Trust launches activities for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 to support residents as they emerge from lockdown

10th May 2021

The Whiteley Homes Trust has today launched a programme of activities for its over 400 older residents to help combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of its efforts to mark Mental Health Awareness Week from 10th to 16th May, 2021.

As lockdown restrictions ease, the Trust has organised over 20 individual activities supported by volunteers from the Village and the local community to help residents whose mental health has been impacted by the long periods of isolation due to the pandemic.

The Community Wellbeing Days will be extended over a fortnight however as Covid restrictions will ease further from 17th May, enabling more flexibility in the programme. Activities will include outdoor exercise classes, guided nature walks, treasure hunts, a cookery class, arts and crafts workshops, drama taster sessions and poetry readings.

The Trust is also organising some treats for its staff during the awareness week too – with free fruit, healthy soft drinks and free speciality hot drinks available plus an inspiring short video for staff to watch each day from the CEO and each of the Trust’s four Directors, sharing their advice on wellbeing, and stress management.

Rachel Hill, Chief Executive of the Whiteley Homes Trust, said: “Many residents have been shielding throughout the pandemic, while others have no family nearby, and we’re acutely aware of the long-term impact isolation can have for their mental health. We want to gradually get residents together and help them to feel comfortable socialising again. While some are raring to go out, others are feeling much more anxious.

“We also wanted to organise something for our amazing staff to highlight the free support on offer to them and to show we care, as they’ve had an exceptionally tough year too but shown incredible dedication and commitment to our charity and to our residents throughout.”

During the pandemic, the Whiteley Homes Trust was recognised by the Care Quality Commission for its ‘excellent’ management of Covid-19 infection control and was asked to share its best practice advice with other providers. The Village is one of the safest places for older people to live in Surrey, for despite the numbers of vulnerable people – with more than half of residents aged over 80 and the oldest of nine centenarians aged 107 – it has had just 12 Covid cases since the start of the pandemic and only two deaths, (both residents contracting the virus in hospital, and later sadly dying in hospital).

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