Manchester care home, De Brook Lodge, has been crowned the North West Regional Winner of Ideal Carehome’s annual ‘Gardens in Bloom’ competition thanks to its innovate community library concept and a rainbow theme as a thank you to key workers.
The contest, which launched in June, encourages both staff and residents to work together to embrace their love of the great outdoors by devising and implementing an exciting revamp for their gardens that everybody can enjoy during the summer months.
Residents and staff introduced a new ‘Rainbow’ theme for this year’s garden masterpiece, deciding on the theme during their monthly resident's meeting where residents are able to put forward their ideas for the final design.
They all agreed to create a space that paid homage to the NHS rainbow symbol that has united the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Local children from Delamere Primary School contributed by creating a brightly painted NHS rainbow-themed mural out of tree bark which is displayed on the garden wall alongside some brightly coloured sun catchers. Children from Wellacre Academy also contributed to the homes garden by creating hand-painted windmills to put in the new flower beds.
Lifestyle Manager, Danielle Aikenhead, brilliantly created the ‘Secret Lodge’, a special reformed shed that can ‘magically transform’ into any destination the residents wish. The secret lodge is currently in the form of a paradise beach, featuring sand pits, water features and beautiful handmade decorations and in the coming months, will take form as a safari and even Santa’s grotto!
The care team also wanted to share their garden project with the local community by creating De Brook’s very own public library situated in the care home car park. The aim is that residents and people in the local area can feel connected with one another through the power of a gripping novel.
Resident and avid reader, Kath Murphy, said, ‘I am so proud of how the garden areas turned out. We had so much fun creating such relaxing, yet fun spaces. I am so pleased with our new library – I was honoured to be asked to officially cut the ribbon and announce it open for everyone to use! I think we have done a brilliant job and I can’t wait to find out who will take home the national title’.
Home Manager, Wayne Jones, said, ‘We are absolutely thrilled to be crowned the regional North West winner. Last year we took home the national title and we know how much it would mean to us all to keep up our winning streak. - All of the credit must go to our amazing residents who embraced the competition with such gusto! We are extremely grateful to have had such overwhelming support from our resident’s families, our staff team and local schools and businesses that generously donated to our garden project. It really has been a labour of love and we are so glad to see the judges were as thrilled with our garden creation as we are!’
Stacey Linn, Ideal Carehomes’ Director, said, ‘Our wonderful team and residents at De Brook Lodge should be very proud to be our North West winner. Our judges were astonished at just how much effort and thought had clearly gone into their project and how much our resident’s families and friends rallied together to bring plans to life. We know that our residents take huge pride in their garden areas and we hope that the warm weather continues so that they can enjoy the fruits of their labour even more. I now look forward to visiting each of our regional winners as part of the judging panel and helping to crown our national winner in the coming weeks!’
The home now enters the final round of the competition, whereby Ideal Carehomes panel of judges will visit all regional winners to decide upon a national victor.
De Brook Lodge, operated by Ideal Carehomes, is a residential care home boasting a hair salon, cinema room and spacious lounges overlooking landscaped sensory gardens. All 52 bedrooms are en-suite, enabling staff to deliver person-centred care in a dignified manner, promoting independence as far as possible. For more information about De Brook Lodge, contact Wayne on 0161 755 9750 or visit https://www.idealcarehomes.co.uk/our-homes/de-brook-lodge/.