Congratulations to 88-year-old Belong Warrington resident, Sam Clark, who has been crowned winner of our Oomph! Factor competition! The Oomph! Factor competition is a nationwide competition that focuses on finding enthusiastic participants who have had mental, social and/or physical benefits from their Oomph! sessions in care homes and communities across the UK, and Sam most certainly wowed the judges with his achievements.
Sam was presented with his trophy at a special ceremony at Belong Warrington which was attended by Oomph! representatives and featured a personalised broadcast news report by ITV Sports Editor Steve Scott, who judged the competition. Alongside his closest friends and family, Sam experienced a themed Oomph! session focussed around one of his all-time favourite artists, Frank Sinatra. To further celebrate his victory in style, we paid for Sam and his family to watch ‘The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular’ show at Crewe Lyceum Theatre.
“It’s wonderful to see the positive impact that Oomph! is having on Sam’s general wellbeing and we are thrilled that his commitment has been recognised with this award.”
- Lisa McLaughlin, Activities Co-ordinator at Belong Warrington
Oomph! sessions are run twice a week at Belong Warrington and improve flexibility, social interaction and mental stimulation for older people through chair-based exercise to music with the use of stimulating props such as pom-poms and batons.
Our Oomph! Factor competition sought to find the most enthusiastic Oomphers in the country. Candidates we’re put forward and narrowed down and after a difficult decision making process, judges chose Sam from Belong Warrington as the winner as he truly is an Oomph!-fanatic. Sam never misses an Oomph! session and is always the first person to arrive to ensure he gets the best seat. After a fall in 2016, Sam lost much of his mobility, but since attending regular Oomph! sessions and a tailor made Belong Warrington exercise studio programme, Sam is back to being the life and soul of the party and lives an active lifestyle.
“We never have to encourage him to come to the sessions, in fact, he always reminds us early in the day and actually helps us to encourage other residents along too!”
- Lisa McLaughlin, Activities Co-ordinator at Belong Warrington
Barchester's Mike Parsons, Care and Wellbeing Fund and Nesta Impact Investments invest in Out and About service
Barchester Healthcare Founder, Mike Parsons along with the Care and Wellbeing Fund and Nesta Impact Investments have together invested £1.5m into a radical new outings service for older and vulnerable adults in care by award winning social enterprise Oomph! Wellness. Out and About provides an end-to-end excursions solution including transport, drivers and a tailored schedule of trips for care providers.
In spite of huge pressures on social care budgets, care homes still need to provide wellbeing activities, but are searching for new ways to deliver more for less. Oomph!’s excursion service will typically allow homes that organise outings themselves to benefit from up to 3 times more trips for half the cost according to analysis by Deloitte.¹ The service will provide up to 6 trips a month for a flat fee. Prices will start from £160 per excursion, putting regular outings within reach of services that can’t currently offer them.
In total, Oomph! is spending £4m to put the Out and About service on the road in five regions² following a successful pilot. The balance of funds has been obtained through debt finance. The company’s first major funding round will grow their minibus fleet to 80 in 2017 reaching 300 by 2020 by which time Oomph! will be rolling out half a million individual journeys nationwide per year³.
Leading regional care groups including WCS Care, HICA and Cumbric Care Group are amongst others jumping on board when outings start running from March. Day trippers will take in premium locations such as museums, music and sport events, botanic gardens and art galleries as well as outings to markets, pubs and farms.
Oomph! Wellness has delivered strong, consistent revenue growth. From seed funding in 2013, it has doubled turnover year on year since 2014. The company is already operating in care settings from the Shetlands to the Channel Isles which will enable it to benefit immediately from economies of scale, pooling capacity for outings between multiple services in a region.
Oomph!’s founder Ben Allen said: “The Out and About model radically reduces the cost and effort of running outings for care services. We are effectively helping services in an area to club together to achieve economies of scale whilst each still gets exclusive outings for their residents.”
“Care home owners have told me of their dismay for residents who’ve not been outside for months. I just can’t accept that so many vulnerable people are stuck indoors due to public funding pressures.”
Mike Parsons, Founder of Barchester Homes and care industry expert became Chair of Oomph! in 2016 and has put over £1m into the business to date. Investing £300,000 of his own money into this venture he said: “This is a no brainer for care services, Out & About excursions will significantly enhance the offering of providers currently unable to afford regular day trips and provide a much savvier option for those burdened with the costs and logistical issues involved in running their own outings.”
Whilst Oomph! is well placed to capitalise on its existing reach and reputation within the care home sector, it is vigorously exploring expansion into adjacent markets such as learning disability services. Social Finance, who manage the Care and Wellbeing Fund, led Oomph!’s first major investment round providing £800,000.
Existing shareholder Nesta Impact Investments subscribed £310,000 in this round. Commenting on the deal Helen Gironi, Investment Director at Nesta and a member of Oomph!’s board said: “We first invested in Oomph! in 2013, attracted by its innovative and scalable approach to bringing health and wellbeing benefits to older and vulnerable people. There is strong evidence of the impact Oomph! has had already on people’s lives and we are delighted to support the business to extend this further.”
Christine Asbury is Chief Executive of WCS Care which runs 12 care homes across Warwickshire, including five rated 'outstanding' by the CQC4 - being amongst the first to sign up to Out and About, she said: “Residents should do what they’ve always done – as well as try new opportunities should they wish – and staying connected to their local community plays an important part in that. With support from Oomph!, we’re able to enhance our existing approach to activities and offer even more trips that are tailored to people’s individual needs.”
About Oomph! Wellness
Oomph! (www.oomph-wellness.org) is an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to transforming the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of older and vulnerable adults. We provide training, support and services to enable anyone working in care or community settings to deliver outstanding, sustainable activity programmes. Working with care groups, local authorities and community support organisations across the UK we prove our impact every step of the way and lead the industry in how we track health and wellbeing outcomes. You can read some of the remarkable and inspiring results of our work with partners in our latest Annual Impact Report at www.oomph-wellness.org/impact/ .
For all media enquiries including interview requests, additional case studies and photography please contact Julie Kangisser for further information. E - email@example.com. T – 07711 818 496
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. Deloitte analysis of for profit older adult care homes: 55% provide a minibus service (owned, leased or hired). Average cost £1800pm for av. 2 excursions v.s. Out and About costing under £900 for 6 excursions.
2. Initial launch regions are South East, South Wales, Liverpool and North West, East Yorkshire and East Midlands.
3. Estimated individual journeys based upon average minibus usage (60% of time capacity) and average vehicle occupancy (4 residents) over 300 minibuses over a one year period. 130 trips per month x12 x 300 minibuses = 468,000 individual journeys (not unique users)
4. NICE’s Mental Wellbeing of Older People in Care Homes standard shows that social activities are now a factor the Care Quality Commission (CQC) considers when rating care homes.
5. The Care and Wellbeing Fund is a £12 million investment fund, managed by Social Finance. The fund is being used to develop and scale new and existing community care services for people affected by cancer and other long term conditions.
Here at Oomph!, we know the huge difference that great activities can make to the wellbeing of older adults. We caught up with Sarah Savidge, winner of the Dementia Care Award for Best Activities Co-ordinator 2016, and Lisa McLaughlin, winner of the National Care Award for Care Activities Co-ordinator 2016 and found out how qualities such as enthusiasm, patience and forward planning make an outstanding Activities Co-ordinator.
Both awards focus on highlighting and celebrating excellence in the long-term care sector, rewarding those that work hard to provide consistently outstanding care so we spoke to them to find out what they think makes an outstanding Activities Co-ordinator.
We asked Sarah and Lisa what attributes they think makes an outstanding Activities Co-ordinator. They highlighted the essential qualities as having bags of enthusiasm, motivation and confidence. Sarah explained that having many life experiences is also important as residents have lived long and exciting lives and it's beneficial to be able to relate to them on a one-to-one level.
Lisa said that taking time with individuals and prioritising them over anything is vital and told us that "it can be pressurising and you really have to remain relaxed and patient with everybody. It's difficult living with dementia never mind caring for somebody, that's a totally different ball game." To help tackle this, Lisa feels that you must have a "positive, enthusiastic and motivating energy, all day every day", even if you're not feeling up to scratch. By doing so, and leaving your troubles at home, you can focus solely on individuals and drive their days forward.
"I think having that strong relationship helps drive the ball".
Lisa McLaughlin, Belong Warrington
Lisa told us that excellent forward planning is also necessary and spoke about how she'd arranged a canal barge trip during one Summer for all her residents. "There were lots of risk assessments involved, it was stressful, it was difficult but everyone enjoyed it and it got fully booked so quickly that I had to arrange another one. I was getting lots of demands, which was great!"
Following on from this, Lisa told us that "strong team relationships are crucial". Lisa has a lot of faith in her team which she believes has been developed through a good level of authority, balanced out by a good level of friendship and being able to approach people if she or her team are worried about anything.
For anyone planning on starting off as an Activities Co-ordinator, Lisa suggests to "come and spend a day with someone that does it, see how exciting and how varied a day can go". The beauty of the role is that you can unleash your creativity. Sarah advised that if you simply "love life, people, music and nature you will be heading in the right direction".
Sarah and Lisa have both displayed excellent efforts as Activities Co-ordinators and we're very proud that they both incorporate Oomph! into their weekly activities which they say helps stimulate the mind, body and soul of their residents, improving their overall wellbeing and happiness. Through Lisa's Oomph! training and our monthly resources, her and her team have been able to personalise Oomph! sessions, tailoring these to individual's needs.
"Residents look forward to our interactive group sessions especially when we incorporate an Oomph! session with a story telling and snacks".
Sarah Savidge, Admiral Court, Hallmark Care Homes
Lisa and Sarah have noticed numerous benefits for their residents from Oomph! sessions. Sam from Belong Warrington, was unable to walk after a fall at the beginning of the year, but is now able to walk with a walking aid. Incorporating music can also create moments for the residents, encouraging reminiscence. Sarah believes that Oomph! has given confidence to her residents to attend group sessions, socialise and involve themselves more in community activities. "Residents who may have kept to themselves or preferred to stay in their rooms are venturing out more into the community and becoming more confident and involved".
Congratulations again to both Lisa and Sarah, you really are outstanding Activities Co-ordinators!
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