Care Management, Wellbeing

The value of time spent outdoors

With summer in full-swing we are enjoying our outside spaces more than ever. Read on to discover the benefits of getting outside for older people, the many ways we enjoy the great outdoors in our care homes, and what our residents, staff and families love the most about getting outside.

The sun is out, the flowers are blooming and at Peverel Court Care Homes we are making the most of our outside spaces. We aim to do this all-year round (wrapping up against the cold when needed), but summer time naturally lends itself to more of our residents wanting to go outside.

Why is getting outside beneficial?

Natural England recommend that we all spend at least two hours a week outside to support our health and wellbeing. For older people, the benefits of getting outside are numerous, including:

  • Fresh air aiding oxygen intake – supporting everything from breathing to energy levels.
  • Natural light helping to regulate sleep patterns.
  • Sunlight providing natural vitamin D to boost immunity.
  • Outdoor activities like gardening helping a person’s appetite (as well as being sociable and fun).

Mental health is known to be particularly well-supported when time is spent in nature, as documented by The Mental Health Foundation’s work. Mind also support these concepts, explaining how time in nature can help everything from stress reduction to self-esteem boosting.



Getting outdoors at Peverel Court Care Homes

For all of these reasons and more we encourage our residents, staff and families to take advantage of our beautiful outside spaces to enjoy recreation, relaxation, celebrations, socialising and more. In groups we often enjoy getting outside to share meals, sports and simple pleasures like a cup of tea with sunshine and a gentle breeze on our faces. We also organise specific events in our gardens, recently enjoying animal therapy visits and a dog show thanks to our ongoing partnership with Paws PT, crazy golf, a vintage car show, food trucks, summer garden parties and, most recently of all, an outdoors cheese and wine tasting.

Our outside areas lend themselves ideally to one-to-one time too, with open spaces to explore and seating areas to rest. We love seeing our carers or family members walking (or wheeling) and talking with our residents, helping everyone to ‘Be Active’ and ‘Take Notice’ of the world around them, two facets of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. This evidenced-based programme – devised by the New Economics Foundation and consisting of Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give – is about practical actions we can all take to boost our wellbeing. We particularly like the Five Ways to Wellbeing because they are achievable daily for residents and staff alike.

Getting outside doesn’t stop within the boundaries of our care homes either. We actively encourage our residents to go out into their local communities as well as travelling further afield. Two of our most memorable recent trips in our PCC minibuses were to Ascot and Kew Gardens



What our residents, staff and families like most about spending time outside

Whilst knowing the reasons why getting outside is so beneficial for our bodies and minds is useful, it’s the feedback we get from our residents, staff and families about what they like most about getting outdoors that really makes us smile.

Joyce D said

“It’s lovely to sit outside here (Stone House), and a great place to socialise. I really enjoyed the cheese and wine tasting outside with the other ladies. The gardens are beautiful and we were blessed with lovely weather.”

John F said

“I enjoy my daily walks around the gardens. We are lucky to have so much space and the views of the Chilterns are wonderful. It’s lovely to have the animals so close to us too.”



About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business. Providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

Bartletts, Events, Food & Drink, Wellbeing

Holy Cow Tea Tasting – Bartlett’s & Stone House


Improving the quality of life for our residents is our core commitment. As care specialists, Peverel Court Care know how much of a positive effect sense and sensory activities can have on those living with dementia. That is why we welcomed a visit from Holy Cow Tea Tasting to Bartlett’s Residential Home.

Sensory stimulation is the practice of using everyday sounds, foods, objects and other items to awaken the senses and elicit a positive response or feeling. This technique is often used to help seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia because it can help them stay in the moment and interact with their current surroundings. Studies have shown that when done on a regular basis, sensory stimulation can be very helpful in treating memory issues. By offering different ways to communicate and engaging all five senses, seniors can see some improvement in daily functioning and cognitive symptoms.

Making invaluable connections and partnerships with organisations, such as Holy Cow, helps to enrich the lives of those residing with us, many of those living with dementia. New experiences have well-documented benefits to older people mentally, emotionally and physically, by improving emotional, social and cognitive abilities.




Visit Holy Cow’s Website

Poonam Gupta –

“It was a pleasure and an honour to talk about the wonderful beverage made by infusing the dried processed leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant with hot water known to all as TEA. I really enjoyed offering tastings of some of my loose-leaf teas and blends with the residents at Stone House and Bartletts Residential home. 

To see the residents take part and invoke their sense of smell, touch, taste while they shared their thoughts, preferences, feelings of the various teas.  Some also shared memories of how they enjoyed the beverage during their lifetime as everyone has a story to tell on how they enjoy this particular beverage.

There was discussion about how many residents actually enjoyed tea that had been brewed properly in a teapot.  We touched on tea history making reference to the Cutty Sark. Did you know this ship carried almost 10 million lbs of tea between 1870 and 1877. 

Thank you once again for inviting me. I really enjoyed my visit and all the staff were so warm and supportive to the residents, like a family. It reminded me of the following quote:”

If you are cold, tea will warm you. 

If you are too heated, it will cool you 

If you are depressed it will cheer you

If you are excited, it will calm you 

– William Ewart Gladstone, British 19th century Prime Minister




Poonam’s tea tasting session was well received by all. It was a new experience for everyone and residents enjoyed smelling, tasting and touching the teas, which induced memories of where they liked to enjoy their teas with friends, families and on holidays. Many residents asked questions about where the teas came from, how they were made and the flavours they could taste.

Providing activities to evoke memories and reflection helps to give residents a feeling of security and comfort but Bartlett’s is also keen to create new memories and opportunities for residents, enabling them to live stimulating and fulfilling lives. While moving into our homes is a new chapter for them, ensuring that our residents feel like they have a sense of purpose and like they are part of something special is so important. It was a memorable experience had by all!


Testimonials from Bartlett’s residents

Resident – June M :

What did you think of the experience? – “I thought it was interesting, and nice to do something different. I learned a lot from the session.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Probably if she provided different teas to try!” [laughing]

Resident – Janet F:

What did you think of the experience? “It was nice to try the teas. There were plenty I hadn’t tried before!”

Would you like to experience it again? “I would like to experience it again, but with coffee!” [laughing]

Resident – John F :

What did you think of the experience? “It was good fun, I liked many of the teas that were on offer.”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes I would, it was nice to be upstairs in the lounge too.”

Testimonials from Stone House residents

Resident – Joyce D:

What did you think of the experience? – “I thought it was fantastic! I was impressed by the flower tea, it was beautiful.”

Would you like to experience it again? – “Yes, I really enjoyed it. She said she had various other teas I would be interested in trying and would like them with cream cake!” [laughing]

Resident – Olive N:

What did you think of the experience? “It was a nice afternoon, I enjoyed trying the teas.”

Would you like to experience it again? “Yes, I would. It was interesting and nice to do something different.”

Resident – Heather L :

What did you think of the experience? “I thought it was great, I really liked learning the history of the teas!”

Would you like to experience it again? “I enjoyed it thank you, I wasn’t fond of all the teas, but she said there were others we could try in another session!”

Best Care Practices, Care Home Recruitment, Care Management, Leadership & Management, Uncategorized, Workforce Development

Respect at the heart of morale building

woman carer and woman resident


Respect at the heart of morale building. How it is an anchor to supporting carers with their levels of motivation and retention in their roles.

At Peverel Court Care, the individuals and teams across our three care homes are at the heart of our business. The service they provide to our residents daily. The warmth of hospitality our staff consistently delivers and the positive culture they create across each property.
Over the years, managers have always taken the well-being and happiness of staff into regular consideration. As an anchor to us, as a care provider, delivering the very best possible service to our residents. It is important to make staff feel valued in their jobs in roles that they enjoy and feel fulfilled.

Fundamental to this is respect being at the centre of our operations, for example, the benefits of each staff member treating one another with respect.

We apply some things in our mission to consistently deliver exceptional care.

  1. Provide positive recognition – Recognising carers who perform their job well and do it with a spirit of excellence is essential. Recognising staff members’ achievements through open or one-to-one praise assures individuals that their efforts are seen and appreciated.
  2. Listen and maintain open communication – Showing respect to carers includes regularly listening to their concerns and offering support. Invite feedback to ensure that you, as a manager, are doing your best to meet their needs and create an open, inclusive environment.
  3. Encourage autonomy and creative problem-solving – Empowering carers to solve their problems will boost morale and make them feel more respected and appreciated, mainly when their ideas and insights are considered and put into practice in the business. Staff then think they directly impact the quality of the day-to-day care delivered.
  4. Make their workplace meaningful – Workplace morale depends on a feeling of meaningfulness. Connect their job to larger, purpose-driven initiatives and set achievable goals to increase job satisfaction. An excellent example of this is carers being part of a highly respected healthcare workforce – across the UK by the public and their peers.
  5. Encourage professional development – Providing opportunities for carers to learn new skills and take on new challenges will keep them engaged and enthusiastic about their roles. At Peverel Court Care, we embrace a team member’s interests and hobbies by asking them to advise on ideas for activities for residents. Or plan and host events themselves.
  6. Create social opportunities – bolstering carers’ morale through camaraderie, encouraging carers to socialise and build relationships that support and sustain one another- for example, participating in a local activity together.

To learn more about what it is like to work for Peverel Court Care and our current job opportunities, visit our Work with Us page.

Visit: Work With Us

About Peverel Court Care

Peverel Court Care is a group of one residential and two nursing homes, located in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Bartlett’s Residential Care Home and Stone House Nursing Home in Aylesbury, and Merryfield House Nursing Home in Witney. We are a long-standing family business. Providing exceptional, personalised care, delivered by talented and compassionate people, in exclusive and idyllic settings.

With happiness at the heart of our homes, we recognise and respect the contribution made by our residents to society during their lifetimes. Valued by residents and their families; our reputation, investment in each property, and approach to appointing and developing our staff makes each home unique and the benchmark in premium care.

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.

Bartletts, Leadership & Management, Workforce Development

Our Very Well Deserved Staff Awards

We’re lucky enough to have teams staffed with dedicated and driven individuals, and we know that we must be capable of offering them more than just a job if we want them to stay with us. We spend an incredible amount of time developing our employees in the knowledge that we’re encouraging them to progress personally and professionally. For anyone who wants to stay at Peverel Court Care and work hard, there is a wonderful career to be had. A number of our employees have been with us for many years, progressing through the ranks and up into management positions.

We’re incredibly lucky to have our staff. Our recruitment teams do an excellent job at spotting the passion and talent we require when we’re looking for new people to join our teams. Those who work with us have a difficult job to do but, like most people who work in care, they often tell us that the sense of contentment they get from helping other people makes the more difficult parts of their job well worth the extra effort.

For us it’s really important that we’re able to give back to our employees, and one of the ways we do this is through our quarterly awards, in which an employee from each of our three care homes is nominated for their outstanding service. We know that these awards remind our employees how much we appreciate the work that they do and the commitment they show us.

When we give our awards to our employees, we also present them with something we know that they’ll appreciate, trying wherever we can to involve their family in all celebrations. Cecilia was this quarter’s nominee from Merryfield Nursing Care Home, and we rewarded her achievements with something we’ve been told she sincerely enjoys; a movie night at the cinema and a meal beforehand in Witney for her and her daughter Teresa.

At Stone House, our residents had given excellent feedback about the care three of our nurses were providing, so we rewarded them all with a quarterly employee award, a box of family chocolates and vouchers towards their Christmas shopping.

Our managers at Stone House said, “They were chosen because of their hard work and dedication to their job. Even when the carers have a full hand they still ‘muck’ in and help out to the best of their ability. They have been very flexible and have led by example. Their communication with the carers is second to none and even though we are experiencing a period of high dependency amongst the resident group – all of the residents are really thriving under their care. We have had a few residents who have passed away and they were able to do so with all of their dignity intact and wishes adhered to.”

We gave the same reward to Arlene at Bartlett’s, who was nominated for her hard work and dedication.

The care sector has difficulty holding on to its staff. The national average turnover rate for staff is 15%, but the care sector often struggles with a much higher rate of 32%. We’re proud to say that our own turnover rates are nowhere near this number. We believe this is partly due to making sure our recruitment processes are correct in the first instance, partly due to the training and development we give our staff, and partly due to the efforts we make to give our staff the recognition they deserve and make sure they know they’re appreciated. The job we all do can sometimes be a difficult one, and so we thank them for the excellent care they provide. Too often across our sector, a sector that relies so heavily on the competence and dedication of people, the extra effort staff make is not recognised. We’re happy to be one of the providers that gives as much back to it’s staff as it does to those we offer care and support to.

Stone House, Training & Development, Workforce Development

They’ve gone to great lengths to facilitate my studies

We pride ourselves on providing high quality care services. To do that, we need excellent leaders, who know how to steer teams of dedicated and committed staff, as well as frontline team members with excellent values and impeccable attitudes.

We’ve found this in Peter McClean, who works in Stone House Nursing Home. Peter has worked with us for eighteen months, and says he enjoys being part of a team that provide such high quality services.

“From my very first day it was clear that the service delivered to those in need at Peverel Court Care is of a very high standard. I have enjoyed being part of that type of outstanding care delivery, and contributing positively to the quality of life of those we care for.”

As we do with all of our managers who show desire to do so, we facilitated his studies towards a Level 5 NVQ Diploma in Management and Leadership. Peter showed an impressive attitude and ability and so, though he had joined us as a Registered Nurse, we promoted him to Deputy Manager of Merryfield Nursing Home. Our management teams have worked to support Peter since his career with us began. He’s now Care Manager at Stone House Nursing Home.

“Aside from training and academic growth, the Director and Senior Managers have always been very supportive and approachable, especially when I needed advice or consulting. This has enabled me to grow as a professional and as a person. Our Quality Assurance Manager Jill is always on hand to offer advice and guidance across all three homes. I found her help particularly worthy prior to our inspection in May, my first inspection in England, whereby I learned much from her experience. I find her role to be a great resource and asset to Peverel Court Care.”

Despite his enormous success at just 26 years of age, Peter’s aspirations don’t stop at his current position. He wants to further his career with Peverel Court Care as we continue to grow, and to become a registered manager. Our team of managers are strong, skilled and knowledgeable, and made up of individuals like Peter, who has the tenacity and dedication to progress as far as he wishes to go with us. We look forward to working with him into the future to provide care services that maintain quality of life, happiness and health for our elderly residents.

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