Sharnbrook House - Eden Home of the YearSharnbrook House care home in Sharnbrook near Bedford, has been recognised for the quality of care it provides to its residents with two national Care Awards. Competing for these awards with 23 other care homes across the country, Sharnbrook House received the ‘Eden Home of the Year Award’ while the care home’s Gardener, Gill Elder, won the ‘Garden and Grounds Award’.

Due to the government imposed lockdown, Greensleeves Care Awards needed to be held as virtual events in each award category instead of the annual gala event held at Raddison Blu Hotel in London. However, this has not diminished the value of the individual awards or the excitement from winning the awards.

Sharnbrook House - Eden Home of the YearThe Eden Home of the Year Award aims to recognise the home that best demonstrates commitment to the Eden philosophy. The Eden philosophy promotes a cooperative approach to care provision in which the resident is the key person. Not only is care provision person centred but the whole running of the home is around what is best for the residents and their physical, social, emotional and mental health needs.

At Sharnbrook House, residents feel cared for and supported. One resident recently said: “The wonderful part of living here is you feel people join in with things with you. It’s like a family.”

Sharnbrook House - Eden Home of the YearThe judges’ panel was impressed to hear that at last year’s summer party, Sharnbrook House residents were dancing with staff with such enthusiasm that even the singers who performed at the event were astonished. The home has a programme of activities suited to residents’ needs and interests. Regular coffee mornings and discussions of the news cater to those interested in current affairs. The home’s popular exercise class ensures people stay as fit and active as possible, and residents also benefit from the mood enhancing benefits of creative work. Pet therapy dogs provide animal companionship, as does the care home’s cat Merlin.

Residents are able to continue living the life they had before moving into the home. The home hosted a supper for the gardeners and WI meetings on several occasions and residents took part in the local horticultural show, winning numerous prizes in gardening and craft categories. The home has always been a significant part of the community, with traditions going back over many years, but relationships have deepened with the school and local companies, whose students and employees undertake voluntary work at the care home.

Gardens and Grounds AwardSharnbrook House’s Gardener, Gill Elder, was equally delighted with her award for Grounds and Gardens. This award aims to recognise the innovative use of available outside space and involves encouraging residents’ involvement in the design and maintenance of the space.

Pat Laing, Home Manager at Sharnbrook House, said: “Not only does Gill keep the garden in immaculate condition, she has also set up a garden club for residents. The club has planted seeds, made hanging baskets, and grown vegetables. They even made a scarecrow and fashioned it on a member of the management team! The residents were very proud of their produce and entered it into the local show where they won several prizes for their green beans, cucumbers and bunches of herbs.”