Grantham-based member Chris Turner has made history by becoming the first-ever Lincolnshire Vice-Chairman of the Association of Friends of Connaught Court, the RMBI care home near York.
As part of an active committee his role will be to raise the home’s profile and generate funds to enhance the experience of living there for up to 87 residents. Funds will be used to support the work of the home’s entertainment officers and then to add other things to improve the quality of life. That covers everything from providing Christmas presents for residents who have no family, to providing iPads so others can facetime their families, and provide further ‘visitor pods’, Covid-secure environments in which families can visit the residents. The Friends have also provided a number of Echo units – voice-controlled devices like Alexa, which can play music that triggers memories about which dementia sufferers can talk. A relaxation room has also been added, with music, lights, and images which re found to be soothing. “That is a help for the dedicated and staff too, who can take a break from the pressures of the job,” he added.
The objective of the Friends committee, which also includes Barrie Graham of Vermuyden Lodge, is to raise funds over and above the money invested in the home by the RMBI, says Chris, who thinks much more could be done within the facility’s catchment area of Lincolnshire and both Yorkshire provinces. “That’s 370 lodges with about 14,000 members,” he said. “We are keen to raise Connaught Court’s profile and encourage people to support it financially. Even a very small annual donation will make a significant difference alongside a lot of other small donations,” he said.
“In the weeks and months ahead, the committee will be working hard to raise the home’s profile, especially in Lincolnshire. It’s a lovely place. The Friends will continue to do all we can to make it even more attractive than it already is, and I look forward to being part of a team helping to do that,” he added. “You’ll no doubt see more from us on the web site and in person when we are allowed to resume meetings.”
Connaught Court is one of 18 homes operated by the RMBI, who has been running care homes for 170 years. It is the largest, and has dementia medical care facilities as well as its normal care home role.
Chris is keen to hear from anyone with offers of support for the home. “I’m sure there’s a great deal we can do with the help of Freemasons,” he said. “And I assure you I haven’t taken on this role, as my daughter suggests, just so I can pick my own room…” Contact him on 01476 570868 or 07900 277368, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org