Over 60 years ago when Richard Carr-Gomm founded the Abbeyfield movement it was in the belief that older people should not face a life of loneliness and should be an important part of the community. His vision has been supported by mounting academic research which shows that loneliness and isolation are harmful to health.
In Abbeyfield & Wesley we aim to follow Richard Carr-Gomm's vision and work to create a sense of belonging that being part of a community brings.
Residents can be involved in activities or may decide not to - that is their choice. What is important is that opportunities are there for residents and the houses and schemes are not isolated from the rest of the community.
Meals are home cooked by staff. In supported sheltered housing residents eat together on a daily basis and this provides a structure to the day, an opportunity for social contact and also a source of pleasure! At least once a week, residents in sheltered schemes have the opportunity to get together and companionably enjoy a home cooked meal.
Eating meals alone is the biggest cause of unhappiness.
Golden Moments is about enriching the lives of older people everywhere through events, activities and initiatives that create connections with local communities, provide moments to look forward to and champion optimism for older people.
The nature of much of the housing provided by Abbeyfield & Wesley, is deliberately family style in design, which promotes social interaction. The Golden Movements campaign encourages additional "special moments".
The Doorstep Challenge Competition encourages residents and staff to make the front of their houses more attractice and working together there were some amazing results.
Pet Month saw a wide variety of animals make their way into houses.
Seasonal events such as Easter, St Patrick's Day, Christmas etc. are all enjoyed.
Breath of Fresh Air initiative aims to improve and enhance the health and well-being of older people by supporting them to enjoy the outdoors and nature.
Community Connections are central to all Abbeyfield & Wesley housing and care.
Children are always welcome and many local Primary Schools come to participate in a project or to entertain the residents such as those who visited Holywood and Carrickfergus to sing and the children from Donaghadee who helped residents in The Parade plant pots.
Arts Care is a charity which promotes the benefits to general well-being from participation in creative activities. Artists facilitate workshops to make art accessible to residents in social care settings.
Arts Care have worked with Abbeyfield & Wesley to create connections for our residents through an Abbeyfield 60th Anniversary project. Residents worked with creative writer Michelle Garvey and artist Grainne Kelly to produce a large scale felt work called "Home is...". Workshops took place in Ballymena, Lurgan, Donaghadee and Greenisland with the artists bringing all the pieces together.