Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022

We at Peverel Court Care wish to convey our deepest condolences upon the passing of Her Majesty The Queen, and express admiration of Her Majesty’s reign. A life lived in dedicated service and duty to the people of Great Britain and the Commonwealth.

Merryfield, Personalisation, Workforce Development

An Incredible CQC Rating For Merryfield House Nursing Home, Witney

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Merryfield House Nursing Home has been given a wonderful rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) after an unannounced inspection in October.

Unannounced inspections play a very important role in making sure the service provision that is seen is what is happening in the care home every day – not just on a day when everything has been prepared for an inspection. They are the best way to make sure that services are providing high-quality care to residents at all times.

We were visited in October 2017 by an inspector, who spoke to six residents of Merryfield and three family members. They also spoke to three relatives outside of the inspection time. They found our service to be ‘good’ across four inspection categories, finding us safe, effective, caring and well-led. We were rated ‘outstanding’ for our responsiveness.

In our report, we were praised by the inspector for showing a commitment to personalised care.

“The responsiveness of the service was outstanding. Care planning was fixed upon having the individual at the heart of their care. Relatives said support was extremely responsive because staff really understood the principles of outstanding personalised care. People were encouraged to pursue personal interests and hobbies and to access activities in the service and community. Changes in people’s needs were immediately recognised and appropriate; prompt action taken, including the involvement of external professionals where necessary. People were encouraged to raise any complaints or concerns and were given opportunities to do so.” 

At Peverel Court Care we are dedicated to providing personalised care and we are thrilled that this came across in our most recent inspection. When people come to live with us we invest a lot of time in pulling together personalised care plans to make sure that our residents have a high quality of life and are comfortable and happy.

Associate Director Preet Shergill said, “We are proud to say that we are surrounded by staff who constantly want to see Merryfield be the best we can be. They strive for continuous improvement, innovation and to provide exceptional elderly care. The very positive CQC inspection result is testament to the outstanding work of the Merryfield team, volunteers and the Witney community”.

We would like to extend our congratulations and thanks to our hardworking and dedicated Merryfield House Nursing Home team. We recognise that without their professionalism and commitment, this would not have been possible.

Care Home Recruitment, Training & Development, Workforce Development

Helping Build The Next Generation Of Social Care Superstars

Everyday hundreds of social care workers quit. Scary when you are facing the prospect of an aging population and a sector that is already struggling to support everyone it needs to. Instead of sitting back, we are taking action.

We are working with local colleges and universities, such as the prestigious Oxford Brookes University, to show students just how amazing working in care can be. In November we had two students on work placements at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home. They worked closely with our staff and residents so that they could get a real feel for what a career in care is like.

Katherine and Christian took very different skills from their time with us. We wanted to make sure that we gave them work experience with as much variety as possible and it worked; they both expressed that they had learnt a lot, including skills they would certainly take forward.

Katherine was particularly interested to learn about personal care. She said, “Personal care was something very new to me as I had no previous care experience. I found this kind of experience eye opening and was surprised by the calm nature shown by the staff and residents in seemingly embarrassing situations.”

She also said that she gained very valuable communication skills. “Each day I would talk to residents and join in with the daily activities such as exercises, dancing, singing and knitting.”

Christian said that he was impressed to observe the personal care plans Bartlett’s employ to make sure that residents feel well looked after. He said, “There is no such thing as a general care plan at Bartlett’s, as each member of staff knows what fact or act will get the best out of each resident, how they like their hair to be combed, or what outfits they want to wear when they have visitors.” 

We were very pleased to see that both students enjoyed working alongside our staff. They both commented on how friendly and supportive they are, something that made us immensely proud.

Katherine and Christian were wonderful work experience students. The social care sector would certainly benefit if likeminded people made social care their career of choice. We hope to see them changing lives very soon. In the meantime, we will continue to invite tomorrow’s social care superstars here in the hope that we can show them what a great sector this is.





Community, Wellbeing

Intergenerational Days Are A Huge Success At Peverel Court Care

It all started as an experiment in Wales. Filmed for a TV programme, elderly people and children were brought together so that experts could analyse the mental health benefits for both, which it turns out were copious. Evidence suggests that intergenerational socialising increases confidence and improves language skills in children and improves the mood of elderly people.

At the same time plans were being completed to open the first nursery in Britain that shares its site with a nursing home. It opened in London in September. Bringing children and elderly people together is the latest trend in forward-thinking care provision for both.

Based on these successes, we’ve already started bringing local children and our residents together for a series of intergenerational days. We hosted one intergenerational day in August and another in November, bringing children from local Stone School to our premises to spend time with our residents and staff. We also invited the children and grandchildren of some our residents to participate in the day, which involved several games of balloon tennis, Snakes and Ladders and Fetch The Ducks. The day was a resounding success, and it will certainly be something we’ll be carrying on into the future.

The effect of the initial TV experiment and the resulting actions were so good that there are calls across the country to integrate child and elderly care permanently.We will keep an eye on how this develops over the next few years. We are and always will be about providing the best possible elderly care we can. This is our specialist area and it’s what we are good at. But if we know that something as achievable as bringing younger people onto the premises can have such a great impact on those we’re providing care for, then, of course, we will go out of our way to do it.

Our intergenerational days are part of Peverel Court Care’s ongoing commitment to offering effective care that increases the quality of life and is based on the best available evidence. Since we’re aware that there are so many benefits for our residents when they spend time with the younger generation, this is certainly something we’ll be looking to make a staple part of the provision of our care, available for any of our residents to take part in if they wish to.

And, let’s face it, it’s nice to see younger and older people coming together to make each other happy and spend quality time with one another. Perhaps these types of activities will tear down generational boundaries and pull everyone closer together.

Dementia, Personalisation, Training & Development, Workforce Development

The Importance Of Friendship At Peverel Court Care

After family, friends are usually the most important people in our lives. Modern family life can often mean our loved ones are geographically spread across the country. When we are older our children will likely have their own very busy lives to run. All of this may mean that they can’t see us as often as they would like and this is when our friendships become even more important. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. They support us in times of need. Often just knowing that they are there for us is enough to make us feel better.

Think about some of the best times you have ever had in your life. Undoubtedly some of those times will have taken place in the presence of friends.

They’re there for us in the best and worst of times. That’s why we foster and value friendships between our residents and carers at Peverel Court Care. Here are some of the reasons we think friendships here are so incredibly important.

Friendship helps our staff do their jobs better…

The main purpose of any staff member here at Peverel Court Care is to provide high-quality care to the elderly people who live here. Friendships help our staff to do that.

“I do consider myself to be a friend to them because I feel it from my own heart.  I could not do the job that I do, which is quite solitary at times in the lounges, without having those genuine emotional feelings towards our residents.” – Peverel Court Care Carer

When you offer the kind of comprehensive care we offer, it helps greatly if you have a genuine relationship with the people you are caring for. If you feel as though the person you’re taking care of is your friend, you are much more likely to give the best care you can at all times.

Some of our residents here are uncomfortable in social situations…

Some of our residents just can’t bring themselves to join in with the group activities we offer here. Some of them just don’t want to. For these individuals, the carers visiting their rooms are the only people they see all day. Those interactions need to be friendly otherwise those people are going to feel incredibly isolated.

Some of our residents don’t have anyone else…

Our job is to make sure that those who live with us have a high quality of life. For residents without family or friends of their own left, it is important that they feel as though they have valuable and important relationships with our carers. We don’t just want them to feel cared for; we also want them to feel cared about. We can’t give our residents the high-quality care we are striving for unless people really do care about them as individuals.

It’s important for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients…

We can’t sum this up any better than one of our carers did when we asked her about genuine friendships at work.

“There have been many times when a resident has literally poured their heart out to me with real visual emotion in their expression or body language or chatted away to me ten to the dozen smiling and laughing. Sometimes I have not been able to understand what they are saying. It is so important to maintain an interest, give direct eye contact, verbalise laughter and support, handhold if appropriate and show a keen interest in what they are saying. That is friendship. That is caring. No matter how severe the level of dementia or Alzheimer’s may be, they will know if we are not responding to their needs at that time. As human beings, we would offer this support to our own friends. If we didn’t then they would not share their problems with us again. To give great care, we need to offer this level of support and friendship.”

It’s in our nature and good for our mental health….

The Mental Health Foundation says that friendship is vital for mental health.

“Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us. Our friends can keep us grounded and can help us get things in perspective. It is worth putting effort into maintaining our friendships and making new friends. Friends form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us.”

For the mental health of our residents, it is vitally important that we foster meaningful and fulfilling friendships with our residents.

We’re all about friendship

Being around strong, meaningful friendships makes Peverel Court Care a happy place to be. There is an atmosphere of genuine care here because our carers really do hold our residents’ dear and they want to make sure they are doing the best for them. Sometimes when we are faced with difficult situations or sadness, those friendships can make our jobs more difficult, but still, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Friendship in care is the way forward. As they say; “When it hurts to look back and you’re scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your friends will be there.”

Care Management, Dementia

Dementia Care – The Peverel Court Care Commitment

Some of the brightest scientific minds have dedicated almost 100 years to researching Alzheimer’s. Billions of pounds has been spent, but little has changed for patients since Alois Alzheimer first began investigating in 1901. Alzheimer’s and dementia are more prevalent now than ever before because of modern medicine and resulting ageing population.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this. The disadvantage is that modern medicine and the resulting aging population means that more people need to face living with this terrible illness. The advantage is that the increase in cases means the microscope is honing in on a cure, preventative methods and ways to make life easier for those who are affected. Though it seems as though the illness has come from nowhere, scientists have actually been fighting to cure it for a century.

At the moment it’s making life easier we are interested in at Peverel Court Care. This is our way of battling dementia. We are committed to do everything we can to make sure our resident’s with dementia have the best quality of life available.

We recently invested in a dementia simulation tour bus to visit all three of our homes. It’s already visited Bartlett’s and next month it will make its way to Stone House and Merryfield. The bus was with us all day and could be experienced by three people at a time. Participants wear headphones, special glasses, special gloves and footwear and asked to complete simple tasks in a darkened room. The bus helps our staff and relatives to feel what it’s like to have dementia. We believe that this will help our staff to understand what it’s like to have dementia. We want them to remember this experience whenever they’re giving someone with dementia care and support.  We have also invited relatives and the local community to attend.

We are dedicated to making sure that dementia does not define the lives of our residents. We want them to be able to do everything everyone else can do. That’s why we designed our new Hambledon Wing in a manner that means residents with dementia can come in and out of the building easily, something that they struggle with if special elements are not in place, such as fluidity between the inside and outside and flowing paths without dead ends.

We are also committed to the training of our staff. We stay on top of developments regarding dementia and make sure our staff are up-to-date and fully trained.

Dementia does not mean the end of a life it’s just the beginning of a new phase. By fully training our teams and raising awareness we are focusing on making life easier for those struggling with this disease every single day.

Bartletts, Property Development, Wellbeing

We’re Proud to Present Our Brand New Hambledon Wing

On 6th October this year, we are proud to be opening our new Hambledon Wing. This brand new area of Bartlett’s Residential Care Home is the result of years of planning and hard work.

The Hambledon Wing will make room for twelve new residents in our newly designed suites and although we can’t wait to provide high-quality care to even more people, the new area is about much more than that. Research by Age UK has revealed that those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia ranked being provided with opportunities to take part in ordinary, everyday activities almost as highly as they did receiving a quicker diagnosis and getting the right support. That’s why we altered our original plans, which had room for fourteen new residents, and changed the use of the space we would have used for those additional suites into recreational areas.

The Hambledon Wing boasts a cinema room, library, private dining facility, assisted bathing facility and reception room.

It will also lead into a brand new dementia-friendly garden which has been specifically designed with continuous paths to ensure residents always return to their starting point.With a transition from inside to outside that’s easy on the eye, our residents suffering from dementia can easily access and enjoy it without cause for concern.

The new garden isn’t the only element of the new wing that took meticulous thought and planning. We wanted to make sure that our new wing improved the lives of everyone we give care and support to. Our cinema room was decided upon because research shows that movies significantly improve quality of life for older people, especially those with dementia, and our library was decided upon because research has indicated that libraries in a care home contribute to improved mood and memory. (Can we provide some links, reference to the research about movies and books)

The new Hambledon Wing is our next step towards the highest quality care possible. We know it will have a hugely positive impact on the quality of life of our residents. We look forward to our new residents moving in and to the many happy memories that will be created.


I Hope I Will Now Have Time To Draw

Peverel Court Care Introduce Our Resident Artist Kenneth Down

On arrival at Peverel Court Care, each one of our residents is asked a series of questions about their preferences and personality so that we can make their lives enjoyable and comfortable. It’s one of the most important parts of our work.

But once we spend more time with those who need our care and support, we learn so many other amazing things about them.

In the coming months we would like to introduce you to some of our residents. We’re beginning this week by telling you about the life of Kenneth Down, who lives at Bartlett’s Residential Care Home with his wife Lilian.

Kenneth is known to be a keen artist. He loves to draw. Though he has had some career success involving creativity when he worked in advertising and publishing, his first job was helping a milkman push the cart. His last job was as a civil servant before he retired in 1993. He says if he could have his time again he would put more emphasis on drawing, something he hopes to have more time to do now that he lives with us here.

When we asked him about his retirement he had these wise words to share:

“I have been retired for 20 years and it’s much the same as the other 43 years. Don’t believe a word!”

We can only guess that Kenneth is referring to how busy he has been both in employment and since he left work since he says repeatedly that he hopes he will now have time for drawing and social activities, though besides drawing he isn’t sure what he would like to do for entertainment. His likes include astronomy, Egyptology, athletics and some sciences.

Kenneth and Lilian have been married for 63 years and recently received a card from the Queen. On the day he married Lilian, Kenneth says he had “£6 in the world”. Together they had fourteen different homes throughout their married life, as well as a son – who is 56 and a doctor.

“He has been a wonderful son, especially lately. Our son never gives us any reason for regret and we love him and his wife and children.”

During the war Kenneth was living in Newquay, so he said there was no real hardship for him other than rationing, which they “got used to” but he did see a bombing.

“I saw a slick of bombs fall from a German plane over Newquay. They dropped in a field next to where my girlfriend lived. Their windows blew in.”

In 1948 when he was a signalman on a warship in the Mediterranean, Kenneth interrupted two NATO exercises. He was punished for falling into a harbour at Piraeus in Greece, where he struggled with the weeds at the bottom, and a trip in the back of a lorry near the Alps almost lead to death when they ran into a soldier and heard the safety catch on his gun removed. Kenneth has lived a busy life, punctuated with drama.

“I was the only boy to have the cane at my grammar school, for walking past my girlfriend’s school! That was in nineteen forty something when we were all in our early teens.”

For 34 years Kenneth and Lilian never had a holiday. Now, after a period of illness, they’re looking forward to relaxing here at Peverel Court Care.

“A real treat is what I am experiencing where I live now. I hope I will now have time to draw.”

Bartletts, Events

Happy Father’s Day

On Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. Although here in the UK the day does not have a long tradition compared to Mother’s Day, entering popular culture in the early 1940’s, at Peverel Court Care we are very much looking forward to celebrating the day.

Honouring fathers for all they give to their families. It is an ideal opportunity to spend some time appreciating Dads.

On Sunday relatives are invited to visit Bartlett’s, Stone House and Merryfield, to spend some quality time over tea and cakes.

It’s lovely to reflect on fond memories. We spoke to some of our residents about the stories they have of their fathers. There are some heart-warming, interesting and funny stories.

Celebration at home – Eric Wing

“At around six years old, and after an eventful day culminating in a Guy Fawkes Night celebration at home, I was given a lit sparkler by my Mother. For some inexplicable reason and with youthful exuberance running high, I thought it would be fun to surprise my Dad with it, applied to a very sensitive part of his anatomy. I had not reckoned on the fact it would burn through several layers of clothing and further inflict painful burns to his bottom! The consequential pursuit around the house as he tried to catch me was only halted by my Mother’s power of persuasion that the combined events of a special day and Guy Fawkes Night had tipped my excitement over the edge, and that I should be let off any retribution that he had in mind. Unbelievably, he agreed and retired from the chase nursing a very sore rear end. Sorry Dad! With all our Love & Best Wishes on Father’s Day, as ever. From your sons Stuart & Geoff and families”

Surveying, vegetables and the western front…a story about Peter Smith

“My Father was easy going good Lord yes.  He had a brother Uncle Harry.  My Father was a Quantity Surveyor which is why I became one.  I called him Dad.  He had a large garden where he grew vegetables.  My parents had a nice and happy marriage.  Father went to see his brother (Uncle Harry) who was a Console General in Algiers.  Father took Mum and me to visit him.  I remember staying at a house with a girl and her family who came from Algiers, I can’t remember her name.  Dad volunteered in the First World War and was posted in the Royal Field Artillery in France on the Western Front, he fired guns and survived.  He returned back here and met Mum and then had me”.

A shining light that shows you the way – Lesley Fisher by Sarah Nevard & Amy Nevard…

“Lesley’s husband was called Frank.  Sarah & Amy spoke with Lesley (Mum & Nan) about Frank and Sarah’s childhood memories.  They reminisced about Moat Park in Dover, Bank Holiday Monday Picnics, playing ball games and playing with a frisbee , learning to ride bikes with Shaun where Lesley (Mum & Nan) was always ready and waiting with the savlon and plasters.  Sarah says of her Dad “miss you Dad always in my thoughts and prayers”.  Sarah shared a verse that is written on a frame that she gave him and now has in her home: A Father is a shining light that shows you the way”.

Kindness matters – Dorothy Watson

“My Dad was a kind man, it means a lot being kind doesn’t it?”  He worked in an office.  He was a good Dad, a patient man.  He loved me and my sister, his family was his hobby.  We went to the seaside once we got a car, Wales also.  He wasn’t supposed to because of his heart, but he drank a lot of coffee.

Ida smiled throughout this chat about her Dad  – Ida Downs

“He loved his children so much he was lovely.  He used to go out a lot for a drink to the pub and spent a lot of money.  Mum didn’t tell him off not really because he was very nice.  He liked to be in a job.  He had clothes in his drawers and used to wear them.  He liked a drink outside of the house in the garden.  He had black hair and made you laugh.  He used to do all sorts and used to drink, he was a happy drunk.  I loved him.  He did the garden, he grew flowers and vegetables and I helped him I enjoyed eating his home-grown food.  Mum loved him and I loved him”.

Back for the Religious Holidays – Emanuel (Manny) Gerrard

“My Father was clever, he used to sell things for a Scottish company – sheepskin, goat skin and anything that had fleece on one side and leather on the other, kilts also, not in this country, in The Union.  I had a younger sister.  My Father was always travelling but always came back for the Religious Holidays.  I went to Synagogue with him and celebrated the Passover at home and the whole family gathered.  My Father was injured in a car accident between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the car rolled.  A few locals found him, called for help and they took my Father to hospital.  He broke his hip basin which had to be joined by wire, he had scars on his tummy but he carried on the best he could.  My Father spoke four languages, Hebrew, French, German and English.  Prayer books were originally written in Hebrew which was translated to English.  On Sabbath you cannot make fire or use lights, my neighbour came to remove the fridge light bulb.  In the Jewish community a ball of string was wrapped around in a circle, anything within the circle of the string was fine.  Hebrew people worship one God and there were slaves in Egypt, Pharaoh who let the Jewish people go, they went through the desert to reach River Jordan, the book is written by a famous Roman Historian”.

Blackrock Sands – Jeannie Kilpatrick

“We had fun when we went to Blackrock Sands in Wales, went to live there for a year whilst Dad was helping to build the Power Station, it was great fun.  I remember pinching Dad’s best roses for throwing at the Sunday Parade”.

Good advice – Kathleen Blanning

“Our Dad was a very good and honest man.  He never put anyone on a pedestal because he would say you’ll fall off.  Mum and Dad didn’t believe in vaccinations, my brother and me did not have them. My brother thought he was a good man also.  He was a hardworking man he couldn’t stand a lot of heavy clothes like me.  He would roll up his sleeves.  When he delivered to customers for his brother, he wore a kaki smock.  He was very protective of us.  He hated people who were dishonest, good advice of a common sense man.  His brother had a greengrocer shop in the village and my Dad had some customers in the villages who relied and trusted him before the war to deliver.  Dad was too young for World War I too old for World War II he didn’t get to fight in any war.  His brother lost his eyes in the war.  When Dad wasn’t well I would chop wood for the fire.  Dad’s Mother nursed him back to health and they had a nice unity”.

He was very handsome – Bridget Taylor

“I was born in India and had two sisters, Pam the youngest was born in England and Margaret in India.  My Father died when I was 9 years old.  “Mum married again when I was 14”.  The cook was mincing the meat and I watched him, he kept putting his finger in I was 3 or 4.  Father shouted your finger and rushed me to the sick bay, I can remember it well my Father was very good.  Mother told me off because I shouldn’t have been there.  He was in the Army a Mechanical Engineer he died in Britain.  He was in the Army in Hong Kong.  He was very handsome”.

Do you remember him in his uniform?  “yes.  We lived together, I was the eldest sister with two others.  I was walloped on the bottom for opening a parcel between 3 and 4 and my Father said you won’t do that again!” (Bridget really giggled when she told me this and her voice became louder from a whisper).  “Before he went into hospital with TB he was removed from the Army he died.  I didn’t go to the funeral but I saw Mum crying.  The Army gave us the option of staying in England or returning to India, she chose to return to India as we had lots of family there”.

How did you get back to India?  “We returned by ship, it took 6 weeks.  Mother met Ronald Beckett soon after we got to India, he was a kind man and we called him Dad.  In 1947 the family returned to England because we were thrown out of India when I was 15 years old”.

Bridget pointed to some photo albums in her room and showed me pictures of her and her family in India, they were fascinating!

The Golden Arrow and a pair of tickets – Eric Wing

Much of Dad’s childhood was spent watching his father drive the “Golden Arrow” steam train out of Victoria station on the way to Dover.  Our first family home, in 1956, was a flat on the top floor of Highlands Court, Gipsy Hill.  There Dad took great delight in standing on the balcony and showing us the trail of white steam billowing along the horizon from the engine pulling the “Golden Arrow” – still being driven by his father – again en route to Dover.  We could even hear the distant sound of the whistle as the train entered a tunnel and disappeared from sight.  Dad memorised the timetable, so we wouldn’t miss it!

Forty years later I took Dad (then aged 74) up to Victoria station to watch the departure of a specially chartered running of the “Golden Arrow”, once again on its famous route to Dover.  But this time, just before the train pulled out, I gave Dad a pair of tickets, and we climbed aboard.  That return journey – and all it meant to Dad – was one of the most memorable days of his (and my) life.


A Huge Happy 102nd Birthday To Keith And Mary

In recent weeks we have had the great honour of planning two very special occasions on behalf of two of our residents.

Keith Barnes and Mary Isherwood are both celebrating their 102nd birthdays.

Your birthday is the only day of the year on which you are given the right to celebrate yourself, your life and your achievements. Birthdays are incredibly important to us here at Peverel Court Care. We enjoy making a big fuss of anyone who is celebrating their special day.

We are especially glad to be celebrating such monumental birthdays with two of our most active residents

Keith moved to Bartlett’s in July 2016 from his home in Bournemouth so that he could be closer to his family, who live in the local area. Mary moved here in October last year. She’s always lived locally, but was looking for that extra bit of help. Both Keith and Mary enjoy getting involved in any activities available through our Bartlett’s activity teams, so we know that Keith appreciated the birthday party we threw for him last week, and that Mary will very much enjoy the one we have planned for her next month.

The families of both residents will be invited to attend their parties and as we always do, we’ll be asking our residents what they want to eat for their evening meal on their birthday. They can have anything they want. Through the years we’ve had some interesting requests but most people ask for old home cooked favourites specially prepared by our chefs, or for a takeaway.

We’d like to thank our activities coordinators for their dedication to our residents and their birthdays, and our staff for making these special days so memorable for our residents.

And to Mary and Keith we would like to wish you both a very happy birthday from everyone at Peverel Court Care.





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