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January 2022 - Curtain Up on a Great Evening Out!

Nothing beats a good night out at the theatre and Ms K’s mum obviously agrees! She tasked us with arranging a trip for her daughter and we plumped for the musical Hairspray at The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham.
Team Leader Laura thought Shae would be the best member of staff to go with Ms K as they get on really well and have a good bond.
For those of you who don’t know, Hairspray has been entertaining audiences and breaking box office records on the West End, Broadway and beyond since 2002. It has even made it to the big screen starring Nikki Blonski in her film debut and featuring John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken amongst others.
The show is set in Baltimore in the 60s and is the story of Tracy Turnblad, a young girl with big hair, big dreams and a big crush on teen idol Link Larkin. It features many show stopping numbers including Welcome to the 60s, You Can’t Stop the Beat and Good Morning Baltimore. This production stars Brenda Edwards as Motormouth Maybelle and Norman Pace as Wilbur Turnblad.
We didn’t tell Ms K until the day of the trip and to say she was excited would be an understatement. The theatre staff were very friendly and accommodating to the extent that they even helped provide a cup of tea for Ms K while she was watching the show.
She thoroughly enjoyed herself, clapping her hands and smiling throughout. Plans are already afoot for another visit to The Everyman in March to see a new musical, The Osmonds.

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December 2021 - Fun and Games at Christmas!

As it’s the Christmas month we have had lots going on, so thought we would share a few photos of our activities.
Mr T went ice skating with Katy. Here Katy explains the experience:

Mr T, staff and Mum went ice skating!  We began the day by getting ready and into the car. Mr T was wide awake and very happy and bouncy.

Once we got to the ice rink we put our skates on and went on the ice. Luckily it was very wheelchair accessible and we got on, nearly falling over, which we all found funny. Staff took Mr T round the ice rink and he was bouncing away enjoying himself.

We even got one of the staff members, who was a real speedster, to take Mr T round as he enjoys going fast.

Mr J went to Matson to see the Christmas lights.

Mr M went ice skating with Ben.

Also this month Miss F has thoroughly enjoyed putting together each piece and adding to her very own advent house. She particularly liked putting on all the different animals. Staff supported her to find the numbers and fit it together each day.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from all at Carich Care!

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November 2021 - A Special Birthday Treat for Ms K!
Everyone has missed celebrating with family and friends over the last couple of years and our service users are, of course, no exception. So it was a particularly joyful occasion to get together friends and family with members of our staff to celebrate Ms K’s 42nd birthday.
Ms K loves her local pub so this was chosen as the venue. Invites and menus were issued, orders taken and, on 25th November, the long-awaited celebration finally happened.
As well as her proud parents, others in attendance were Uncle Aaron, Aunty Margaret and her friend Sally and Aunty Lucy, who is godmother to both Ms K and her sister. Providing support from Carich Care were Team Leader Laura, Keyworker Becky and Carol Haines, the Registered Manager.
The bar staff deserve a special mention as they were amazing. The food was excellent and meals were served quickly and with little fuss. They made sure to be especially attentive to Ms K and her requirements.
After the meal the cake was presented to a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, much to the birthday girl’s delight! It took her several attempts to blow out all the candles, much to her own amusement.
Ms K thoroughly enjoyed being the centre of attention and rightly so. As she said, “It’s my birthday after all”.
After the miserable times everyone has suffered during Covid and lockdown, it was a real pleasure for our staff to help a family enjoy such a special occasion.
Roll on the next celebration!

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October 2021 - Top Tips & Champers!

When I received this email from Alex Hayward at ASH Healthcare Training I couldn’t resist the opportunity for a jolly.
I’m very excited as, not only have we recently been accredited to deliver NCFE/Cache qualifications, including the Level 5 Assistant Practitioner qualification, but we are now endorsed providers for Skills for Care. We have worked extremely hard to get these accreditations and are very proud of all of our trainers. The Skills for Care Endorsement is important as it is a nationally recognised sign of excellence, not only in the training we deliver but also in how we respond to your needs and how we monitor ourselves, continually striving to improve.
 If you are able to visit us in Birmingham, at the Care Show on the 13th or 14th of October, there will be a glass of bubbly (or two!) waiting for you. We would love you to be able to join us in our celebrations.
Carol Haines and I both registered and headed off to Birmingham.
The first presentation we attended was ‘Recruitment & Retention – The Health & Social Care Club’ where we picked up many top tips. The first was making your application process digital and ensuring that it was user friendly. Secondly, contact applicants without delay so that they aren’t snapped up by other organisations. It is also important to keep in contact with them while their application is processed.
For retention they stressed the importance of continued communications with staff and ideas of how to reward their loyalty. They also suggested contacting people who we have had previously expressed an interest in work with your company but had not worked out at that time.
Next was a presentation entitled ‘The Future of Social Care.’ The key point was about rebranding social care so that instead of people referring to themselves as ‘just a carer’ we actually have a younger generation that says ‘when I grow up I want to be a carer”
We thoroughly enjoyed looking around the stalls and of course this involved a glass of champagne with ASH Training, not to mention lots of chocolate.
Carol H was particularly impressed by this weighted bean bag.

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September 2021 Miss K – Our Disco Queen!

Kingfisher Treasure Seekers organise lots of local events for people with learning difficulties, mental health challenges and complex needs. One of these events is a regular disco and Miss K was keen to go!
The staff began helping her get ready at 5.00pm for the pre-booked taxi at 6.30pm. Miss K really enjoyed the preparation process, picking out a suitably sparkly outfit, putting on her perfume and having her hair done.
So, with bag packed and mascot octopus in hand, she was ready for the off. The taxi arrived promptly at 6.30pm and Miss K was enthralled. The driver immediately became a good friend and received a barrage of blown kisses and endearments.
We realised there was a slight problem as the taxi was a size too small for the wheelchair. A quick adjustment or two and the problem was solved. With Miss K and the two staff members (and octopus) safely installed the taxi headed for the disco.
To say Miss K enjoyed the journey would be an understatement. Plenty of enthusiastic phrases including “Oh my God!”, “Wow!” and “Yes!” were heard along the way.
Once inside Miss K’s face lit up as she took in the coloured lights, people dancing and the fantastic music. A member of staff helped her find a table while the other went to get some refreshments. Miss K was soon enjoying a cup of tea and mouthfuls of crisps, much to the amusement of the staff.
Then the dancing began, with lots of clapping and hugs for the staff. She clearly recognised many of the songs being played and was constantly smiling and laughing. Lots of people came up to say hello and Miss K enjoyed this social aspect of the occasion.
At one point a song from Mama Mia, one of her favourite films, was played. Miss K immediately stopped laughing as she began to recognise it. Then that smile returned and she started happily clapping along.
All too soon 8.30pm rolled around and it was time to leave. Miss K seemed reluctant but was soon cheered by the sight of the friendly taxi driver.
All in all a wonderful evening, thanks to the lovely people at Kingfishers.

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August 2021 Carich Care Needs You!

You may have heard that there are vacancies in the Care sector and Carich Care is no exception. However, you won’t be aware of the unique situation at Carich Care. We have three more members of staff depart on maternity leave recently, meaning that in the two and a half years we have been operating our small staff team will have had no less than ten babies!
Whilst we are obviously delighted for all the new mums, we do find ourselves with a staffing predicament.  
We have been working with Mr T for a year now, supporting him in his family home. He has just secured his own house so needs Carich Care to increase his total support hours from just a few a week to a package of 339 hours per week.
In addition Mr G, who has been isolating with his parents since the start of the pandemic, is now ready to transition back to our support.
The result is we need more and more staff!
We have followed traditional recruitment routes and placed adverts with Indeed and Glosjobs, together with postings on various Facebook sites. Unfortunately we found we just weren’t getting the right sort of candidates applying.
We concluded we needed a completely new approach to recruitment and tasked Chloe and Tracey with leading a new campaign. Tracey attended a recruitment seminar and ideas were soon flowing.
A staff questionnaire was organised with chocolates being offered as an incentive for completing it. In addition staff were asked to submit reviews to our Indeed employer’s page. Our job adverts were rewritten and a batch of fresh advertising undertaken.
As a result we have been able to appoint five new members of staff with a further three due to be interviewed.
However, we still need more! If you are looking for a job in the Care sector or know someone who is then do get in touch.
There may be chocolates!

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July 2021 Carich Care & Creative Behavioural Solutions to the Rescue!

At 2pm on Friday 23rd July I took a desperate call from a Care Commissioner, someone I had worked well with for many years. She had a problem.
The mother of a family she was working with needed an urgent operation and needed to self-isolate for three days beforehand. Respite care had been booked but, due to Covid, the facility had to shut with immediate effect. Her daughter would normally help but she had been pinged by the NHS app so was also self-isolating.
2:1 support was urgently needed for her son, Mr Y, from lunchtime Sunday 25th to 9am Tuesday 27th. Quite a dilemma.
Carich Care has a close relationship with Creative Behavioural Solutions and they were my first port of call for staff help.  Fortunately Lisa was available from 1pm Sunday until 8pm Monday. Next was a message to our own Shift Cover Group, resulting in Rebecca and Becki volunteering.
Mr Y’s mother was able to give us some good advice, with some top tips added by the manager of his day service. Lisa and Rebecca arrived just as the mother was leaving, so the girls were really thrown in at the deep end!
So how did they get on? Here are a few words from Lisa:
“At this point of my career I have had very little experience of care support but plenty working with adults with additional needs, so this was an exciting opportunity for me. I was paired with the lovely Rebecca but, as Mr Y wasn’t a Carich Care service user, we had little information to go on.
“We ended up having a great weekend getting to know him and his amazing sense of humour. There was constant laughter and mischief getting up to his favourite activities such as pillow fights, football and listening to music. Crazy Frog proved to be a particular hit.
“There were some challenges, of course, as we had no information about his routines, but we worked it through together. I feel very privileged to have spent a couple of days with Mr Y and learned a lot.”
Huge thanks to Lisa, Rebecca & Becki for stepping in at such short notice and coping so very well.

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June 2021 Food for Thought!  Nutrition & Mental Health
I was interested to read recently that there has been fresh research showing a clear link between a well-balanced diet and good mental health and a sense of wellbeing.
Eating well can be defined as eating in ways that:

It is vitally important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet to sustain our mental and physical health.  Here are some simple ways of doing that:

I am pleased to say that at Carich Care we are well aware of the importance of nutrition and ensure that we pay careful attention to each individual’s dietary needs.   

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May 2021 Mr Green Grass Grows Some Hair!
Who is Mr Green Grass I hear you say?  Well I’m glad you asked!
Ms F found a story book which she asked the staff to read to her.  It featured the adventures of a chap called Mr Green Grass.  Now don’t go confusing him with the late Bill Maynard’s character Greengrass from TV’s Heartbeat.  He is a distinctly different person.
Anyway, the staff had the idea that they could help bring Mr Green Grass to life by planting some grass that Ms F could tend to every day.  So they helped her to plant some cress seeds and supported her watering them regularly.
Once he had grown some hair, Mr Green Grass encouraged Ms F to explore her garden more thoroughly and a game of hide and seek ensued.  She eventually found him under some flower bushes.
For a while he stayed in the conservatory but, once the weather improved, he has been put outside, where he likes it best.
Mr Green Grass has sported more hairstyles than David Beckham and inspired Ms F to create several imaginative adventures for him and to tell us his tales.  In fact she recently went on an adventure of her own, trekking down the Dursley Sculpture Trail, and returned with a wonderful acorn ‘pipe’ for her flowery friend.
We hope to be able to report more exciting tales of Mr Green Grass in the future. Watch this space!

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April 2021 How an iPad has Changed Mr J’s Life
If you have read some of our previous blogs then you will know that we are very keen on utilising technology to help with running our homes and generally improve our working methods.  As part of our Care Control system, for example, we use iPads to record daily notes and videos of activities our service users have enjoyed which can be shared amongst the team.
Mr J is challenged with autism.  He is unable to speak and communicates via a mixture of Makaton sign language and his own made up signs.  It is important for us to increase the range of Mr J’s communication to allow him more control over his life while encouraging him not to use behaviour which can be challenging.
Now Mr J is very quick to learn new skills and took an instant interest in our iPads.  He was soon able to access the photos of himself to the extent that he would show staff coming on duty photos and videos of what he had been doing earlier that day. 
As Christmas came along the staff discussed the possibility of getting Mr J an iPad.  Eventually we were able to locate a funding source which enabled him to purchase one as a Christmas present for himself.
To say he was pleased would be an understatement!

Here’s what the staff had to say:

When Mr J opened his iPad on Christmas Day he was very excited and couldn’t wait to start watching his videos on it. I downloaded a communication app for him which he will sometimes use when prompted to communicate with staff. He enjoys watching videos on YouTube on it and playing his games - matching pairs and sensory ones are his favourites. Mr J is very good at knowing how to use things and sometimes even teaches staff!

Mr J was a natural with the iPad. He took to it straight away, already knowing what to do with them. He likes his down time in a dark room with his iPad so he can get more benefits from the sensory apps and watching airplanes on YouTube.

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March 2021

Getting our Service Users Involved
A specialism of Carol Haines and I is constantly looking at innovative ways to involve our service users in the running of their lives on a day to day basis.

In 2018, whilst working in residential care, the team that Carol and I were leading was awarded an ‘OUTSTANDING’ grade by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We had worked with our service users to find ways in which they could have more control of their lives.

Some of the ideas were quite simple, such as buying a one cup dispensing kettle. This not only reduced the risk posed by a boiling kettle but also gave people with limited dexterity the ability to dispense hot water.

Following on from this we began purchasing products such as porridge pots and cup a soups so that the service user could learn to take a lead role in making their breakfast and lunch.

But one of our proudest achievements was supporting service users to take a lead role in dispensing their own medication. Each service user had a different protocol, as everyone needed different support, but basically we created a crib sheet with a photo of the tablet as well as its name. The service users learned to match the tablet with the crib sheet before taking it and we believe that this made a huge difference in the service users lives.

We have brought this innovative approach to Carich Care.

In our blog last month I talked about Ms K who is quadriplegic and needs support with just about everything.

The staff team have thought about the changes that can be made to improve Ms K’s involvement in activities. Now, rather than purchasing four pint cartons of milk, they have swapped to purchasing one pint cartons which are much easier for Ms K to handle. They also found some non-slip matting to put Ms K’s plate on so that it doesn’t move when she is being supported to butter her sandwich.

We firmly believe that innovation is the key to getting our service users involved and allowing them to make decisions themselves enhances their quality of life.

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February 2021

Introducing Ms K!

This month I’d like to concentrate on one of our service users, Ms K.

Firstly, here is some background from her parents:

K was very poorly when she was born and was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic.  She attended Milestones and Betteridge schools and we were grateful for respite care from Trees Day Centre and the James Hopkins Trust.

When she was 19 she went to live residentially in Tewkesbury and remained there until December 2020.  The additional pressures brought about by Covid meant that the home felt they were no longer able to care for her.

We were left with the heart breaking decision of having to move her.  Luckily we were introduced to Carol Dyer’s company, Carich Care, and the Registered Manager who would be looking after K, Carol Haines.

These ladies suggested that K would be ideally suited to supported living, rather than a residential home, a concept that was new and somewhat alien to us.  We need not have worried.

K now has her own flat comprising a living room, bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom.  She even has an area in the bedroom that has become K’s Salon!  She receives 24 hour care on a 1:1 basis and for 6 hours a day has two carers in attendance.

We could not believe the amazing photos of K making her own sandwiches and assisting making a cup of tea.  She seems to have settled in so quickly and clearly loves her carers. 

Well done to everyone at Carich Care and we look forward to reporting the next chapter in her life after lockdown.

I’ll give the final word to one of K’s Key Workers, Becky:

K is settling in well, enjoying making decisions in her life and choosing what she does each day.  She takes a great pride in being supported to make her own meals and drinks.  When asked “Who makes the cups of tea?” she instantly responds “Me!”

K has a wonderful sense of humour and an infectious laugh.  She is currently planning a movie night for herself and staff. 

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January 2021
It’s Official – We are ‘Good’ at what we do!

Now I have always believed that we offer an excellent service so it was exciting and very pleasing to have this confirmed by an independent body.
Inclusion Gloucestershire is an independent charity that provides a peer-led quality checking service throughout the county for people with disabilities or mental health issues.  Under normal services they visit accommodation where people are supported to discuss the services provided and find out about their way of life.
During our present circumstances they have been conducting their Quality Checks via video calls.  We were recently pleased to arrange a call for one of our properties.
The Quality Check found that we are:

Overall the support that Carich Care gives our service users was found to be Good.
That leaves us some challenges to become Very Good overall and we have been given an Action Plan of things we can improve on. These include offering our service users even more choice of activities and providing specific staff training, things we already have in hand.
We will have further contact with Inclusion Gloucestershire later in the year so they can assess our progress in these areas.
I was especially pleased with these comments in the report:
“We were shown round the setting via Zoom.  We observed there were plenty of sensory ‘toys’, bean bags and a tent made out of blankets.  There were also photos on the walls and the rooms were clean and tidy.”
“People are at ease with staff members and relaxed in their company.”
“Staff speak respectfully and treat people with dignity.”
“Staff have ensured people have been able to maintain contact with family members throughout Covid by setting up Skype.”
“Staff spend time with people to alleviate feelings of loneliness.”
“Staff listen to people and check that they are enjoying the activities they are involved with.”

Overall we are extremely pleased with the report and rightly proud of both our staff and the service we provide.

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Carich Care Bulletin – July 2020
Mr M gets a Taste for Sensory Activities!
The team have recently become aware, due to some of Mr M’s behaviour, that we did not understand all he wanted to communicate and so could not meet all his needs.  At the team’s suggestion, we contacted the Community Learning Disability Team (CLDT) for some ideas to help us support Mr M and meet his needs.
We worked with CLDT for some eight weeks via online Zoom meetings.  The team were able to establish that Mr M is what is known as a ‘sensory seeker’.  This means he is constantly seeking sensory stimulation.  We also established that he gets ‘locked in’ to certain activities, such as watching TV, which means it is harder for him to engage with anything else.
With our new knowledge we set about creating a plan for Mr M’s day that comprised lots of short activities involving plenty of sensory stimulation.  Firstly we planned a walk to the park for a game of catch.  Mr M had other ideas, though, and by holding onto the door of his car he indicated that he would rather drive than walk.  Excellent communication skills there!
Another idea was to set up an obstacle course in the garden.  This involved throwing hoops and knocking down cans.  Although Mr M seemed to enjoy kicking the cans over, he soon appeared to be bored.
The team decided it was best to let Mr M show them what activity he wants to do.  He does this by taking the staff member to the activity he wants to undertake, usually playing catch in the garden or listening to music.
However, we have come across one activity that fully engages his sensory perceptions – food tasting!  This involves placing several strong-tasting foods on a plate and allowing Mr M to sample them.  These have included, for example, lemon, curry powder and anchovies.
This has proved a great success and a marvellous way of getting to know Mr M.  And we’ve discovered he absolutely loves feta cheese! 

Staff News
The team ended lockdown with a training session.  Everyone agreed it is very strange trying to carry out physical intervention and escape techniques while maintaining 2 metre distancing!

We also carried out a staff survey to establish how best we could support our team who have worked so tirelessly and diligently throughout lockdown.  As an encouragement, we offered everyone who completed the survey entry in to a prize draw.
Laura was the lucky winner of a £40 supermarket voucher.

This month we helped Maisie, Cherrie and Eva celebrate their birthdays.

Out and About!
This month we have been everywhere with Miss F, Mr J and Mr M!
We have been to (deep breath) Gloucester airport, Priors Park in Tewkesbury, a nature reserve, Stratford Park, Catch a Smile, City Farm, Haresfield Beacon, Minchinhampton Common, Plock Court and Robinswood Hill.
We are all exhausted but our clients seem eager for more adventures!
Here is a selection of photos of our travels.

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Carich Care Bulletin – June 2020

Lots of lovely June weather meant we were able to have plenty of adventures this month.  I’ve divided them up per client.

Mr J

Here he is watching his car get a good clean.  He seems to like watching people work as he’s been keeping an eye on the construction going on next door.

When he’s not doing that he enjoys a socially distanced walk in the park followed by a picnic.

Back home again Mr J loves to make music.  He’d benefit from some support so if you play guitar you might consider applying online to help him out.

Talking of support, we have introduced Mr J to the delights of digital photography.  He loves to look at the photos the staff have taken of him.  He can then show them to his visitors.  This has become a very special aid for Mr J as he is unable to communicate verbally.
Miss F
There’s something about Miss F and water.  Here she is in her paddling pool.

Next up some creative time.

Followed by a ride on her tandem.

And down the slide in the park!

Phew, what a day!  Time for Miss F to soak her feet.  See what I mean about water?

Mr M
Meanwhile Mr M has been on a trip to Weston for the day.

And taking advantage of the fine weather, he’s been exploring on long walks.

After such a hectic schedule it’s good to relax in front of the TV for a while.

We helped Becki celebrate this month.  Who said ‘not long till thirty’?

New Staff
We are pleased to welcome Eva to the team.

Staff Appreciation
We always appreciate the continuing support of our staff so we thought we would show a small measure of our gratitude by having these special staff mugs made for them.  Each features their own drink of choice.  Well, during work time at least.  Now all we have to do is find some space to store them all…

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Carich Care Bulletin – May 2020
VE Day at Sunny View and the Making of New Friends
Tracey reports interesting times at Sunny View with Miss F:
On 8th May 1945 the nation was awaking to the beginning of a new world, a world of peace and a victory over austerity. 75 years later and the world is facing another new beginning as we celebrate the military heroes that fought for our country.

These days we celebrate and applaud our NHS heroes as we are fighting and defending ourselves against a very real, but invisible enemy. So the 75th year celebration for VE was very different to how anyone had ever expected it to play out. However, the last couple of months has made Britain come together, much like they had to during WW2.

Whilst there were only socially distanced street parties, we didn’t let that stop us from commemorating the day at Sunny View. Staff and resident spent time making and decorating union flag bunting during the week and then Friday morning we stuck it up alongside the rainbow in the porch window. Both are symbols of strength and hope for the future.

On the Thursday evening during the weekly “Clap for Carers” a gentleman who lives opposite Sunny View came over to speak to a staff member about how he was a carer for his wife and he had seen us working with the young lady at the house, and he wanted to buy her some chocolate and he would bring it over to us one day. When this was shared within the staff WhatsApp group, everyone was incredibly touched by his generosity and for reaching out.

We all wanted to do something nice for them and seeing as it was VE Day the following day maybe it would be nice to send them over the elements for them to have a proper British cream tea. So Friday morning, staff and resident of Sunny View put together a care package.

We made fresh homemade scones and sent this over in a basket with jam, clotted cream, strawberries and a box of English Breakfast tea bags. It was a great activity that Miss F really enjoyed doing and helped us to introduce her and the company to the local community. At 11am staff encouraged Miss F to come to the front door and to observe the 2 minutes silence. Social distancing won’t let us forget what the older generation did for us. 

After VE Day we seem to have made a small impression on the street. Miss F received a box of Milk Tray (which disappeared rather quickly!) and the carers were sent over a care package of chocolates, wine and fruit along with a card. It is small gestures that can make the difference and spark up a community understanding of supported living and treating everyone equally.

Sighting the Severn Boar?
Laura reports on a recent trip:
I visited the Forest of Dean with Miss F where we were came across some wild pigs which startled the life out of us!
I feel I have built a good relationship with Miss F.

An Unexpected Gift
Miss F was the lucky recipient of a lovely lockdown hamper from a neighbour after our VE Day celebrations.

Enjoying the Peace
One unexpected benefit of the lockdown has been the absence of traffic noise and pollution and the opportunity to really enjoy nature.  Here’s Mr M doing just that on a trip to the Forest of Dean with Macey.

Seeing the Sites!
Ceri hasn’t been straying too far but still managed to find something interesting.
Excitement at the construction site across the road! The diggers, dumper trucks and cranes have been busy working hard providing hours of joy and entertainment for a young man, breaking the lockdown boredom.
This has certainly been a highlight for me, to see the joy and excitement from Mr J. Even the sunburn was worth it!

Fruit & Veg vs Chocolate
It’s a no brainer isn’t it, but it left Mass searching for a way to get Mr M to eat fruit and vegetables rather than his preferred carbs and chocs

Then Mass made a discovery.  If you chop the healthy options up and pop them in a plastic container, then Mr M will merrily munch on them whilst going for a drive.  In fact, he ate the whole lot!
Becky’s birthday had to be spent in self-isolation so we cheered her up with a special afternoon tea package.

Bex was also a recipient of a birthday package

New Staff
There were more additions to the team this month.
First up is Macey Stokes.
Also joining us is Carla Dunn.
And our final newcomer this month is Maisie King.
Continuing Professional Development
Sandra completed her Health & Social Care qualification this month.
As we prepare for life in the ‘new normal’, all of the staff completed their Infection Prevention & Control training – via a Zoom conference!

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Carich Care Bulletin – April 2020
Enjoying Easter!
Well we weren’t going to let a little thing like a coronavirus lockdown ruin our fun were we?

Great times were had at both Woodlea and Sunny View.  In fact it turned out that hunting for the Easter eggs was more fun than actually eating them!
Agents of Shield!
Of course we can’t ignore these strange times and as the government moved us into a period of ‘sustained transmission’ we stepped up our use of PPE.
Here is Carole modelling one of our face shields:

Out and About
It will take more than coronavirus to keep us indoors!  Here’s Ceri’s take on the month’s trips:
During such a confusing and routine destroying time that is covid-19, our individuals have been enjoying self-regulating walks, exploring the Forest of Dean and the beautiful outdoors.
We visited Stratford Park and one individual hiked over all different terrain and even climbed a style with support, while another person enjoyed visiting the ducks and watched them so peacefully. 

I was so proud of Mr M walking nearly 3 miles in the Forest, even past dogs after one startled him. Finally, Mr J made my week when he was jogging with me in the Forest.
Tracey celebrated her birthday with a gift from her colleagues.

And Jade was another with a birthday this month.

New Staff
We are pleased to welcome another new face to our ever expanding team.  Meet Ceri Davies.

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Carich Care Bulletin – March 2020
Report gives Carich Care a “Good” Rating!
We received a visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and were subsequently given a detailed report.  Carich Care was rated as GOOD overall, an outstanding achievement given the short time that we have been operating.
The report can be viewed here:
Monkeying About!
This month’s big treat for the boys, Mr G, Mr J and Mr M, was a supported trip to Monkey World.
On selected dates throughout the year Monkey World hold Autism Friendly Days.  Autistic visitors and their guests can access the park from 9am, an hour earlier than the opening time for the public, ensuring they avoid potentially stressful queuing.

There is no need to pre-book and all the staff are aware of additional needs.  There is also a specially prepared sensory trail as well as dedicated chill out spaces.
Needless to say the boys had a wonderful day.

Coronavirus Hits

Coronavirus hot the UK while Carol D was on holiday on South Africa.  Fortunately she made it back home safely. 
It has meant that we have all had to learn yet more technological skills and we are now able to take part in Zoom conference calls.  In fact Carol D was even able to do some work on holiday:

Not a bad view, I’m sure you’d agree!
It was Debbie’s birthday this month and she was the first to receive the Lockdown Birthday Experience!

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Carich Care Bulletin – February 2020
Enjoying the Lights at Lunar City!
You may not be aware of the wonderful facilities available at Lunar City in the heart of Gloucester.  The self-styed “supersonic inflatable city” provides a variety of activities for adventurous people of all ages. 
In addition it puts on sessions specifically for people with disabilities and carers go free!  You can check out their website here:
Becky visited with Mr J:
I enjoyed supporting Mr J at Lunar City, GL1.  He slowly got more confident moving around and certainly appeared to enjoy watching the lights and listening to the music. The relaxed atmosphere was just perfect.
In the car on his way back his face lit up when he saw the barbers and the night club and I’ve suggested these might be added to his possible future activities! When I arrived on shift on Sunday morning, I was greeted by an excited Mr J who signed ‘bounce’ enthusiastically to me!

Out for a Duck!
Miss F had an enjoyable time feeding the ducks accompanied by Tracey.

At the Airport

Meanwhile Mr J and Kelly were plane spotting at Gloucester Airport.
It was a month of birthdays featuring the three Carol(e)s!
Carol H kicked us off, celebrating in style at Celtic Manor.
Next up was Carole, here seen with the wonderful gifts her colleagues provided.
And then it was Carol D’s turn.  Why would anyone think this was an appropriate present though?
Finally it was Mr M, who shares a birthday with Carol D.  Here is seen opening his presents before enjoying a meal out with his parents.
Continuing Professional Development

Alex from Ash Training delivered a training session on autism for all the staff team.

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Carich Care Bulletin – January 2020
Our Office is Finally Ready!
I am pleased to say that the Carich Care office has been completed and is now fully functioning.  This sign seems to be appropriate so I may have to commission something similar…

Sensory Equipment Installed
Mr J successfully applied for a grant from the Barnwood Trust for sensory items and equipment as we wanted to make the sitting room more appealing for those with sensory processing needs.  The room now has a light projector, multi-coloured sensory rug and a den area complete with multi-coloured materials of different textures.
In addition Mr J has his own light up gloves and a giant beanbag!
On Yer Bike!

Miss F had an exciting opportunity to go cycling at Podsmead.
A Trip to the Panto – Oh Yes they Did!!
As a seasonal treat Mr J and Miss F went to the Stanley Players pantomime at Kings Stanley Village Hall to see Carol D and Tracey performing in Beauty and the Beast.  I’m not saying which was which…

Case Study
We were joined recently by a student working in the field of autism.  Here is her report of her time with us:
I am currently studying for my MSc in Positive Behaviour Support at the University of Kent and for my work based learning module I had to help reduce a challenging behaviour for someone with autism. I approached Carich Care to ask if it would be possible for me to use one of their service users and help train their staff. The management team were very on-board and together we decided it would be beneficial for Mr J to be the focus of my intervention. 
Firstly, I had to complete a functional assessment. This looked at the target behaviour and tried to work out what happens. This involved talking to the staff team, observing Mr J in his environment and carrying out an assessment called an Interview-Informed Synthesized Contingency Analysis. With the help of the staff team, we worked out that the function of the target behaviour was to gain the attention of staff.
I then went about writing a behaviour support plan and making materials to support both Mr J and the staff. 
Whilst I was designing these materials, staff started taking baseline data using a tally counter to measure the frequency of the target behaviour. It was reported that Mr J understood what staff were doing and started taking the data himself too!
The main aim of my intervention was to increase Mr J's quality of life and engage him in more activities across a structured week. This involved us seeking out new activities that were accessible, such as working on a farm, attending an inflatable obstacle course locally and accessing a toy library with a sensory room.
Alongside these activities, I wanted to increase Mr J's communication so that he would be able to tell us what he wanted in a more consistent manner and help staff communicate with Mr J. This involved making symbols for him to show how his week/day would look and show us what he wanted to do. Staff said that sometimes Mr J would notice that they had missed a certain symbol on his routine and find it to add in!
Although there were a few challenges along the way, the staff team managed to reduce the target behaviour by half across the space of a few weeks! We still have more to do, but it is all going in the right direction :)
A member of staff commented: “I feel that it was an interesting project. He clearly learnt quickly what the clicks indicated and that it was the job of the person supporting him to make sure they did it.  It showed how important his routine is to him and that the amount of spitting that he did reflected the amount of upset he was feeling.  In turn this showed us, as staff working with him, potential key trigger areas.”
We Promised Pictures of the Piglets

Here they are, growing fast!
Staff News
We have seen an influx of new members of staff and here they are:
Debbie Smith has joined us as a relief Support Worker.
Cherrie’s role is a Night Support Worker
Laura is a Support Worker.
Becky is also a Support Worker.
Continuing Professional Development

Haven’t we got a lot of new staff?  They have all completed their Positive Behavioural Support and Challenging Behaviour training.
Chloe and Carol H completed their Lead to Succeed course.
Finally this month we have Jade, Mass, Becky, Laura and Tracey showing off the certificates they achieved for completing their Positive Behavioural Support training.

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Carich Care Bulletin – December 2019
‘Can Do’ Attitude Results in a ‘Sunny View’!
I am a great believer in having a ‘can do’ attitude and think it is reflected throughout our team.
It was put to the test this month when we got the call to see if we could start a new service almost immediately.  Everyone got stuck in and we managed to pull everything together in under a week!
To celebrate Carich’s positive attitude we decided to call the service ‘Sunny View’. 
Thanks to Nurseline…
The new service was only made possible by working closely with Nurseline. 
Nurseline Healthcare is a specialist community of mental healthcare professionals who supply experienced, registered mental health nurses and support workers.  We have managed to build up an excellent relationship with them.
Here’s what one of their staff, Emma, had to say:
When you meet two lovely ladies like Carol Haines and Chloe time gets away from you and it turns into a real meeting of minds session … incredibly valuable and much appreciated.”
You can find Nurseline’s website here:
… and Thanks to Freecycle too
We were so grateful for all the support we received at Christmas from the kind people on Freecycle.  It enabled us to pull together lots of gifts for Mr S, Mr M, Mr J and our latest client Miss F.
We were also given several Christmas trees and enough decorations to ensure our homes were full of festive spirit! 
Even the fridge at Woodlea got decorated.
Out and About Despite the Weather!
It takes more than a spot of rain to stop our adventurers from travelling far and wide.  This month we managed trips to Newent Lakes, Gloucester Cathedral and Saintbridge Pond, as well as plenty of walks.
On days when the weather was bad we spent time at the Worcester Sensory Room.
Individually Mr J enjoyed several visits to the City Farm and Mr S was supported to go ice skating at Gloucester Quays.
Staff News
On 13th December we finally heard that Carol Haines had been accepted by CQC as a Registered Manager for Carich Care.  Carol Dyer immediately celebrated by booking another holiday!
This month we were pleased to welcome back Elizabeth Cameron.  We haven’t had the heart to ask for her to give her leaving presents back yet.
We are pleased to welcome the latest member of our team, Nikki Hunt, who has joined us as a night support worker. 
December also saw Michelle’s birthday and we helped her celebrate.  Why she couldn’t have a cake like everybody else I don’t know…
Continuing Professional Development
During the month Carol Dyer obtained her Level 2 qualification in Understanding Data Protection and Data Security and Nikki completed the Epilepsy course. 
Staff Christmas Do
Of course Carich Care has a staff get-together at this time of year and this took place at the wonderful Brewhouse Kitchen in Gloucester.
Now as you know, what happens at these events is a well-kept secret but suffice to say everyone seemed to have a good time!
As a final note of appreciation the staff received a beautiful Christmas hamper to share.

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Carich Care Bulletin – November 2019
Little Things but they Mean a Lot
I find it amazing that what some people regard as just little things can mean such a lot to our clients.  We saw some good examples of this in November.
When you work in an environment when you usually only hear staff speak, it thrilled us when Mr M was heard to say “Yeah”, not once but twice!
And one of our men now responds when the staff say his name.  In addition he was able to dribble a football around the perimeter of the garden.
City Farm Visit!
Mr J enjoys all his trips out but is always excited when we take him to St James City Farm at Tredworth.  It is a community based charity, mainly manned by volunteers, and provides a refreshing taste of the countryside in the heart of the city, complete with a selection of farm animals.
Their pig is currently pregnant and Mr J is anxiously looking forward to the arrival of the piglets!
You can visit the farm’s website here:
The Doctor Visits
During November we needed to call a doctor out on two occasions.  One of these was at night and, by the time the doctor arrived, our client had fallen asleep.  The doctor was very patient while the client was awoken but expressed concerns about his behaviour.
Our staff sat on the floor with the young man and calmly explained what the doctor needed to do.  The doctor then carried out his review as our staff member continued to talk and calm the client.
When the doctor made to leave he said he was compelled to express his admiration for the way the staff member had worked with the patient.  Having seen his initial reactions the doctor assumed that physical restraints would be required.
We believe all members of our staff would have behaved in a similar manner.  This is why we do not use physical restraints in our service.
Compliments Gratefully Accepted!
On one of our recent trips we took a client to Matalan.  This particular young man has difficulty conforming to the norms of society but on this occasion he calmly entered the store, chose what he wanted and prepared to leave to sit in the car whilst a member of our staff paid for the items.
As he left the store a member of the public spoke to the remaining member of staff.  “You and your friend were amazing the way you looked after that young man.”
It doesn’t sound like much but, as I said at the beginning of this blog, little things can mean such a lot.
Staff News
At the beginning of November Denise moved on to join a new company.  I would like to thank her for all her hard work since May and to wish her every success in her new venture.  I am especially pleased to add that Denise has agreed to stay on with us as a bank worker.

Also at the start of the month we helped Liz celebrate her birthday but a few days later bid her a sad farewell as she too moved to pastures new.  However, we must be doing something right because by the end of the month she was asking if she could come back to us!
We have agreed but on the condition that she brings back those biscuits to share with us all!

Finally this month we also helped Chantelle celebrate her birthday.

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Carich Care Bulletin – October 2019
Our October Adventures
The weather might have turned colder and wetter but there have still been plenty of nice days when we have been able to get out for walks, trips to the park and the airport even picnics. There have been several shopping trips and trips to the railway station.
At home the garden has been well used with the swing, playing ball and cleaning the car being the most popular activities. Inside the house there has been lots of cake making and craft projects, which resulted in stacks of Halloween decorations which were hung around the house.
Halloween Party!
Our month finished with a lively Halloween party at Cadbury Hall in Frampton, with everyone having fun on the bouncy castle.  We also had a number of boxes, each of which had a different method of opening, and this was an enjoyable enrichment exercise.  We are now planning supported snacking whilst promoting independence skills in the home environment.
Mas Celebrates!
Mas celebrated his birthday this month but somehow managed to avoid being photographed!  He doesn’t escape though – here he is!

CPD News!
Ebba, Alana and Denise all successfully completed their Midazolam training.

We enjoyed an away day for the whole team where they were able to complete their First Aid training.

First Aid First Aid

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Carich Care Bulletin – September 2019
Out & About in September

The weather has been kind to us this month, despite some chillier weather, and once again we were able to get out and enjoy ourselves in the fresh air.
Plenty of walks and picnics were the order of the day.  Amongst the wonderful local places we visited were Woodchester Mansion, Lydiard Park near Swindon and the fantastic Forest of Dean.

Putting the Bounce in Mr J’s Step!
We rounded off the month with a party to celebrate Mr J’s birthday.  To make it more memorable we arranged for a bouncy castle for the day.  All three of our men thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

Happy Birthday to Kelly!
We were also able to help celebrate Kelly’s birthday.  We don’t know how old she was (30) but she had a lovely day.  (That’s thirty!)

Another New Recruit!
Our team continues to grow and this month we added Jade Morris.  We celebrated her appointment by sending her on an Epilepsy and Midazolam Administration training course.

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Carich Care Bulletin – August 2019
August Update
August brought some fantastic weather, of course, and our clients enjoyed getting out and about, including several impromptu picnics!  They have also had some great days out.
For starters the three of them visited the Cotswold Steam Show at South Cerney.  It was a fantastic day out for them all and luckily they didn’t get steamed up!  It was also an opportunity for them to practice their improving independent skills in the community.
A visit to Gloucester Cathedral for them all allowed them to experience the fantastic acoustics of the building.
Mr M has had a splashing time in the hot tub at GL1.
Meanwhile Mr J had a fun time on a bouncy castle during a perfect trip to Podsmead Rugby Club.
Mr G set sail this month!  He took to the water at Over.
Finally, Newent Lakes provided a lovely, relaxing day out for the three.
Happy Birthday Sandra – 21 (again!)
Goodness knows what the message in the card was, but it also contained a collection to allow her to have a drink and a massage.

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Carich Care Bulletin – July 2019
New Recruits
Once again our team has grown with these lovely people joining us this month:
Alana Taylor – Alana is a weekend support worker with us.

Alana Taylor

Mas Ceesay – Mas will be a relief support worker.

Mas Ceesay

Chloe Dyer – we are pleased to say Chloe has joined us on a full time basis and has accepted the role of Deputy Manager.

Chloe Dyer

Go to our Meet the Team page to found out more about our New Faces!

First Property Full!
We are pleased to confirm we have accepted our third package of care, Mr M, so our first property is now full.  Onto number two…
July Update
So we now have three men sharing the house and my goodness they are up for adventure!
Some of this month’s highlights:
All three had a fantastic day at Fairford Air Show where they shared a picnic and saw the wonderful Red Arrows in action.
It was a musical experience for Mr G and Mr M as they attended Bee Fest at The Bumble Bee and witnessed Miss Treated in action, amongst others.
The three were all together again at the Treasure Seekers Family Fun Day in Westgate Street, Gloucester.  This time they particularly liked a fire engine and music. 
Treasure Seekers are an organisation who do wonderful work with vulnerable and disadvantaged people, helping reach them reach their full potential and enabling them to take an active art in the local community.
You can find out more about them here:
Positive Feedback – in a Backhanded Way!
We were very pleased to receive this comment from Mr M’s mother, although I have to admit I had to read it twice to fully appreciate her sentiments:
“Today I received the response from Mr M that I said I was looking for.  He ignored me and walked straight past me!  I did insist he gave me a hug and a kiss before he went out shopping though.  Brilliant!  I am a satisfied mum so thank you!” 
Digital Technology Marches On!
I am pleased to say that we have mastered our new digital systems and are trialling how our rota and timesheets feed directly into payroll.

Digital technology marches on

Continued Professional Development
Liz is very happy to have completed her NCFE Level 2certificate in Data Protection and Data Security.  We can rely on Liz to be a safe pair of hands!

Liz - NCFE Level 2

Meanwhile Chantelle, Chloe and Kelly all completed their Epilepsy and Midazolam administration courses.  The three plus Carole also completed their Positive Behaviour Support training.

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Carich Care Bulletin – June 2019
New Recruits
As our workload increases we are very pleased to welcome three new faces to the Carich Care team.
Carole Thomas

Kelly Morgan

Chantelle Apperley

You can find out more about our new recruits, as well as our existing team members, by going to our Meet the Team page
New Manager Appointed!

Due to the increased workload it has been decided to appoint a new Manager and Carol Haines has gladly agreed to step up.  The registration process with the CQC (Care Quality Commission) can take up to 16 weeks.  We’ll just have to keep the celebratory champagne on ice until then! 
June Update
Mr G has been keeping us busy with regular trips to the park, cycling, swimming, sailing and visiting Kingfishers.  He has also enjoyed spending time in the superb Sensory Room at the Redwell Centre and watched local band Miss Treated performing at Coopers Edge School Fete.

The really exciting news, though, is that he now has a house mate!  Everyone has helped get the house ready to welcome Mr J and he has fitted in very well already.  This can only mean more fun and adventures ahead   And I don’t think I have ever seen a care team get so many cuddles!

June Birthdays
Finally, this month we celebrated the birthdays of Becki and Rich. 

I’m not sure where Captain Rich was when this photo was taken but it certainly wasn’t Pittville Park! 

Ahoy there matey!

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Carich Care Bulletin – May 2019

New Recruits

We are very pleased to announce that Michelle joined us at the beginning of the month


Denise Galliford joined us at the end of the month


And Chloe Dyer joined us as a relief support worker


See our Meet The Team page to see all our dedicated staff.

The on line application form is proving to be a great success with our team being set to increase dramatically over the coming weeks. If you know anyone who may be interest in working with the best team, supporting some amazing clients then please ask them to check out our web site www.carichcare.co.uk

Continued professional development

The staff team joined together to undertake their 'Prevention Management of Violence & Aggression' training.

Continued Professoinal Development

Mr G spends an evening with Miss Treated

We suspect that Mr G enjoyed an evening of soft rock and was keen to show off his dance moves

Mr G with Miss Treated

A Compliment from Mr G's parents

We were delighted to receive these words 'we would like to say to you and the staff, that we are very grateful and appreciative of the care given to our son. This is enabling us to make plans for ourselves, to go away, have a life without undue worry, and with the knowledge that our son is being well cared for. Thank you.'

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Carich Care Bulletin – April 2019

Mr G Keeps us Busy!
We are pleased to announce our first client has well and truly arrived.  Mr G appears to be settling in and enjoying a variety of visits.
So far he has experienced cycling, swimming and sailing, plus trips to Kingfishers.  Perhaps the most random visit was to a well-known DIY store to collect strips of sample wallpaper which have subsequently been used to create a mini masterpiece on the wall in the lounge!  

And after all the hard work, a trip to McDonalds seems the right thing to do

Sue’s 50th Birthday Treat!
Sue Taitt recently celebrated being 50 years young.
Ever since she saw an article about alpacas visiting a residential home Sue has been nagging us to get some for our garden.  Well we haven’t done that yet but decided it was an ideal opportunity for a combined birthday celebration and team building exercise at an alpaca farm.
After a delightful picnic lunch Sue and Harley were sent to herd the alpacas into a barn where they fed them, groomed them and took them for a stroll.
After such strenuous exercise, we ended the day with tea and birthday cake on the lawn.
Many happy returns Sue!

This Just In …
We've just received a note from Sue thanking us for her birthday treat.  Not sure it is entirely accurate, though.
Absolutely lovely day with the Alpaca’s, a wonderful surprise for my 27th birthday!! Lovely, lovey thing my work colleagues did! Now they all know what beautiful animals they are, perhaps we could have our very own?? :)”

We fed the alpacas and groomed them

Then we took them for a walk

The day ended with tea and birthday cake on the lawn

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Carich Care Bulletin – March 2019
Team Building & Bonding!
So what have we been up to during our first couple of weeks?  Team building and bonding, that’s what!
Let me start by introduce our first team to you.  Take a bow please ladies:

• Elizabeth Cameron

• Sandra Morgan

• Sue Taitt

• Becki Thomas

Back row left to right - Carol Dyer, Becki Thomas, Liz Cameron, Sue Taitt,
Front row left to right - Sandra Morgan, Carol Haines

Each brings their own skills and talents to form what we think will be a formidable team, capable of coping with anything that comes their way.
We are great believers in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) so our first two weeks have been devoted to understanding the differences between residential care and supported living.  This involved us recapping on all aspects of our mandatory training and getting to know our first client.
One of our first challenges has been adapting to our new digital way of working.  We're pleased to say that everyone has coped very well.  Sue amazed us by confessing she was actually enjoying using our digital system.

Then on 25th March we took on our first care package.  Let the adventures begin!

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Carich Care Bulletin – February 2019
It’s All Good News with Us!
The first bit of good news is that we are up and running with our first home and looking forward to meeting our first client!  We're sure they will be the first of many to come.
Our Carich Care Bulletin each month will gather together our news in one place to make it easy for everyone to find.  So what’s happening?
Registration Received!
We have received our official registration from the Care Quality Commission.  Now begins our journey towards delivering an ‘outstanding’ service.
The Digital Age has Arrived!

Carich Care is pleased to announce their arrival in the digital age.  Henceforth we will be developing a paperless system utilising iPads.
New Deputy Manager Appointed!

Please welcome our new Deputy Manager, Carol Haines.  Carol has bags of experience and is raring to get started.  We're sure this is the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.