an approach to wellbeing that works for you. To do this, we want to hear from you to help shape the campaign over the coming months. Email us at to tell us what matters to you, what concerns you have and any tips you’ve discovered which you would like to share.

Isaac’s care superheroes

Finally, Demi Catterall – a Branch Manager for Human Support Group in Carmarthen and Milford Haven – has sent us in a truly inspiring story.

Demi contacted us to say, “My little boy was asked to go to school dressed as his superhero. Whilst all of his friends went as Superman, Hulk or Spiderman. Isaac (7years old) chose to go as a ‘carer’ because, in his words. ‘They are the real heroes helping poorly people and looking after them’.”

We are incredibly delighted to report that Isaac won the ‘best dressed’ competition and was very proud when explaining his reasoning why he chose to be this superhero! Thank you for so much sharing Demi.


Wonderful Willenhall

Claire Thomas, Regional Registered Manager for Advance Health Care has asked us to share her appreciation for two members of the team in Willenhall.

Firstly, Claire wanted to congratulate Karen – who was commended in their recent team meeting for always going above and beyond in supporting her service users.

Claire has also asked us to help recognise Terry, who was awarded for being the longest-serving care worker in the Willenhall branch – having been a committed member of the team since 2014. A huge well done to you both.

Finally, Claire wanted to send a big Happy Birthday to one of their service users in the area, Muriel.

Muriel, who turned 100 this month, was visited by the local staff who brought flowers and chocolates. Claire tells us that, “Muriel is adamant if anyone asks that she 67 years old! Great sense of humour.”

We believe you Muriel – Happy Birthday!

Arts and crafts for Ukraine in Monica Court

Joanne Brannen, Regional Manager – North West and West Yorkshire, has sent some photos from Comfort Call’s Monica Court Extra Care scheme in Eccles. The tenants, along with their Care Coordinator Chantelle, took part in an art and craft session this week.

They’ve been making some bunting and decorations for a charity day planned for the 2nd April.  Joanne told us that the charity day is to raise money for the 21 Ukraine children who are currently been treat in Manchester’s Children’s hospital.

Amazing work everyone and such a fantastic cause to support.

Care for Comic Relief

Our terrific teams across the UK have been doing their part for Comic Relief over the last few weeks.

Steph Mohan has let us know about a cake sale at the complex care division’s offices in Telford. The teams got together with some delectable baked goods, raising an impressive £300.00. Well done everyone, we hope you saved some for the rest of us!

Meanwhile, the Guardian Homecare team in Preston have also been championing their support for Red Nose Day. They encouraged for all staff to enjoy the big day by bringing some light relief to the hard job they do supporting service users – also raising more than £300 in the process.

If you want to see more those big smiles from the Preston team, you can donate on their Just Giving Page.

Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection recognised in East London

Last Friday, the London Care branch in East London invited all care workers to tea and coffee event for the Social Care Day of Remembrance and Reflection. The day was an opportunity for everyone to reflect on the important work of the social care sector and pay tribute to the people we lost, the people who supported us, and the people who made it through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The East London Branch Manager, Amal Rziek, told us, “We have always known our workforce are fantastic and knew that they would rise above the challenges we faced in the last couple of years, the level of pride we have seen for all care worker has been well overdue but much appreciated”.

It was an emotional day for the team, with staff openly discussing the loved ones they had lost as well as their fears through the pandemic. The team did feed back though that they felt reassured by the assistance they’d received from the branch, with one care worker commenting, “I felt safer because of the support I received from the office. Every time I visit the branch, I get enough PPE and get reminded to keep myself safe.”

Amal summarised the event by saying, “We thank you for all the hard work and dedication in the last taxing years. Words cannot describe how truly grateful we are to have such dedicated, amazing individuals in our team.” We couldn’t put it any better Amal – thank you all.

Let’s Talk About… Sleep

Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at why it’s importance to get enough sleep along with tips on how to develop healthy sleep habits.

Today we are focusing on the pitfalls to avoid and additional support available for sleep problems.

Pitfalls to avoid

Many factors can interfere with both the quantity and quality of sleep. Try these tips:

  • Limit daytime naps. Short naps can restore your energy and focus, but keep them to 20-30 minutes maximum and no later than mid-afternoon.
  • Do not watch TV or use electronics in bed. Electronic devices all require focus and attention and will heighten your levels of wakefulness. Research has also highlighted an association between the light that these screens emit, and a disruption in circadian rhythm patterns. Aim to turn off electronics one hour before bed.
  • Declare the bedroom your sleep haven. Avoid activities other than sleep, such as work or paying bills, so that you’ll associate the bedroom only as a place of relaxation.

Still have trouble sleeping?

Many sleep problems are temporary and go away on their own. Others result from physical or emotional health conditions that require medical help.

  • LifeWorks online resources – The Sleep Heath Toolkit includes a range of articles, infographics and audio resources covering different ways to improve your sleep habits. You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Well done to Siobhan at ICCM

Finally, we’re always overjoyed to see our colleagues building on their skills and qualifications as it shows just how committed everyone is improving g the standard of care we deliver to our clients. And this week is no exception

We’d like everyone to join Su Lemmon and the ICCM team in congratulating Care Manager Siobhan O’Malley, who has today passed her Health and Social Care Level 5 Qualification.

Congratulations Siobhan, such an amazing achievement.

Cheltenham branch steps up

One of our Care Co-ordinators, Nikki Raouna, has let us know that things have been really busy in the Cheltenham Comfort Call branch lately.  Not only do they have a collection underway for the people impacted by the conflict in Ukraine, but Nikki is also and taking on a personal challenge herself.

Nikki told us, “With all the terrible news we hear about the war in Ukraine and all the sad situation the residents find themselves in, we thought we could do a good deed and offer a little bit of help.

“Together the ops team, carers and services users of Comfort Call in Cheltenham, Paragon in Tewkesbury, Chi Wai Martial Arts Academy, Sii Bello Hairdressing and Dab Hand Cleaning Services collected the much needed supplies that the people of Ukraine desperately need. Two big vans full of donations were kindly transported to the warehouse by a representative from Bristol Street Motors and Creative Picture Framing, where they will be loaded onto a 44 ton lorry and taken across to the boarder with Poland to help the refugees.

“We would like to thank everyone involved, especially the following carers: Adela and her friends, Daiana and Anna.”

Such amazing generosity by everyone involved! And, if that wasn’t enough, Nikki has also has taken on a challenge with her almost one year old Welsh Sheepdog, Riley, to walk 100km in March to raise money for Dementia UK. You can donate and sponsor Nikki and Riley here. All proceeds go to Dementia UK to help fund vital support for people and families affected by dementia.

Annie’s big birthday

Tracey Webster from the Abacare branch in Flint has let us know about the celebrations for amazing Annie’s 100th birthday recently. A former pub landlady, Annie celebrated her birthday this week – and claimed that drinking Guinness was one of the secrets to enjoying a long life!

On her 100th birthday, Annie enjoyed a wonderful day with visits from all her family, who put on a buffet in her home. Her care worker, Vanessa Roberts, told the local newspaper, “Annie is a great character and her memory is amazing. She is incredible considering she is 100, her mind is spot-on she can still walk around and is very independent.

“When I paid her a visit on the evening of her birthday it was great hearing about her day. I can tell you she was ready for some sleep after an exciting day.”

Many happy returns Annie. We hope you had a fantastic day (and that you enjoyed your Guinness).

Quick thinking in Livingstone

Julianne Kelly has asked us to share a good news story that that she have received from two members of the Constance Care team in Livingston, Tanya and Jennifer.

Julianne told us, “Tanya and Jennifer attend a double up call and there is a lady who lives next door to the call they attend. The neighbour, who is 91, doesn’t receive care but waves to them through the window every time they attend their double up call. The lady waved to them when they visited their service user at 12.00 and they waved back, when they arrived at their service user a 15.00 the lady didn’t wave so they looked through the window and noticed that the lady had taken a fall.

“Tanya and Jennifer managed to get into the house and call for an ambulance and call her family. The lady was taken to hospital with a broken hip and suspected stroke. The family couldn’t thank them enough as if they hadn’t checked god knows how long she would have been on the floor.”

Julianne finished by saying, “It’s amazing when you hear stories like this when carers notice the small details and go above and beyond”. We totally agree Julianne, and the attention to detail shown by these two diligent care workers has made a huge impact on this lady and her family.

Andrea saves the day in Ormskirk

Carol Belshaw, North West Recruitment Manager, has shared some feedback received from the family of a service user in Ormskirk. The got in touch show their appreciation for a member of the team, Andrea Thomas.

The branch received a phone call from the family, who wanted to thank Andrea for the quick thinking and support she gave their mother whist supporting with a crisis situation. Andrea noticed the signs that she was having a stroke, called the ambulance straight away and – unquestionably – Andrea’s actions saved this lady’s life. In the family’s own words “no reward would be big enough to thank her”.

Carol described Andrea as, “a real hero”, asking “how truly special are our care staff?”

We couldn’t agree more Carol. Amazing work and a huge thank you for keeping a calm head in such a stressful situation Andrea. There’s no doubt that this lady wouldn’t have made it without your actions.

Outstanding Oju saves the day

Nicole Donoghue, Registered Manager in Sunderland, has asked us to share her appreciation for a member of the Comfort Call team in the area – Oju Owuna. Oju is a recent but valued member of the team, having worked at Comfort Call for just over two months.

Nicole told us, “On 9th March, Oju attended one of our gentleman service users who collapsed during personal care. Due to Oju’s quick thinking, he contacted 999 and performed chest compressions until paramedics arrived.

“Following this we received a telephone call from the paramedic who attended commending Oju as if it wasn’t for his quick thinking and persistence with chest compressions, the gentleman would have not made it. Oju had saved his life, following this the service user’s wife contacted us giving her thanks also.”

Oju received a written commendation from the branch team as well as chocolates in recognition for his quick response. A huge ‘well done’ and thank you from us all Oju – your actions were truly life-saving that day!

Let’s Talk About… Happiness

If you’re happy and you know it, why not celebrate it this Sunday on International Day of Happiness.

The annual UN event, which is organised by non-profit Action for Happiness, promotes the importance of happiness to humanity.

How can we become happier?

If you want to feel better and improve your health, start by focusing on the things that bring you happiness. Scientific evidence from Harvard University research, suggests that positive emotions can help make life longer and healthier.

Psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar offers four ways to achieve greater happiness in your life:

Give yourself permission to be human – accept our emotions whether painful of positive.

  1. Simplify your life – doing less rather than more.
  2. Recognise the importance of the mind-body connection – exercise, mediation and deep breathing are essential for our physical and mental health.
  3. Focus on the positive – learn to appreciate the good things in our lives.

To find out more about happiness, positivity and practical exercises to help set goals for happiness, visit LifeWorks online resources. You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Let’s take action to be happier and kinder, together

There are many crisis situations happening around the world. Remember that our actions matter and each of us can help build a more compassionate world.  Here are three ways that you can spread happiness today:

  • Share Positive Messages – Spread ideas that promote peace, kindness and understanding, online and in real life.
  • Connect with People – Reach out to people who you know are connected to a crisis and offer your care and support.
  • Give Directly – Donate to causes working on the front line of a crisis or find a way to help with local efforts.

St Patrick’s Day at the Pullen Day Centre

Maria Gerardo at the London Care’s Pullen Day Centre has shared some amazing photos of the crafts created by service users for St Patrick’s Day this year.

Maria said, “Our clients made their own St Patrick’s Day decorations this week, they cut out huge four leaf clovers and painted them then decorated them in lovely colours. They had a wonderful time doing this activity and, by not having to buy any from the shops, this is a part of the Pullen day Centre becoming greener for London.”

Thanks Maria, looks like the service users has a wonderful time making the decorations. We hope you all had a happy St Patrick’s Day!

Update on mandatory vaccination for homecare workers in England

On Tuesday, the Government announced that that the need for vaccination as a condition of deployment for homecare workers in England will be reversed. This change will come into force on 15th March 2022 and you can read more on the outcomes of the consultation here.

Welcoming the news, Homecare Association’s CEO Dr Jane Townson said:

“We are very pleased the Government is reversing the VCOD regulations and therefore preventing further care workers from leaving the workforce.

“Since vaccination as a condition of deployment was first announced in September, we have lost nearly 20,000 homecare workers who provide vital care and support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. This decision will prevent a further reduction in the workforce, at a time when recruitment and retention has never been more challenging.

“We have always strongly supported vaccination against COVID-19, as it helps protect the recipient from severe illness and death. However, we believe persuasion is more effective and proportionate than compulsion, in encouraging uptake amongst the remaining workers with a genuine fear about vaccination. We also need to balance the mitigated risk of infection with the very real risk of even more older and disabled people going without care due to workforce shortages.’’

A big birthday for Margaret

Lynne Hewitt, one of our Regional Managers in Scotland, has asked us to share this fantastic photo of one of their service users – Margaret. Margaret recently celebrated her 100th birthday at the Highland Hotel with family and friends.

Congratulations Margaret, what a wonderful picture. We all hope you had a lovely day.


A commendation at Constance Care Blantyre

Wendy McCall, our Regional Director for the North, Northern Ireland and Scotland, has passed us some fantastic feedback received this past week. Sent to the Blantyre branch of Constance Care, the son of a service user took the time to express his appreciation for the support that three members of the team – Sharon, Elaine and Maggie – provide to his mother, writing:

“These individuals execute the utmost professionalism in the care management of my mother but also whilst under the additional stress and constraints of this dreaded Covid virus that has plagued us for two years and counting. I cannot praise them highly enough in all aspects but what is most notable for me is the sensitivity and sincerity they extend to my mother.

“Whilst your focus is rightly in delivering care to my mother, I do not think they are aware of the relief that the quality and diligence of care given has on me – to know that I fully trust my mother being in their hands. It is such a great help to me personally, as I attempt to wrestle with the understanding of this monster disease, dementia. Being a distance away and not having the best of health either, knowing these angels are there for my mother, it is such a great assistance and relief for me, more than they know.

“I cannot thank you and the team enough and are most grateful to you all.”

We want to share Wendy’s appreciation and express a huge ‘thank you’ to the three of you for the support you’ve been providing to this family through what has clearly been a very challenging time. Your hard work and dedication is making all the difference for this service user and her family, and it’s clear just how much they appreciate everything you are doing.

Guardian Homecare Ormskirk acts quickly to support people in Ukraine 

Jackie Lowe, Branch Manager for Guardian Homecare, has made us aware of an amazing crisis appeal happening in Ormskirk to support people impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Working with their local school, Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Engineering College, the branch has started a collection for essential items including baby supplies, toiletries and sleeping bags.

If you’re in the area and want to help with a donation, the team are operating a drop-off point from 9:00 – 5:00, Monday to Friday. All donations will go straight to partner organisations on the ground in Ukraine as well as those working in surrounding countries to support refugees.

Jackie told us, “The Ormskirk branch staff are great champions and ambassadors for working both in partnership and supporting local charities and initiatives in support of their communities. Not only do the staff at Guardian Homecare do a fantastic job supporting and caring for the residents of West Lancashire, but also take time to go that extra mile to help all who are in need.”

The team are certainly living up to their reputation for supporting good causes Jackie, and it’s amazing to see such a quick response from the staff in Ormskirk.

Ae your team supporting people affected by the crisis in Ukraine? Let us know at and we’ll help spread the word.

‘Forget Me Knot’ Atlantic row for dementia support

As some of you may already know, the son of Nicky Tucker from our Bids and Contracts team –Stefan – as well as his friends Johnnie and Dirk are rowing the Atlantic for Dementia UK, a cause close to all of our hearts. This adventure has been 18 months in the planning, with training, counselling, insurances, sponsorships and much, much more to organise.

They left Portugal late January and are rowing an epic 3800 miles to French Guiana.

The trio have covered 2,140 miles so far and are aiming to complete their row in the next 30 days. Yes, that’s over 60 days at sea, in an 8-metre row boat. It’s this madness that has captured the heart of BBC Radio 5 live listeners. Following an initial interview back in January the channel received lots of requests by listeners to be kept updated, and they now have a weekly slot and have been dubbed the mad rowers.

They have endured some gruelling conditions, not least getting to Portugal in the first place, with the onset of the Omnicom variant and Europe shutting their borders to the UK. This meant Johnnie and Stef had to leave the UK on December the 20th, missing Christmas with their families and, as the boat could not be left unattended, sleeping in the back of their car for 10 nights.

They hit a massive storm just a few days into their row and Stef suffered a nasty injury to his hip. Thank goodness Dirk is a Doctor. They have continued to be hit by storms but are at last getting some decent weather now and making good headway.

So far the friends have raised nearly £65,000 for Dementia UK and you can find out more about their adventures on their Go Fund Me page.

Congratulations to Laura in our complex care division

Huge congratulations to Laura James on a well-deserved promotion. Our Service Development Manager, Kristine Pidgeon, has asked us to share her appreciation for Laura, who has recently been promoted to a role within the business development team.

Laura joined the Complete Care Amegreen team in December, in the role of Business Development Administrator. After quickly proving her skills in our fast-pace complex care division, Laura was promoted to Service Development Executive in February. In her new role, Laura will oversee the bids and tenders process – writing, reviews, portals and contracts – as well as marketing, events and social media.

Kristine described Laura’s new position as “a huge support to the whole business development team”, and we’re all certain you’ll continue to make a big impact across the division. Well done Laura.

Do you have a recent promotion in your team that you’d like to share across the group? Let us know at and we’ll include your news in a future round up email.

Brilliance in Bethnal Green

Dhiman Das, Branch Manager for Mihomecare in Tower Hamlets has asked us to share some feedback received from a local social worker. The social worker contacted the Bethnal Green Branch to express her appreciation for a member of the care team, Shila Begum.

Dhiman, explained, “Shila has a client who has got mental health concerns resulting in hoarding of lots of unwanted items from the street. When we started the package, her house was so cluttered that it was identified as health hazard. So, Shila was assigned to slowly declutter the house, to remove all the hazards and to make the house safe for the client.

“The house was so cluttered that the client had no place to sleep because the bed couldn’t be seen in the bedroom. Shila took the challenge to clean the house step by step and encouraged the client not to bring in any unwanted items from outside – resulting in a clean, comfortable habitat.

“Following a visit last weekend, social worker was so impressed and mentioned that Shila had done a tremendous job clearing the house and making it safe for the client so she almost didn’t recognise the place.”

A massive ‘well done’ Shila. It sounds like you’ve certainly gone above and beyond to give this client a home that they can live in both comfortably and safely. The appreciation from this social worker was definitely well-justified given the difference you’d made to this client’s life.

Sharing success for Sue in Preston

Ross McCrann, Branch Manager for Guardian Homecare in Preston, has asked to share a compliment he received about a member of the Preston team – Sue Brome. Sue works as part of the local crisis and reablement services.

During their end of service review, three separate service users have complimented Sue’s practice over the past week. Specifically, they have shared that Sue “goes the extra mile”, that she “is a breath of fresh air” and that she is “a credit to the team”.

Ross told us that “the senior passed this information on during her supervision, and it is lovely that another staff member has gone out of their way to ensure that positive feedback is passed along. And it is even more heart-warming to receive such feedback about Sue, who works on some of our most challenging and pressured services.”

Ross continued, “Sue is obviously making a difference and a positive impact on the people that she is supporting, and we send her a massive thank you to us all from the branch at Preston.”

Thank you for sharing Ross and it seems that you’ve made a big impression on these service users Sue. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to everyone you support.

Making the difference at Moore’s House

Joanne Brannen has sent us some glowing feedback about the staff at the Moore’s house Extra Care scheme in Salford. Lisa Sullivan, a local social worker, was so impressed by the Comfort Call team’s support for the mother of one of her clients that she took the time to get in touch.

Lisa contacted Joanne to say, “Just wanted to come back to you as I spoke to daughter of a service user. She was very complimentary about staff at Moore’s House and I just wanted to pass this on.

“It isn’t the first time I have had positive feedback about Moore’s House when gathering feedback for safeguarding or my own case who I visited last week. Thought it was important to take five minutes just to write you an email.”

A huge thank you to all of the hard-working staff at Moore’s House. It’s fantastic to see how word of your amazing care and support is spreading through the local community.

Improving spinal injury support in complex care

Never ones to rest on their laurels, our complex care clinical team have recently been sharpening their skills in supporting clients with spinal injury. Provided by their partners at the Spinal Injury Association, the team took part in the Good Clinical Practice in Spinal Cord Injury training day.

Meanwhile, the complex care division have also assembled a team to take part in this year’s Spinal Circuit 2022, which takes place in March. In this challenging event, participants can choose to run, walk, push or cycle to help the spinal injury community complete a virtual circuit covering all eleven spinal units in the UK.

Coming in at a mighty total distance of 1799km, every penny raised from the challenge will go to Back Up, a national charity which inspires people affected by spinal cord injury to get the most out of life and rebuild their independence.

Best of luck with the challenge everyone, we look forward to sharing your progress in the coming weeks.

Praise for the team at Raynes Park

Magdalena Trepczynska, Regional Manager – London, has asked us to share compliment received about the Raynes Park London Care branch. Following a fall and a stay in hospital, one of their service users sadly had to be transferred to a nursing home.

With the service user no longer having flat or the need for homecare support, her niece reached out to express the family’s gratitude for the team’s support over the years, writing, “I would just like to put on record how wonderful the carers were who looked after my aunt. The two principal carers were Marion and Sharon. They were exceptionally caring, and ensured that my aunt was looked after and safe. Please pass on my sincere thanks to them.

“In addition, I would like to comment on the efficiency of the staff who answered the telephone. They were always polite and knew who I was, as well as my aunt. My husband and I live a two hour drive away. Knowing that my aunt was cared for so well give us both peace of mind, for which we are eternally grateful.”

It’s amazing to see the whole team’s work recognised by this family – from the staff who were a welcome reassuring voice on the phone to the diligent care team. Amazing work everyone at Raynes Park, and it certainly seems like well-deserved prise from this family.

Sarah Kwofie shares expert advice on vaccine uptake

The Homecare Association has recently developed a series of videos to support home care providers to encourage COVID-19 vaccine take-up among care staff. And, very our Sarah Kwofie is one of the experts featured!

In this video, Sarah – along with Joanna McCall from Home Instead – talks through top tips on increasing vaccination rates in the homecare workforce.

You can see more of what Sarah and other colleagues in the sector had to say here.

Let’s talk about physical health: Staying active helps wellbeing

Staying active boosts wellbeing at any age. If you remain physically and mentally active, you’ll not only have more fun, but you’ll also promote your overall health and wellbeing.

Research shows that staying active can help you to, live a longer and healthier life, stay mentally sharp and feel more optimistic.

You don’t have to run marathons to benefit from staying active. You can promote your wellbeing by seeking out physical and mental activities that you find rewarding. You might prefer yoga or hiking, joining a book club or choir, going to a football match with friends, or visiting a park with grandchildren.

Different activities offer different benefits. You’ll get the most benefits if you take part in a variety of healthy, enjoyable, and meaningful activities.

Try to find activities that will:

  • Strengthen your ties to family and friends. Maintain strong connections by getting together with friends/family regularly, either face-to-face or via video/phone chats. Plan holidays or reunions, share family stories.
  • Help to get 30 minutes of vigorous exercise on all or most days of the week. To stay fit and socially connected take a brisk walk with a friend/colleague, attend exercise classes, join a sports team – a scheduled commitment with others will hold you accountable.
  • Stimulate your mind. Enrol on a class, join a book club, play in a band, try a puzzle.
  • Get you involved with a group or cause to find a sense of purpose. Consider mentoring, volunteering, joining a community group.
  • Help towards reading  for at least 20 or 30 minutes a day. Early research suggests staying mentally sharp can help to delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Don’t forget there is support available to all our staff through LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme.

By visiting the LifeWorks app and/or website you can access articles and videos to help improve your physical health and well-being, including ‘Making Fitness Fun’, ‘Staying Fit and Healthy as You Get Older’ and the ‘Health and Wellbeing Toolkit’.

You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team

Please also remember, if you would like to talk to trained counsellors, call the confidential assistance programme 24/7 on 0800 169 1920.


Valentine’s Day at the Pullen Day Centre

Maria Gerardo from London Care’s Pullen Day Centre has let us know about their Valentine’s Day celebrations this week.

The centre’s clients made their own cards and decorations last week ready for our Valentine’s Day. Maria let us know that the clients thoroughly enjoyed crafting and getting involved in activities on the day.

Maria and the team even encouraged clients to discuss their first loves and when they had their first kiss – and we’re sure that there were plenty good stories to be heard!

Thanks for sharing Maria, and great to see more of your work in improving the sustainability at the centre through making your own decorations and cards.

Appreciation for Alice at Total Community Care

Lisa Downs, Regional Operations Manager for complex care, has let us know about a recent presentation for a member of the TCC team – Alice. The management team wanted to show their appreciation for Alice’s commitment and hard work, and took the opportunity to present her with vouchers at a recent team meeting in Milton Keynes.

Alice was presented with the vouchers by Care Managers Yana Rast and Marta Mazur, who told us, “We really wanted to present Alice with something special because of all her hard work all the time but particularly over December 2021. The team that she works in are short staffed and there were lots of uncovered shifts through the month. Alice offered to pick up the majority of the shifts and by the end of December, she had worked a total of 24 out of 31 waking night shifts including Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing Day.”

They continued by saying that “Alice is really a team player and clearly cares about her client and we felt that this needed recognition and reward. We hope Alice spends her voucher on something really nice for herself as she truly deserves it.”

Thank you all for sharing and congratulations Alice, it sounds like your vouchers were certainly well-deserved.

Plans for better care announced in integration White Paper

A new White Paper on integration between the NHS and adult social care sector with the aim of enhancing care in England has been published by the government.

It outlines how needs can be better met and waiting lists reduced, as well as to help level up healthcare, with care also becoming more personalised.

Some of the proposals include:

  • Earlier intervention with people being able to access the right services at the right time;
  • A single digital care record for patients, enabling care plans to be made more easily;
  • Better access to social care services via NHS data sharing;
  • Combining budgets so that resources can be used more flexibly;
  • Ensuring more value for money.

You can find additional information in the Government’s press release and White Paper itself.

A commendation for Kirsty at Advantage Healthcare

Lucy Farwell, Care Service Manager at Advantage Healthcare, has asked us to pass on her thanks to Kirsty Lindo – Field Nurse for Peterborough.

Lucy said, “Since Kirsty joined us earlier this year she has been an asset to Advantage Healthcare and has been a key and valuable member of the Peterborough and the wider network for Advantage Healthcare.”

“Kirsty has always shown professionalism and commitment and has never said no to anything. She goes out of her way to support existing and new business growth and supports with the ongoing clinical and governance for CCS.

“Kirsty is an absolute pleasure to work with and feels like she has been part of the team for many years.”

Sounds like Kirsty is an absolute star on the Advantage Healthcare team Lucy. Thank you so much for sharing this with us and we’d like to extend our appreciation to Kirsty for everything she’s doing to support the staff and clients.

Catherine’s running 50 miles to support children and young people

Catherine Spence from the City & County Learning and Development Team is embarking on a challenging 50 mile ultra-marathon in July raising money for Epic Kidz charity.

Catherine told us, “I am running 50 miles in July 2022 across the Lake District to raise money in support of Epic Kidz charity. This charity raises funds which provide grants to community groups who support children and young people get involved in recreational and community events – this give these children opportunities to experience different activities in life, promoting support networks and wellbeing for those children where they may not have that chance in their day to day lives.

“The challenge is to complete the renowned Montane Lakeland 50 ultra in under 24 hrs; taking the route from Dalemain House just outside of Pooley bridge 50 miles up and across some of the most beautiful countryside and finishing at Coniston water – this is the longest, most breath-taking and most extreme terrain race I have ever taken on. Every ounce of support pushes me that mile further towards the finish line and every penny opens a doorway of opportunity for another young person in our communities.”

You can keep up with Catherine’s progress and training by following her on Strava or show your support on Just Giving.

Fantastic feedback for Sagecare in Bournemouth

One of our Local Regional Recruiters, Mark Piper, has asked us to share some fantastic feedback the Sagecare Bournemouth team received following the outcome of the team’s hard work.

The Bournemouth team fought passionately to get a package of care increase for a service user, enabling her to live more comfortably from home. A family member got in touch with the branch team say, “I just wanted to thank those involved in applying for this, and to all of you who are looking after our Mum

“I am sure this will help to set her up more comfortably for the day. I know you are all accustomed to the difficulties of looking after elderly, dependent people who are in pain a lot of the time or fail to show some gratitude to all of you doing your best under the circumstances. So, I wanted to say that my sisters and I are very aware of this and wish to tell you that Mum does appreciate the time constraints upon you all, and she is grateful for your help.

“I know you are all accustomed to managing the emotions and difficulties presented by the people in your care, but on behalf of all my family, I want to thank you all very sincerely and let you know we very much appreciate how you are helping all of us cope with our mother’s failing health.”

Mark has asked us to extend an extra special thank you to Ana Aguiar, the registered manager, and Alejandra Alvarez who is the coordinator. Amazing work all-round by the team in Bournemouth.

Demonstrating dignity in Middlesbrough

Dignity Action Day is an annual opportunity for health and social care workers, and members of the public to uphold people’s rights to dignity and provide a truly memorable day for people who use care services.

Our teams in Middlesbrough took part this year to raise awareness to put an end to undignified care and asked everyone to participate by wearing red.

The Comfort Call team (pictured above) arranged a free raffle, choosing two service users and two care workers at random on a number generator to win flowers and chocolates.

Meanwhile, the staff from Careline Homecare in Middlesbrough decided to deliver flowers to some of their service users. The staff all wore something red and bought a small bunch of flowers which were given to the service users of their choice.

As you can see the staff loved it – and so did those who received the gifts.

Huge thanks to Katie Wem and Cath Stobbs for sharing the pictures with us. It certainly looks like both teams got into the spirit of the day.

Let’s Talk About Physical Health: LIFT Session Fitness

Finding a workout that fits your lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do to get started and stay consistent with your fitness goals. With LIFT session virtual fitness, through LifeWorks, you have access to free unlimited fitness journeys that are customised for your goals and current fitness level.

The virtual fitness programmes are available on your mobile device, so you can stay active anytime and anywhere with personalised fitness journeys to keep you engaged, excited, and on track to hit your goals.

Each session lasts 30 minutes, and the typical journey is three sessions per week for a total duration of six weeks. No equipment required!

Chat live online with fitness coaches who can help with fitness, nutrition, and recovery questions you have.

Watch this video to learn more about LIFT Session Fitness.

How to get started

To access LIFT Session Fitness, you must first register with LifeWorks. You will have received emails from LifeWorks, to register for the online services. If you have not received these, please first check your junk folder and then email us so we can set you up.

  1. Once you’re registered with LifeWorks, get started with LIFT Sessions online at or on the LifeWorks app
  2. Click ‘Support & Resources’ under the ‘Life’ tab and click ‘LIFT Session Fitness’
  3. Sign up and complete your online fitness assessment


With great pleasure we can announce that, on 4th February, City & County completed the acquisition of The Midway Care Group – including the trading brands Midway Support Services Limited, Midway Care Limited, Pharos Support Limited, and Pharos Care Limited. We look forward to welcoming the Midway team into the City & County family over the coming months.

Based in Birmingham and operating across the West Midlands, Midway Care Group provides a range of care services including supported living and residential care. The group currently delivers in excess of 21,000 care hours per week to around 190 clients across 12 residential sites and 50 supported living locations.

We’re also pleased to confirm that the Group’s senior executive team, Matt Harrison (Managing Director), Ian Brown (Finance Director) and Leanne Owen (Chief Operating Officer), will remain with us for an extended period to continue overseeing the business day-to-day. Matt and the team will initially report into Caleb Atkins, City & County’s Group Service Development Director.

The acquisition of Midway Care Group compliments City & County’s strategy to acquire community care businesses across all the segments of homecare. To these businesses we aim to add our financial and technical resources to help their growth. The acquisition furthers the breadth of our offering and helps cement City & County as one of the UK’s leading community care providers.

Nottingham fire makes national news

There was drama in Nottingham this week as staff in our head office at Cardinal House were evacuated when a neighbouring recycling centre caught fire, spewing hazardous asbestos smoke across the local area.

We’d like to say a huge thank you for the quick thinking and professionalism of staff at the office, who acted calmly to ensure everyone was kept safe.

You can read the news report about the fire here.

Appreciation for Sareedo and Sarah from Careline Homecare

Joanne Brannen has passed us on some stellar feedback for two members of the Careline Homecare team in Tameside. The daughter of one of their service users contacted Joanne to express her gratitude for the work of Sareedo Kaamil and Sarah Gale, writing:

“I just wanted to let you know that two of your staff members are amazing. They have looked after my mother now for nearly three years. I don’t think carers get enough recognition and the majority of them do a fabulous job that’s very hard, especially during covid. It takes a special kind of person to do your job.

“Sareedo is my Mum’s regular daily carer and my mum adores her and she’s very good and patient with my mum. She works very hard and is always looking out for my mum and because she sees my mum most days, she will pick up on when she’s not herself and let us know of any issues.

“The second one is Sarah, she covers when Sareedo is off. Sarah is an absolute gem and again my mum adores her. She’s so very kind and considerate to my mum and treats her like one of her own. She’s great with her and calms my mum down when Sareedo isn’t there. She never rushes her or makes her feel uncomfortable.

“My mum suffers with dementia and struggles with change but these two are brilliant with her.  To have carers who care for your mum like she’s their own is a big weight off our shoulders and I just want the managers and staff to know that these carers are doing an amazing job. Well done and keep up the great work that most of us know is a very hard and challenging role.”

Such amazing feedback and thank you for sharing it with us Joanne. It’s clear just how much this family appreciate Sareedo and Sarah – and how much of a difference these two dedicated members of staff make to their lives.

Webinar on booster vaccinations

DHSC and NHSEI are inviting homecare providers to a webinar on booster vaccinations within the adult social care sector on Thursday 3rd February, from 11 am to 12.30 pm.

The session will be chaired by Sir David Pearson, Chair of the Boosters Task Force, and is to promote and share best practice in the sector and to discuss what successful local delivery of boosters in adult social care looks like.

You can register for the webinar here.

Additional Bank holiday in 2022

In 2022, there will be an extra bank holiday on Friday 3rd June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. This will result in a four-day bank holiday weekend, as the regular May Bank Holiday Weekend date has moved to be on Thursday 2nd June.

All employees will be eligible for this additional bank holiday and it will be added to your entitlement. For anyone working less than five days per week or who works variable hours, this additional day will be pro-rated to reflect a reduction in days/hours worked.

Any care staff who work on the additional bank holiday will be paid time and a half for all hours worked on that day.

Congratulations to Kayleigh at Guardian Ormskirk

Jackie Lowe, Branch Manager at Guardian Homecare in Ormskirk, has asked us to share some amazing news about a member of the team – Kayleigh Goodison-Jones.

Despite starting with Guardian just two years ago, and with no previous experience in care, Kayleigh has gone on to gain her NVQ2 with  distinction!

Jackie has described Kayleigh as being “a credit to our branch” and we can certainly see why. Congratulations Kayleigh!

World Cancer Day – 4th February

On Friday 4th February the world recognises World Cancer Day 2022 – a day to raise awareness and take action against cancer.

Did you know?

  • 10 million died of cancer in 2020 across the World – that’s equivalent to twice the population of Ireland
  • 27% of cancers relate to tobacco and alcohol use

Importantly – Progress is possible, there’s a lot we can do

  • 30-50% of all cancer cases are preventable
  • Adopting healthier behaviours and screening for early signs of disease reduce cancer risks

What can you do to reduce your cancer risk?

Want to know more?

There are many organisations and charities providing information on cancer, from types of cancer and symptoms to treatments and support available.

Don’t forget there is also support available to all our staff through LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme

By visiting the LifeWorks app and/or website you can access cancer related articles, such as:

  • Simple Steps to Cut Cancer Risk
  • Preventing Skin Cancer
  • Ways to Support a Colleague Who is Working During Cancer Treatment
  • Supporting A Friend or Relative Who has Cancer
  • Understand and Practising Preventive Health Care

You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Please also remember, if you would like to talk to trained counsellors, call the confidential assistance programme 24/7 on 0800 169 1920.

Reaching out to the community in Westminster

Vaida Grybauskiene and Lukasz Demian from our London Care and Sagecare teams recently took time to visit the City of Westminster College. Invited by their local skills and employment manager, Andrea, Vaida and Lukasz took time to speak with students about taking up a career in care.

Thanks for sharing Vaida and Lukasz, looks like you had a great day. We’re looking forward to seeing some eager new members of the teams in Westminster.

COVID precautions in our branches and offices

Last week the Prime Minister announced a further relaxation of rules and guidance for the general public and for employers in England covering the wearing of face coverings in public places, home working and self-isolation. These changes have prompted a review of our own approach for “COVID-Secure working’’, and we have made some adjustments to our policies relating to staff working in our office locations across the UK.

Despite promising data, there is still risk to us from relaxing our own COVID restrictions in the workplace. We have to bear in mind we are operating in a sector in which most of us are only a transmission or two away from someone who is still very vulnerable to the virus.

In view the above, as of 24th January anyone working in and visiting offices must wear a face covering where they are:

  • unable to maintain social distance of at least 2 metres from others,
  • or, where they are eating or drinking during a break.

As of next week (31st January), we will relax the “home first” approach to home working, so that people that usually work in the office but that have been working at home may return to the office to work. Note that our policies on home and hybrid working remain unchanged.

Also as of 31st January non-essential visits to office locations from shared services such as Business Improvement, Quality and Health and Safety may also resume. If you are a visitor from one of these teams, please remember to observe the same safety measures as those you are visiting.

We will keep the situation under weekly review and update you as and when we decide that any further changes can be made.

Lucky escape in an office fire

Last Tuesday a wall heater at one of our branch locations caught fire because of a fault and, for reasons we don’t yet know, the fire alarm failed to go off. Thankfully staff at the branch noticed smoke, evacuated the building and called the fire brigade. The fire was contained and no one was injured.

We’re glad to report that everyone is safe and well. However, the situation was a reminder to us all that we never know when a fire could occur, but you can make sure you are ready if it does. Please make sure you are familiar with any arrangements at your workplace and speak to your manager if you are not sure.

Let’s Talk About Physical Health: Physical assessment, advice and support

Taking care of your physical health is good not only for your body, but also for your work, life, relationships, and emotional wellbeing. Don’t forget there is support available to all our staff through LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme.

By visiting the LifeWorks app and/or website you can access articles and videos to help improve your physical health and well-being.

The LifeWorks ‘Health and Wellbeing Toolkit’ offers ideas on how to adopt and maintain healthy habits and boost energy levels in your daily life. Areas covered include:

  • Making fitness fun
  • How to be active without joining a gym
  • Quick tips for starting and sticking with a weight-loss plan
  • Quick tips for starting and sticking with an exercise programme
  • Walking for exercise

Why not start by taking the Total Wellbeing Physical Assessment?

  • Answer a series of questions about aspects of your current lifestyle to see how well you are doing – it only takes a few minutes.
  • Relevant content is suggested based on your answers (so be honest), to help you make even the smallest changes to improve your health.
  • It’s also completely confidential!
  • Click the ‘Assessments’ tab under the ‘Wellbeing’ tab and click ‘Total Wellbeing Assessment Physical’ to get started.

You can access the service here – if you are unsure of your login detail or have any questions about LifeWorks please contact the team.

Please also remember, if you would like to talk to trained counsellors, call the confidential assistance programme 24/7 on 0800 169 1920.

Police protect our clients from scams in London

Maria Gerardo has shared a reassuring story from the Pullen Day Centre in London. Following their Christmas celebrations a few weeks ago, the centre’s clients were paid a visit from their local police force to share advice on keeping their details safe from scammers.

The police spoke to our clients about scams and gave practical advice on how to identify and avoid scams. As well as handing out informative leaflets, they also gave out alarms for our clients too.

Do you have any tips on spotting scams that might be useful to share with our teams across the group to protect service users? Send any suggestions to and we’ll include them in a future Weekly Roundup email.