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Orchard Care Homes garden make-over competition

To celebrate summer and improve its outdoor spaces, Orchard Care Homes challenged its 23 care homes in the North and Midlands, to a garden make-over competition recently. The group can now reveal two worthy winners - Three Bridges Care Home, Warrington and Lansbury Court, Sunderland – who are each rewarded with state-of-the-art, activities tables by The Digital Rainbow, worth £5,000 each.

Challenging staff and residents alike, the Orchard in Bloom competition brought out the competitive side of its green-fingered enthusiasts after each home was given a £1000 budget to fund their garden glow-ups.

The group aimed not only to create winning gardens, but to encourage residents, their families, and staff to work together to create spaces to reflect, reminisce, grow vegetables, eat meals, and be close to nature. The benefits of outdoor spaces are well documented. Being in the fresh air can reduce stress, boost vitamin D levels (which helps to improve mood and wellbeing) and provide social interaction for everyone. Gardens can also help to encourage birds, bees, and butterflies to visit and offer sensory therapies for all.

Some gardens incorporated coloured flower beds such as blue and purple, to represent living with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Special Dementia gardens were planted which include favourite flowers donated by staff and families to help evoke memories and forge reconnection.

Commenting on the joint win, Suzanne Mckie, Home Manager at Orchard’s Lansbury Court said: “We are absolutely delighted, it was a great team effort from colleagues, families and our residents. Congratulations to Three Bridges and everyone else who took part.  Hope you all had as much fun with it as we did.”

Wendy Allinson, Home Administrator, was also delighted with Orchard’s Three Bridges team’s win. “We are thrilled to bits. Huge congratulations to Lansbury Court and every home that took part. It has been such a wonderful experience for us, the families, and most importantly the residents”, she said.

The Orchard ‘Garden Inspectors’ will be returning to all 23 homes in the coming weeks to award further digital table prizes for the two best-maintained gardens across the group. This provides each of the homes the opportunity to make the most of their outdoor spaces over the coming months and involve everyone in maintaining all their hard work.

Quality of care and invigorating best practice is at the forefront of Orchard Care Homes’ strategy. The group’s impressive record demonstrates the highest quality of care it provides its residents, with 100% of its homes now rated ‘Good’. In addition, the group has recently launched its Dementia Promise initiative and is committed to providing every colleague with bespoke, evidence-based dementia training relevant to their role, plus further investment in technology, recruitment, and its care home environments. 

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