Following generous contributions from the Friends of Tithebarn and help from the RMBI a second minibus has been purchased for the Home in Liverpool. The new vehicle can accommodate up to 6 people plus a wheelchair. The Tithebarn now have two vehicles to take residents on outings and to appointments.
RMBI care home Queen Elizabeth Court in Llandudno hosted and delivered a free Carers' Information Programme over a six week period.
The Programme was open to anybody concerned about the onset of dementia within the Home and also to anyone in the wider community.
Six Wednesday evenings were set aside and free respite was offered for those carers bringing relatives with them. Fortunately, those with memory problems who came were able to join in the sessions too. Sessions were delivered in collaboration with local health and social services and the Alzheimer’s Society. As a result of these sessions a readymade formula has been created that can be used again. Debbie Lewis, Home Manager said: “It has helped create really positive relationships with important partners.” The local Consultant Psychiatrist came to every session and delivered two sessions on ‘demystifying dementia’ and ‘hallucinations’. Other sessions covered a basic introduction to ‘person centred care’, ‘the principles of communication’, ‘navigating health and social services’ and ‘diet and nutrition in Dementia’. The final programme covered the theme of ‘carers looking after yourself’ and as a result they can now form the nucleus of an on-going support group.
Carers’ Information Programme is a format the RMBI hopes to repeat in all their Homes so that they can be a real resource and a recognised part of community dementia services.
RMBI care home Connaught Court, York held an open day to celebrate the opening of their new Dementia Support Wing.
The new Wing was funded with the £86,000 donation by the Province of Yorkshire, West Ridings. The Province has close ties with the Home and has been a great supporter of the work of the RMBI for many years.
The wing now has a fresher environment internally and alterations have been made to ensure that it is a modern dementia zone area.
The donation will also help to fund a sensory garden so that residents can enjoy the outside environment safely.
The event also saw the celebration of Dignity Action Day at the Home and was attended by residents, relatives and members from the Association of Friends.
Drinks and canapés were served at the events and an excellent time was had by all.
George Manley, resident at Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court, Essex, and the RMBI's oldest resident, celebrated his 105th birthday in style
The day commenced with a presentation from Alan Garner, President of the Association of Friends in which he highlighted some of George’s achievements and wished him a happy birthday from the Province of Essex. This was then followed with George receiving his gifts and cards including his all important card from The Queen.
The Colchester Town Crier, Mr Robert Needham, then announced Mr Manley’s birthday in the traditional manner and gave the captive audience a brief history of town criers and how communication has developed over the years. This was very apt in that Mr Manley has seen vast developments in technology to improve communication and in the way we live.
The day continued with a lunch for 20 of George’s friends and entertainment was provided by a singer in the afternoon with birthday cake and wine. George said “it was one of his best days ever”.
George has been a resident at the Home since it opened 14 years ago and says that he “wouldn’t get it much better than this”.
During his time at the Home he has visited 200 lodges across the UK and is also heavily involved in charity work, which he takes great pride in.
George has had many achievements in Provincial Freemasonry which have included being Master of two lodges at the same time, promoted to the rank of Past Provincial Grand Senior Warden and awarded the jewel Distinguished Service Medal to Essex Freemasonry. Mr Manley will also be celebrating 50 years in Freemasonry next year, having joined in 1963.
A new dementia support unit has opened at RMBI care home Barford Court, Hove. The unit can accommodate 10 people and provides a therapeutic environment for people with dementia.
Barford Court staff have received dementia training so that they are able to provide support to the residents to live a meaningful and active life while staying at the home. The family-sized unit of 10 enables each person to be cared for as an individual. This warm and supportive approach works in tandem with RMBI’s Care Strategy of providing person-centred care.
Dr Cliff Jones, resident at RMBI care home Connaught Court in York, has celebrated 60 years in Freemasonry. His home held a sherry morning to celebrate the event, which was attended by Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, North and East Ridings, Jeffrey Gillyon, and members of Humber Lodge No 57.
Jeffrey presented Cliff with a certificate and jewel to commemorate his masonic career. Cliff started his career in Freemasonry in 1951, aged 22, after being inspired by the headmaster of his school. He became Third Provincial Grand Principal in the Royal Arch and was a founding member of Mitre Chapter of York No.7321.
The Deputy Provincial Grand Master concluded, ‘Cliff is a true gentleman.’
Phase 1 of the rebuild at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) care home James Terry Court, in Croydon, has been officially opened. The event was attended by more than 40 representatives from the Province of Surrey, the Association of Friends and the RMBI.
RMBI President Willie Shackell opened the event and spoke about the history of the RMBI, which started in East Croydon with its first home, named ‘Asylum for Worthy, Aged and Decayed Freemasons’ in 1850. Shackell went on to explain why the rebuild of the home was necessary, as it needed to adapt to the changing needs of older people.
Thanks were given to Dennis Vine, who oversaw the development of the home in his role as Co-opted Trustee. Julian Birch, Regional Property Operations Manager, who sadly passed away in October, was remembered for all his efforts in the rebuild. The Association of Friends and the Province of Surrey, Metropolitan Grand Lodge, and the Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight were also thanked for their support. The event saw the official opening of the lounge and library by Eric Stuart-Bamford.
High-quality care provision is a key priority for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, with the organisation conducting annual surveys at its care homes to assess the satisfaction levels of people who use its services. This year’s survey asked both residents and relatives a series of questions on different aspects of service provision and life within their care home, in order to create a full picture of the effectiveness and quality, as well as to highlight which areas require improvement.
Feeling at Home
The care home section of the survey sought to ascertain how satisfied people were with their living accommodation. Overall, residents responded positively, with 91% of residents saying that they liked their room and more than 90% stating that their room was private and that they felt safe and secure. Similar responses were also evident in the survey of relatives, with over 70% stating that their relative or friend settled in well at their chosen care home.
When residents were asked about their experience of the catering provision, the answers indicated that there was room for improvement, especially around the enjoyment, quality and choice of food.
Encouragingly, in the staff section of the survey it was found that 93% of residents felt that staff were polite to them and were helpful, and that staff listened to them – 90% and 80% respectively. These results show that the people living in RMBI homes are treated with dignity and respect, an ethos that is core to the RMBI. Moreover, 88% of relatives and friends also felt that the staff at the care homes had a positive attitude to the residents and that the management team were easily accessible. Also, we were very pleased to learn that 93% of relatives were very satisfied with the responsiveness of staff to matters that concerned them.
Activities play an important role in the care homes and the scores in this area were above average. A high proportion of residents (76%) said that they knew what activities were going on in the care home and 57% felt that there were things to do throughout the day.
When asked about help and support, responses were positive, with 81% saying they felt that they could talk to someone about their concerns. Eighty per cent felt that the staff involved them in the way they are cared for, which is a huge increase to a similar question that was asked in previous years when less than 50% of residents agreed with this statement.
These improved results can be attributed to the considerable work that has taken place on the care planning process at all RMBI homes. The way in which the care plans are now completed is more person-centred, and 85% of relatives and friends of residents also stated that they were involved in the planning and delivery of the care provided.
A high 73% of relatives felt that their relative/friend had the opportunity to live life as fully as possible in the care home environment and again 73% said that they were satisfied with the way their relative or friend was being cared for. Very encouragingly, the results found that 91% of residents and relatives said that they would recommend their RMBI home to someone else.
The satisfaction surveys are an important part of the RMBI’s quality assurance programme and the results have been helpful in capturing the experiences of people who use RMBI services and that of their relatives. The RMBI will continue to evaluate the results from the satisfaction surveys and will work with its care home management teams to make sure that any areas that have been identified for improvement are thoroughly addressed, and robust plans to make sure that these developments take place are implemented.
This year, six Provinces were represented, with a team of 10 Provincial Stewards from Essex taking part. The ride, which included non-masons,
is known as the Master’s Ride. A main charity is selected each year to receive at least £100 from each rider. In addition, riders are encouraged
to support any charity selected by their Master or Province.
This year’s main charity was WheelPower, which helps disabled youngsters participate in sport and lead a more fulfilling life. Other worthy causes included the Mark Festival, the Essex Festival, the British Heart Foundation, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Cancer Research UK and the Barford Court Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Home. Some of the riders cycled the final part of the journey with children and grandchildren.
Paul Sully, from Middlesex, has organised the event for the past seven years, and the £30,000 pledged for this year’s event brought the total raised to more than £140,000. Next year’s ride is planned for Saturday 23 June. As the Paralympics will follow shortly after, it has been decided to run the event again in aid of WheelPower, who are the main charity sponsoring British wheelchair sport. Further details are available on the Middlesex Provincial website at www.pglm.org.uk.
In March, brethren from Apollo University Lodge No. 359 (Oxford) and Loge Robert de Sorbon (Paris) attended a meeting at Freemasons’ Hall, Cambridge, followed at the June meeting with a friends and family garden party. The celebration of the anniversary was held in July, at which the principal guest was the Deputy Grand Master, Jonathan Spence.
The prime purpose of the meeting was to make the substantial charitable donations that the lodge had decided should be the main way in which it celebrated its anniversary year.
The lodge has donated £1,000 for each year of its existence, with £50,000 going to the Grand Charity through the Provincial Festival, £50,000 to other masonic charities and £50,000 to a number of non-masonic charities drawn from suggestions and requests from lodge members.
Past Masters of the lodge presented cheques to the Assistant Grand Master, David Williamson, the Metropolitan Grand Master, Russell Race, and to the Presidents of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institute (RMBI), Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF) and the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB).
The Provincial Grand Master received the cheque for his Festival on behalf of the Grand Charity.