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Oomph! Wellness

Abbey Healthcare staff and residents get some Oomph! with wellbeing partnership!

By Care Home, Out and about

Speaking of the impact on the home after training, a member of staff said, “One resident who doesn’t normally join in with activities, started smiling and showed signs of happiness as she engaged in an Oomph! session.”

We are partnering with Abbey Healthcare to engage residents in awesome exercise classes and creative activities, as well as regular trips out.

Following a successful pilot with 6 of the homes in the portfolio, staff in the remaining 10 Abbey Healthcare homes will be taking a whole-home approach to activities, being trained in Oomph!’s Wellbeing Leadership programme. This ensures 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.

One member of staff commented, “It was all very useful and will help me to engage better with our residents. It was good fun and educational.”

The programme also includes a series of skills workshops, including Oomph! Sensory, which is based on the Namaste Care philosophy, enabling relaxation, tranquillity and engagement. The workshop provides an alternative approach to many other types of physical activity, and includes techniques such as hand massage. This is particularly relevant for individuals who are less able, and are perhaps nursed in their beds or living with advanced dementia. Further workshops focus on culture, dance and sport.

Additionally, engaging days out to a range of destinations are running for 11 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, and Abbey Healthcare trips have already been going to interesting locations, such as East Anglia Railway Museum, Royal Air Force Museum and Knowsley Safari Park.

A member of staff said of a recent trip to the Railway Museum, “We found that on the trip, residents were really engaging with each other. They enjoyed the guided tour, listening intensely to what was being said. We chatted and reminisced about the old railways – some of the residents were very knowledgeable about railways and local history!”

Andy Taylor, Group Finance Director at Abbey Healthcare, comments: “Oomph! has really enabled us to up our wellbeing offering for residents – and feedback from residents has been overwhelmingly positive.  Not only that, but our staff are now really engaged in wellbeing – it’s improving staff morale and the quality of care we provide for our residents.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be partnering with Abbey Healthcare, it is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision and we are excited to help ensure that Abbey Healthcare residents life a full life, for life.”


Pictured: The Team at Aaron Court show off their certificates after completing the Oomph! Relax workshop, which has been developed with experts to use the principles of yoga, pilates, tai chi and mindfullness to bring sessions of relaxation and tranquility to residents.

Exercise sessions give 101-year-old care home resident new lease of life

By Care Home

Phil is an incredible 101-years-old. He’s a resident at Whitefriars Care Home in Stamford, part of The Orders of St John Care Trust and has recently discovered a passion for exercise sessions facilitated by Oomph!.

After being trained by Oomph!, the team at Whitefriars began delivering three exercise classes a week for residents, and they’ve had resoundingly positive feedback and very high participation levels.

It soon became clear that Phil, who is living with dementia, enjoyed taking part in these classes – so much so that he now helps lead the sessions! The exercise sessions have given Phil a new lease of life, and he has come out of his shell since arriving at the home – not only does he encourage other residents to join in with the classes, but he also encourages them to join in with other activities at the home, including gardening in the summer months.

Phil’s enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed with Oomph!’s Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Jade, awarding him with his very own Oomph! t-shirt to wear.

‘Oomph! has brought the community of Whitefriars together, including those that come in on Day Care, which is absolutely amazing. It’s great because everybody gets involved. I would love Oomph! to continue at Whitefriars without a shadow of a doubt.’ commented Shelly, House Manager at Whitefriars Care Home

You can read the full case study by Nesta here.

Care home residents celebrate festive season with trips out

By Out and about

Inspired by the festive season, we asked care homes using our Out & About minibus trips service to capture photographs of their trips in December. The winner, Regency House, a Hallmark Care Home in Cardiff, won the competiton with their fantastic photograph, pictured above. You can check out some of the other entries below…

Reeling them in! Care home residents enjoy fishing trip

By Out and about

A recent Oomph! trip to the a sensory farm meant that residents at Lostock Lodge, a Country Court Care home, could cast their bait and reel in their catch of the day… Bill Ramsbottom, Oomph! Conductor, tells the story…

“On a recent trip, I took 3 ladies from Lostock Lodge, Northwich, on an Oomph! Out & About tip to Hope View Sensory Farm in Leigh, Lancashire. 

One of the activities at Hope Sensory is assisted fishing with volunteers in a small – but well stocked – pond, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all three ladies. The volunteers loaded the bait on rods, which had a fixed line and could be easily held by the residents. At the end of the activity, each of them received a small trophy for their participation in it.  

Because they had enjoyed the trip so much and obtained so much pleasure from fishing, I decided it was a worthy cause to produce a keepsake certificate on parchment card for each of them, for Mary (who caught, without doubt, the largest fish), for Ann (who caught a whopping 14 fish) and for Cath (who thoroughly enjoyed the experience).”



To find out more about getting your residents Out & About, email hello@oomph-wellness.org or call 0203 601 6363

Oomph! Release Annual Impact Report 2019

By Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2019. This has been an inspirational year for us, our clients and the residents we support. 

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 5,400 staff, and have delivered over 55,000 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 5,500 trips, taking 21,000 residents Out & About

You can read the full report here, for detailed information and some wonderful stories that bring the facts and stats to life.

A big thank you to all of our partners who have contributed to our success this year, we couldn’t have done it without you. We look forward to another inspiring year…

Roll on 2020!


Image: Karuna Manor, TLC

Care home trip to observatory brings back memories for resident

By Out and about

A recent Oomph! trip to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre held special memories for one care home resident at Ashbourne House, Greater Manchester. Bill Ramsbottom, Oomph! Conductor, tells the story…

“Naomi is a resident at Ashbourne House, Gatley, and has had sight problems since she was in her early teens, with the inherited causing the gradual loss of sight to the point where she is now almost entirely blind. 

Naomi has always refused to join the other residents on Oomph! trips, saying it was pointless due to her lack of sight. I, and several carers, tried on numerous occasions to persuade her to join us. We assured her that she would have a full verbal description of wherever we were going, but this was without success… Until Jodrell Bank Observatory was mentioned! Naomi immediately sprang to attention and said, “If you are going to Jodrell Bank then I would like to come along” and so, she did. 

I have to say, that the carers, other residents and myself expressed our pleasure that she had finally accepted to join us. In fact my elation lasted the whole day and was still apparent when I got home that evening and obviously observed by my wife. 

That trip in itself was – I thought – a breakthrough, but I was concerned that we may face refusals on future trips. However, the next trip was to Blackpool Illuminations which quite obviously is a visual experience and I was overjoyed to find that Naomi enjoyed Jodrell Bank so much she was just as eager to join us on this trip. Because her sight allows her to see brightness and darkness, it was thought a good idea that Naomi sit in the front of the bus with me so that she could gain some visual experience combined with verbal help from the rest of the bus occupants including myself. 

Having chatted with her during our fish and chip meal, I am seriously looking forward to the next trip and having her join us again!”

Naomi says of the trip, “I came here in the 60s, when I was at boarding school. And I came with my husband. This trip was very nice, I loved it! Thank you for what you’re doing, [I had] a lovely day.”


To find out more about getting your residents Out & About, email hello@oomph-wellness.org or call 0203 601 6363


It’s Never ‘Just’ a Garden Centre

By Out and about

Garden Centres are a popular choice of destination for residents who are going on Oomph! trips, but these aren’t always perceived as the most exciting selection. Oomph!’s Lead Conductor in the North, John Daley, discusses why he feels that we should cut these locations a little bit more slack…

Since starting with Oomph!, I’ve heard on numerous occasions when I’ve asked, “Where are we going today?”, the reply, “Oh, just a Garden Centre”. On the outside I’m smiling, but on the inside I’m thinking “It’s not just a Garden Centre!”.

The Garden Centre is a location my wife personally inflicts on me once or twice a month, where I get dragged around various displays of clothing, candles and books from obscure authors writing on subjects I’ve got no interest in (no offence intended to train, tram, bus or tractor spotters), alongside some plants and spades.

If I behave myself (no huffing and puffing, pulling faces or generally looking bored) I’m treated to tea and a cake, and then we go home, suitably refreshed, carrying candles, a weird coloured fleece and a book about 1930’s Massey Fergusson tractors.

This has always been my experience of Garden Centres, however, since joining the Oomph! Out & About service, I’ve seen the true impact of going to these places. Places that I once thought of as torture, now become amazing venues filled with new and exciting objects that can be touched and smelled and that are visually colourful – a true Aladdin’s  cave of treasures. Some residents love to interact with young children, their parents and the staff of the Garden Centres, their faces light up with these encounters. The people who come on our trips leave the Garden Centres mentally stimulated, and this is sometimes the only time they are able to get out of their care home setting.

And then they are treated to tea and cake just like I am – although they huff and puff less beforehand! This is another part of the trip residents enjoy, socialising with each other and staff members in a different location… It truly is a humbling experience.

On the ride home, some of the residents fall asleep due to all the mental stimulation they’ve just encountered, others chat with the staff about their visit. It’s a picture of contentment either way.

So whenever I hear, “Just a garden centre”, there may well be a smile on my face… and that’s because I know that it definitely is not JUST a Garden Centre at all.


To find out more about getting your residents Out & About, email hello@oomph-wellness.org or call 0203 601 6363

Outstanding Oomphers! at Cherry Tree Court

By Community

Following a recent exercise training session, Cherry Tree Court, a Together Housing scheme, has seen some great physical, mental and emotional benefits for residents. Our Regional Wellbeing Coordinator, Stefan, tells us more and speaks to the team at the scheme…

Earlier this year I delivered refresher training at Cherry Tree Court for Together Housing – it was a fantastic two days. On the training, a gentleman who lives at the scheme, called Mark, sat and watched. Staff explained that Mark chose not to participate in many activities.

Upon completion of the course, the team were awarded certificates and t-shirts, and throughout this Mark looked on and asked if he could have a t-shirt. I challenged Mark to take part in 8 Oomph! sessions to earn himself his own t-shirt!

At the end of August, the team emailed me to confirm that Mark has succeeded in taking part in 8 Oomph! sessions and was looking forward to receiving his t-shirt! Mark has a spine injury and since regularly taking part in Oomph!, he feels day to day tasks are beginning to feel easier.

Cherry Tree Court now have 2 Oomph! sessions taking place every week. The residents who attend have a mixture of different abilities and are really dedicated to attending. The sessions involve armchair movements, sporting games and line dancing. The instructors, Michael and Caroline enjoy delivering Oomph! sessions and are thrilled with everyone’s determination. I sat down with Caroline to see what she thought.

“What do your residents enjoy most about your Oomph! sessions?”

Caroline: “The music creates a great atmosphere and the group are very friendly and welcoming to each other. I think the residents enjoy the hummer (banter) they have with us and each other, as well as getting active.”

“How have your residents improved since you began the exercise sessions?”

Caroline: “Some of the people who attend Oomph! have started to do their own activities outside of the sessions and have recently completed a walk for Alzheimer’s Society. Residents are surprised by how active they can be! One of the ladies who attends Oomph! has arthritis and says the day after Oomph! her pain is reduced and if she misses a session, the pain is worse.”

Socially, it’s great to see people who come to Oomph! socialising with people who don’t often come down to the living area. Oomph! helps people to branch into other social activities taking place in Cherry Tree. Socialising at Oomph! has inspired people to sign up to a befriending scheme.”


To find out more about Oomph!, get in touch at hello@oomph-wellness.org, or to find out more about Together Housing please click here 

Helping to bring music to everyone in the UK with dementia by 2020

By Care Home

Oomph! are working collaboratively with BBC Music Day to help bring music to everyone in the UK with dementia by 2020, using BBC Music Day as a platform.

The fifth BBC Music Day takes place on Thursday 26th September with events and broadcasts across the week. The theme this year is music and wellbeing; the power of music to inspire, to bring us together and make a positive impact. For its music and dementia initiative, BBC Music Day 2019 is collaborating with over 50 UK organisations involved with dementia care, reaching out through their networks and beyond to help bring music to everyone living with dementia in the UK.

To celebrate, we’ve organised events with care homes that we work with across the country to involve as many older adults in music on the day as possible.

We are holding a special music workshop for staff at Somerset House near York, part of the Country Court Care group, to upskill the team in the home and bring music therapy to a range of different resident abilities. The Oomph! Music workshop has been developed by experienced music therapist, Stuart Wood MBE PhD, in partnership with Oomph!, and who will be in attendance on the day.

A practical session will take place after the workshop so that residents can enjoy playing fun and engaging musical games, and will have the opportunity to join in with a choir group created as a result of the workshop.

Meanwhile, Karuna Manor, TLC, will be holding a cultural Oomph! exercise session to international music, bringing a person-centered twist to music therapy in the home. Other events include a karaoke afternoon at Cross Way House, Brookvale Healthcare, who are inviting a local Learning Disabilities group in to join the celebrations, and an intergenerational choir event at Fairmile Grange, Encore Care Homes, who are welcoming children from a local school to come and sing with residents.

To get involved in BBC Music Day, visit www.bbc.co.uk/musicday


Background: BBC Music Day celebrates the power of music to change lives with events across the UK and broadcasts on TV, Radio and digital. Last year BBC Music Day programmes reached over 13 million viewers on TV, 14 million on radio and trended on Twitter throughout the day. The initiative united 100 external partners who delivered over a thousand live music events, which featured in over 100 different BBC programmes with Ambassadors including Kylie, Nile Rodgers and Blossoms.

Resident Wish To Revisit Beloved Wetland Centre Comes True

By Out and about

A special Oomph! trip enabled Lostock Lodge Care Home to make a wish come true for one of their residents as part of the Country Court Care ‘Make a Wish’ initiative.

Dedicated staff at a local care home at Lostock Lodge Care Home, Country Court Care, have worked hard to overcome the odds and help a resident achieve her dream trip. Country Court Care partner with us to deliver exercise classes and creative activities for residents, as well as engaging trips out. As part of the ‘Make a Wish’ initiative, residents were given the opportunity to tell staff about somewhere they’d always wanted to go or a special activity they’d always wanted to do. Lostock Lodge Care Home Resident Sheila was a long-standing volunteer at Martin Mere Wetland Centre near Ormskirk and told staff she would love to go back and visit the nature reserve, but due to her condition didn’t feel she could make the trip.

“We really wanted to find a way of working through the challenges to get Sheila there” said Sarah Holt, Activity Coordinator at Lostock Lodge, to which Sheila replied ”I am so glad you did!” Staff from both teams worked together to arrange the trip and ensure they could accommodate Sheila’s health requirements.

Bill Ramsbottom, Oomph! Minibus Conductor, played a key role in making the trip happen and was the person who first found out about Sheila’s wish. “We had several steps to overcome and for a long time were worried we couldn’t make it happen, but we have eventually overcame the challenges by removing a seat from our minibus and by taking a piece of equipment with us to achieve what appeared to have been impossible.”

Sheila was made redundant from her remedial teaching post in 1976 and decided to turn to private teaching of pupils that need extra help. Whilst preparing for this Sheila started work as a volunteer at the nature reserve, continuing to enjoy and learn more about the wildlife she loves. She worked in the education department at Martin Mere showing the many school parties around the site. During the trip Sheila was able to impart some of her knowledge on her fellow residents and they all enjoyed chatting with current volunteers, seeing the gardens and wildlife and admiring the fabulous flamingos.

“It is so nice for us to meet someone with experience from so long ago. It is wonderful to see the residents getting out and about!” current volunteers at Martin Mere, Enid and Di commented.

“For me this trip was a culmination of plans stretching back to February when Sheila told me she had been a volunteer at Martin Mere.” said Bill Ramsbottom “Not only was I delighted to have finally achieve it and see the pleasure she and Brian (her husband) obtained from it, but I was also amazed by the knowledge and genuine pleasure expressed by all of the other residents.”

The ‘Make a wish’ initiative has seen residents from across the Country Court Care group enjoy special outings and activities; from scoring goals at Sheffield United Football Club, to off-road driving and lots of family tea parties.