December 2020 - Page 18



Looking back over a year so

profoundly characterised by its unpredictability I find it heartening to reflect on the unwavering commitment of the dedicated teams in our residential rehabs across the country . Despite the challenges we ’ ve all faced this year ,
I am proud that we ’ ve remained a constant , reassuring and positive presence for those who needed our help . As well as looking back over the tremendous work done in our residentials this year , I ’ ve also been catching up with our teams to find out what they are looking forward to . The festive season is approaching and our staff and community members are serving up a delectable host of reasons to be cheerful .
BRINGING FESTIVE CHEER TO OUR NEIGHBOURS ON THE WIRRAL The Wirral Residential Service have been warming up their vocal chords in preparation for Christmas this year . Their choir , made up of staff and service users , will be bringing the festive cheer to their neighbours at a local care home by singing carols in their garden on Christmas
Phoenix Futures will be going all out to make this Christmas a special one for residents , says Dave Potts
Eve . ‘ We wanted to do something special after the year we ’ ve all had ,’ said head of house Helen Brewin .
‘ Care Homes across the country have stayed open and worked tirelessly to keep the people with them safe this year , so we thought it would be a nice surprise to make them smile . We wanted to say thank you in our inimitable Phoenix way and remind them that Christmas is still a time for people to be cheerful and come together – at an appropriate distance of course !’
A VIRTUAL FAMILY CELEBRATION Each year the children at the National Specialist Family Service help design the Phoenix Futures Christmas card , and this year ’ s design was ‘ inspired by the babies we have placed with us ’, said senior childcare worker Chloe Axelby .
‘ We wanted them to be a part of the Christmas card so we thought why not use their tiny hands and feet to make a beautiful picture . The parents painted their toes which was a lovely experience . It made the children giggle and we had lots of fun . The best way I can describe Christmas at Phoenix Family Service is lots of individual
‘ Our staff and community members are serving up a delectable host of reasons to be cheerful .’
families coming together to make one big family where everyone celebrates , cooks , eats and shares special moments with each other .’
GLASGOW ’ S GOT TALENT Our Scottish Residential Service are planning an unforgettable experience for their community members this December – a music event , with performances from staff and residents throughout the evening . Leading on these celebrations is therapeutic team member , Paul McGoldrick . ‘ Usually , residents work together to learn songs and perform them for the community . In recent years we have
had a lot of creative community members who write their own material so it ’ s an opportunity for them to showcase their talent . Often community members will write about their life before they came in and the process of change they are going through at Phoenix . It can be very powerful and moving , as well as being a fun event .’
SHEFFIELD DECK THE HALLS Throughout December the Sheffield Residential are planning a number of events for their community members to help make the service look and feel like Christmas . Creative groups will be used for making Christmas cards for loved ones , designing decorations for the house and , of course , decorating the tree .
Members with a culinary flair will also be taking to the kitchen to bake mince pies , gingerbread and other festive favourites . On Christmas day there will be presents to unwrap and a traditional dinner for everyone staying with us this holiday season . ‘ I ’ m definitely safer being at Phoenix Futures as my family are heavy drinkers , and I would have had to make a difficult decision not be with them and to isolate on my own ,’ said Sophie , a resident at our Wirral Residential . ‘ Instead I ’ m with my Phoenix family where I feel supported and happy . For many years I have spent Christmas on my own , and I am really looking forward to having lots of fun and people around me where I am safe .’
Dave Potts is head of operations at Phoenix Futures