By Paul Newman – Chief Executive, Greensleeves Care
The end of a year is a time for reflection for many, and here at Greensleeves Care we are no different.
For us, recent times have been marked by a continued commitment to delivering impact in the face of sustained challenge – from the aftershocks of the pandemic to the economic downturn and talent shortages.
Every year, we set out to understand our impact. We do this by looking at what the numbers tell us, but also what stories hide behind those numbers: stories of lives changed for the better, of recovery, of families reassured and listened to, and of colleagues feeling empowered and recognised. We last did that exercise in Spring 23, looking back 12 months. We found that, over that period:
- We supported 1,000 residents in our care – exceeding the target we set ourselves a decade before.
- We heard 93% of residents are happy with the care we provide and that they feel “safe,” “content” and “at home”.
- Our new purpose-built home, The Meadowcroft, opened in London, and we invested £3.5 million in improving facilities across our family of homes.
- Our Digital Transformation Programme kicked off to help us harness digital technologies in making care management easier and more efficient.
- We maintained our sector-leading, low colleague turnover rate and received national recognition for our industry-leading apprenticeship programme.
- Plans to reduce food waste were introduced across all our homes, and we progressed towards using 100% renewable energy only.
- As part of our equality, diversity and inclusion work, we marched in our first Pride parade and launched other initiatives to engage with underrepresented communities.
- We continued to welcome back our local communities post-pandemic, with more open days, outings and new connections.
At this point in the year, even more has been achieved. Our resident numbers and charitable impact continue to rise. We celebrated the reopening of one of our longest-standing care homes, Mount Ephraim House.
Meanwhile, we are testing more innovative solutions through our digital transformation, which are delivering tangible improvements for residents and colleagues.
Across England, our homes continued to reach out to their local communities, including to bust unhelpful myths about care. We celebrated extraordinary talent within our ranks, recognised numerous colleagues for decades of service, and joined the London Pride parade for a second time.
Yet, perhaps nothing reflects impact quite like voices of the people who have benefited from our award-winning care, or those who chose to start, or continue, a meaningful career with us.
“If you had told me a few years ago I needed to go into a care home, I would have said “get stuffed!”, told us Margaret, one of our residents, who discovered new meaning after joining our home in East Sussex. “Because I used to be a nurse, I support fellow residents who are less able than me. […] I know that here I still have a purpose.”
Meanwhile Emma, one of our care supervisors in Bedfordshire, told us about feeling appreciated after returning to work following maternity leave to a more senior role. “People say you have to decide between a career and having a family, but that hasn’t been the case for me.”
There is no doubt that the new year will bring with it new challenges. Our hope is that the vision and strategies for impact – both ours and of others – are strong enough to stay on course through rough seas, with commitment to improvement and social good remaining at the forefront. And, that stories like Margaret and Emma’s continue to be the norm for many years to come.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2024!