Monthly Archives

May 2018

#VolunteersWeek – Celebrating and thanking volunteers across the UK

By | Community

Volunteers week takes place between 1st and 7th June every year and is a chance to say thank you to all of the volunteers across the country for their contributions, hard work and dedication.

Volunteers Week has been running since 1984 when it was set up by Volunteering England and is now a nationwide campaign.

NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) defines volunteering as “any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than, or in addition to, close relatives”.

In 2016/17, 19.8 million people in the UK volunteered formally at least once a year, with 11.9 million people doing so at least once a month, a variety of different reasons lying behind this choice. For some, volunteering provides a sense of being part of a team, helps to boost confidence and gives an opportunity to put forward ideas. Others may choose to volunteer to try something new and will use volunteering as a new career path. Volunteering can make a real difference to many people and businesses and is open to anyone – even you!

Volunteers Week is filled with fun and inclusive events. Local school fairs, coffee mornings, cake-a-thon’s, appreciation afternoon tea’s, community walks and even BBQs (if the weather permits)! If you are running an event, shout about it by clicking here.

Social media is a great tool to use for advertising your events and for seeking volunteer opportunities. Use the hashtag #VolunteersWeek to see what everyone is up to and to find current volunteering opportunities across the country. If you have a friend, neighbour, family member or work colleague who is currently volunteering, use your social media to say a big thank you.

Other ways to thank a volunteer are:

  • Appreciation / thank you notes
  • Send a text message or give someone a call
  • Send a gift
  • Say thanks with a voucher
  • Create and send a thank you postcard
  • Organise a surprise thank you party
  • Send a letter
  • Create a volunteer hall of fame

To find out more on how to become a volunteer in an area local to you, simply click here.

Kingsley puts some Oomph! into its care homes with new wellbeing partnership!

By | Care Home

We have partnered with Kingsley Healthcare, an award winning, UK Care Group, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for their residents.

Following a pilot in two homes last November, the wellbeing training is now being rolled out across a further 11 homes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Greater Manchester and Cheshire and Dorset.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This will ensure that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Sport, which has been designed in partnership with key National sports. These partnerships aim to make exercise as engaging as possible, to encourage inactive residents to take up physical activity and try something new – or rediscover lost passions. Further workshops will focus on relaxation, music and nature.

Residents will soon be able to play clock cricket, slipper soccer and armchair volleyball – sports especially adapted to fit the needs and abilities of residents, with the new content ensuring that exercise sessions are continually fresh and exciting.

Kingsley operations director Debbie McGovern said: “We understand how important it is to make daily life in our homes fun and stimulating for the residents.

“As a company we are always keen to invest in the latest technology and training.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be working with the Kingsley team. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision. We will work in partnership to drive innovation and participation across all homes and are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident activities!”

Orchard Care Homes puts some Oomph! into its care homes with innovative partnership!

By | Care Home

We are partnering with Orchard Care Homes, a leading UK care group, to deliver ‘awesome’ exercise classes and creative activities for residents, as well as engaging trips out.

A pilot project has been agreed where 7 homes in the North East will embrace the exercise and activity training and 8 homes will now be running 2 trips out per month.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 7 Orchard Care Homes have been trained in our Wellbeing Leadership programme. This will ensure that they are equipped with everything they need to create and sustain a person-centred plan of varied exercise and activities that residents love. The training is tailored to each home, and focuses on meeting and exceeding regulator requirements.

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Sport, which has been designed in partnership with key national sports. These partnerships aim to make exercise as engaging as possible, to encourage inactive residents to take up physical activity and try something new – or rediscover lost passions. Further workshops will focus on relaxation, music and nature.

Residents will soon be able to play clock cricket, slipper soccer and armchair volleyball – sports especially adapted to fit the needs and abilities of residents, with the new content ensuring that exercise sessions are continually fresh and exciting.

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations will be run for 8 Orchard homes, with added value and variety to trip experiences created through partnerships with the National Trust and HQ Theatres.

The trips aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them – Oomph! trips have previously included unexpected locations, such as gin distilleries, monkey sanctuaries and racing tracks. Getting out and about is an essential part of both mental and physical wellbeing, and Oomph! trips will provide stimulating and fun experiences for both residents and staff alike.

Tracey Tomlinson, Group Head of Sales and Marketing for Orchard Care Homes, says,  “We are really excited about working with Oomph! on an ongoing project to deliver quality activities within our care homes. A broad-reaching and engaging activity programme is one aspect at the heart of home life, and we are keen to see the enhanced positive impact that these additional activity sessions will have on our residents and those living and working within the home.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! is delighted to be working with the Orchard Care Homes team. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s activity provision. We share the same values and drive for innovation and are delighted to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident activities!”

Oomph! and Quantum Care get active in the community as Sport England Active Ageing initiative continues to grow…

By | Community

We are partnering with Quantum Care, a leading Hertfordshire Care Group, to train staff, volunteers and customers as part of a Sport England funding programme, which aims to get 27,000 over 55s from inactive to active within the next two years.

The partnership has been successfully launched, with 16 day care centres across Hertfordshire now able to deliver fun, regular exercise sessions, whilst also engaging the wider community. Every venue is completely committed to the partnership having hosted open house launches last week, to engage both participants and staff.

Attracting national news coverage, close collaboration between Oomph! and Quantum Care has already gained great interest and publicity from both The Telegraph and The Guardian.

The fun-first training incorporates strength, flexibility and coordination, with games such as Slipper Soccer, Armchair Volleyball and Clock Cricket – all adapted from traditional versions of the sports to make them accessible for people with a variety of needs and abilities, whilst retaining gameplay and fun!

Four National Governing bodies for sport have all inputted in the final training content with adapted sports from Volleyball England, British Orienteering, British weightlifting and Boccia to ensure content is flexible and agile to meet all interests.

Maria Ball, Chief Executive of Quantum Care, said: ”At Quantum Care we are always looking for new and exciting ways to encourage our day-centre members and residents to stay healthy, active and full of fun.  This is why we are so pleased to be partnering with Oomph! to deliver exciting and impactful exercise sessions for older people in our homes as well as in our local communities.”

David Terrace, Oomph’s Head of Community Partnerships, said: “Oomph! are excited to be working with the Quantum Care team. It is a privilege to be in partnership and support their wellbeing initiatives across key Hertfordshire venues. We are delighted to be adding additional fun and engagement to exercise sessions, and look forward to working together over the forthcoming months!”

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