fbpx Skip to main content

Out and about

Making wishes come true at blackpool tower ballroom

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.

Residents at the care home in Lostock Gralam have been discussing what they would wish for, Bill said how much he enjoyed weekends in Blackpool with his wife and he decided he would love to go back to Blackpool Tower Ballroom. The team at Lostock Lodge Care Home thought that this would make a great day out, so he and three other lucky residents were sent a personal invitation.

Bill and wife Anne were regular visitors to the world-famous ballroom dancing venue and enjoyed both the dancing and the organ music synonymous with the ballroom. Bill’s daughter Alison explains…

“He loves to dance so much, he and my mum went there regularly for weekends and danced in the Tower Ballroom. I do know he was particularly looking forward to the organ music which he loves, he used to be a keen keyboard player himself.”

The Lostock Lodge residents were treated to a delicious afternoon tea and enjoyed watching the dancers on the dancefloor. Much to Bill’s delight there was an organist playing live and Bill took to the floor for a short spin around the dancefloor too.

“Our ‘Make a Wish’ initiative has enabled us to make out trips and outings much more meaningful and personal to each individual, Bill had a fantastic day” said Katy Viner, Customer Relations Manager at Lostock Lodge Care Home.

Oomph! are working in partnership with Country Court Care to take residents out on regular minibus trips to a wide range of local destinations, including Blue Planet Aquarium, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the Sloane Square Christmas lights.

Goal! Resident wish kicked off with trip to Notts County Football Club

By Out and about

New Care has been getting out and about on Oomph! trips. One recent trip for The Grand Care Centre scored a goal with residents, who went to Notts County Football Club.

The trip was intended to build friendships between the male resident attendees away from the home, and fulfil one resident’s wish of visiting the location.

The group went out for a meal first, before enjoying a personal guided tour by sporting legend Les Bradd, Notts County’s all time leading goal scorer!

A member of staff at The Grand Care Centre commented, “The residents said it was a great experience, as many had played football in their younger years and it brought back lovely memories.”

Another member of staff said, “[It was a] fantastic day out. All the residents had a fabulous day. It was the first time two of the residents had been inside a football ground, but they were very interested and would recommend to other residents.”

Oomph! are working in partnership with New Care to take residents out on regular minibus trips to a wide range of local destinations, including Woolaton Park, National memorial Arboretum, Blue Diamond Garden Centre and Stonebridge City Farm. You can find out more about the partnership here.

Formula 1 fan and care home resident “thrilled to bits” to recieve photobook and momento

By Out and about

Country Court Care homes have been going on regular Oomph! trips, and as a result of this, our drivers (or Conductors), are really getting to know the residents at the homes. A recent trip for Lostock Lodge has had an unexpected outcome for one resident, who has been gifted momentos after the home’s Oomph! Conductor, Bill, discovered her passion for Formula 1… 

Bill, Oomph! Conductor, commented, “On my last visit to Lostock, I spent a while chatting with Sheila and Brian Yates, and it turns out that Sheila is a keen Formula 1 fan and also a Lewis Hamilton fan. To surprise her, I filled a small photo album with 24 shots of Lewis Hamilton which I have taken on my many F1 trips to circuits all over the world. I also took along a small souvenir of a tiny relic of Lewis Hamilton’s leathers mounted on a lanyard.

The response was amazing, with tears of joy in her eyes, and her husband was extremely grateful. Sheila looks through the photos regularly and is still wearing the lanyard I gave her – it makes my efforts so rewarding.”

Sheila developed an interest in the sport on a trip to Austria, where she saw the Red Bull Headquarters.

Brain, Sheila’s husband, commented, “Sheila is thrilled to bits to receive these fabulous gifts. It was a very special moment for Sheila and she will treasure her gifts. She is absolutely delighted and can’t thank Bill enough, as he had no reason to go to all that trouble. Sheila has been through so much, that this is really special for her.”

Oomph! are working in partnership with Country Court Care to take residents out on regular minibus trips to a wide range of local destinations, including Blue Planet Aquarium, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the Sloane Square Christmas lights. You can find out more about the partnership here.

Somerset Care gets out and about with Oomph!

By Care Home, Out and about

We have partnered with Somerset Care, a leading UK Care Group, to provide engaging trips out for their residents.

Trips are running for 26 Somerset Care homes, who will be visiting a varied range of locations, spanning everything from arts and culture, to food and dining, to nature and the outdoors. Partnerships established with organisations such as the National Trust also mean that homes will be getting out and about to beautiful houses, buildings and gardens in their local area.

Previous Oomph! trips have been to unexpected and exciting locations, such as cat cafes, gin distilleries and racing tracks, as well as more day-to-day spots in the local community. These trips out aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them, so that they can reignite old passions – or discover new ones.

Somerset Care homes have already headed out to local venues such as Bristol Aquarium, Fleet Air Museum, and Haynes Motor Museum.

On a recent trip, one resident commented: “I had a lovely day and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to do it again!”

A member of staff at the home said: “Today’s trip was a fun and meaningful activity. Residents really loved it.”

The trips also act as an opportunity for residents to share their wealth of knowledge and experience, with Anthony, the Oomph! Conductor, commenting: “On our trip the residents planned the planting of daffodils for next year, as it’s best done in November… so I learned something today too!”

Nicola Mould, Somerset Care’s Director of Customer and Care Development, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Oomph! Wellness to provide days out for our residents. The trips provide an amazing addition to the activities already on offer within our homes and our residents are having great fun, with many enjoying a sing song along the way.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be partnering with Somerset Care, to provide residents with regular and meaningful trips out. It is a privilege to be an integral part of the organisation’s wellbeing provision and we are excited to help ensure that residents life a full life, for life.”

WCS Care gets some Oomph! with new wellbeing partnership!

By Care Home, Out and about

We are partnering with WCS Care, a leading UK Care Group, to deliver awesome exercise classes and creative activities for their residents, as well as engaging trips out.

Taking a whole-home approach to activities, staff in 12 WCS 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.

Staff feedback on the training has been excellent, with one member of staff commenting: “The practical elements of the course were good fun! This training got me confident and energised to lead sessions!”

Another said: “I found it great learning how important exercise is and seeing how it will make a massive difference to our residents!”

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. Additional workshops include relaxation, culture and nature.

Residents are now 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, Out & About trips are running for residents at 10 WCS Care homes, who are visiting a varied range of locations, spanning everything from arts and culture, to food and dining, to nature and the outdoors. Partnerships established with organisations such as the National Trust also mean that homes are getting out and about to beautiful houses, buildings and gardens in their local area.

Popular trip destinations have included Coventry Transport Museum, a horse sanctuary and a butterfly farm. These trips out aim to connect residents to the people and places that matter most to them, so that they can reignite old passions – or discover new ones.

One staff member said: “The residents enjoyed the trip out to the park! It was lovely weather and we saw lots of wildlife. We all chatted to people in the park and enjoyed some refreshments. The residents were very excited to be out in the warm weather’’.

Christine Asbury, WCS Care’s Chief Executive, said: “Our partnership with Oomph! enables us to support residents with a wider range of opportunities, so they can continue to enjoy what they’ve always done or try something new.

“Oomph!’s comprehensive training fits well with our approach and values, giving staff permission to have fun and be creative while focusing on our ambition to make every day well lived for people living in a WCS Care home.”

Ben Allen, Oomph’s CEO and Founder, said: “Oomph! are delighted to be working with the WCS Care 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 the homes and are excited to be adding additional fun and engagement to resident activities!”

Oomph! Annual Impact Report 2017/18

By Care Home, Community, Out and about

We’re delighted to release our brand new Oomph! Impact Report 2017/18. This year, we’ve achieved amazing scale, positively changing the impact of ageing for record numbers of older adults across the UK.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • We have trained over 3,700 staff, and have delivered over 45,400 exercise classes
  • 100% of staff would recommend our training to a colleague
  • We have gone on 1925 trips, taking 8060 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.

Roll on 2019!

Team Oomph! take on the 3 Peak Challenge

By Care Home, Community, Out and about

When the alarm went off at 4:30am on Friday 13th, it was safe to say no one in the team was particularly excited at the prospect of doing a 24 mile hike.

Loaded up with water, snacks – and some fabulously moist cakes from Apetito – spirits picked up as over 80 people in the care sector set off on the 3 Peaks Challenge, covering Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent.

It was a rewarding day, with beautiful views of the Yorkshire countryside, but most certainly not easy going – there was a downpour of rain on the second peak (scroll down for some particularly damp photos!), treacherous drops, blisters, cramp and broken walking boots (not to mention a lack of phone signal). By lunchtime – over 6 hours in – Team Oomph! was tired, sore and ready to eat our bodyweight in cake provided by the organisers. At the third peak, around 8 hours in, we’d set a nearly impossible pace and could barely speak to each other. Coming in just under 10 hours, we finished with a run to the line and it was all over – we’d never been more deserving of the cold pint and fish and chips devoured at the pub afterwards.

Whilst gruelling, we couldn’t have been walking and climbing for a more worthy cause, and the day provided a great opportunity to meet a wide range of incredible people from the sector, from suppliers to care workers themselves. So far, we’ve raised over £1100 for the Care Workers Charity, but there’s still time to donate here – every pound goes some way in helping care workers in their time of need.

If that wasn’t exciting enough, there’s now talk of Team Oomph! tackling the national 3 Peaks next, so perhaps you should watch this space…

From Cat Cafes to Gin Distilleries: One Year of Out & About

By Care Home, Out and about

With every life change, we reach new milestones and new circumstances are thrust upon us. In early adulthood, most milestones are an opportunity to interact with new people; we land our first job, move to a new house or gain a place at university.

As we get older, our life changes naturally limit our opportunity to socialise; we retire, we stop driving, our children move out. The potential to slow down on social activities and new experiences as we age is apparent, but it shouldn’t be the reality.

Remaining socially active and maintaining community relationships supports us all to maintain good physical and emotional health. Research suggests that participating in meaningful social activities enhances brain health, lowers the risk of high blood pressure and even lowers the risk of dementia.

May 2018 marked a year since we launched our trips service – designed to break down the barrier between care homes and the outside world.  The service provides regular meaningful outings, supporting older adults to maintain social activities – nurturing existing community relations and building new ones.

In just a year we have seen our reach increase exponentially:

  • We now run 5 x more trips a month than when we started
  • Our fleet of buses has expanded from 3 to 13 (and still counting!)
  • We’ve taken 7000 residents on 2000+ trips, and created countless smiles

Our conductors are the essence of Oomph!, delivering inclusive and interactive trips tailored to the interests and needs of any group of individuals. Neil Thomson, our Devon conductor, gives an insight into the impact getting out and about has:

“On a recent visit to Plymouth Hoe, we had a swimming enthusiast who mentioned she hadn’t been in the water in years. Given she had already swum the channel, we couldn’t let the opportunity slip for her to have a paddle… 96 is never too old for a dip! It’s wonderful to see residents getting out of the home and re-engaging in their hobbies and interests.”

From Cat Cafes to gin distilleries, we’ve seen the incredible benefits that trips have, from enhancing mood and wellbeing to reigniting individual passions our impact remains our driving force. Furthermore, our increasing presence in the wider community has raised the profile of Oomph!, positioning us as a credible partner for the likes of HQ theatres and The National Trust.

We have had a wonderful year empowering older adults to get out and about – creating wonderful memories and new experiences. We look forward to furthering our impact as we grow… About to place 5 new buses on the road and with plans to expand our fleet by a further 16 buses by March 2019.

Be sure to give us a wave if you see us on the road (you can’t miss us!)…

For more information, please email hello@oomph-wellness.org





Borough Care Residents Get Out And About With Oomph!

By Care Home, Out and about

We are now partnering with Borough Care, the largest not for profit provider of care for older people in Stockport, to provide its residents with more day trips out to destinations further afield. Borough Care will work with us to offer residents regular visits to places of interest.

Each of Borough Care’s eleven homes will participate in one Oomph! trip each month. Recent trips have included a day at the seaside in Blackpool, a chance to see the animals at Chester Zoo and a visit to Knowsley Safari Park.

Commenting on the Oomph! partnership, Sophie Gardiner, Area Support at Borough Care, says: “At Borough Care, we believe people should continue to do the things they love and that a person’s life shouldn’t come to a standstill when they move to a care home. We are committed to providing a wide range of activities, to ensure our residents live an enriched life and are able to participate in everything they wish. The link up with Oomph! offers people the chance to get out and about in a safe environment.”

Matt Hamblin, Senior Business Manager at Oomph!, says: “We are excited to partner with Borough Care, to ensure that all residents live a full life for life. Research shows there are proven health and wellbeing benefits of continuing to get outdoors as you get older so we are delighted to be able to provide this service for Borough Care residents.”

The health and wellbeing benefits to Borough Care residents participating in the Oomph! trips include: the excitement of doing something different; the opportunity to reminisce by revisiting places they may not have visited for many years; improving relationships with fellow residents through shared experiences; and spending more time outdoors in the fresh air, which is beneficial to both a person’s physical and mental health.

Getting outdoors to tackle social isolation head on

By Care Home, Out and about

This year, on the 21st April, Care Home Open Day will be held in thousands of homes across the country for the 6th year running.

The theme of this year is ‘Linking Communities’ and is meant to help homes build relationships with local people and organisations, and – whilst there are clearly benefits to be had by increasing the number of visitors to care homes – I hope that an equal outcome will be that residents of care homes across the country feel closer and better connected to the communities around them as result.

Since I started working in care homes 6 years ago, I have always been aware of the number of barriers faced when supporting residents to stay connected to the communities around their homes. The reasons for this isolation in care might be a lack of transport, fear of leaving a safe environment or more simply, a lack of knowledge of accessible places to go and things that can be done there.

A 2013 study called Greening Dementia found that, whilst only 20% of people living with dementia considered their condition to be a barrier to using outdoor spaces, 83% of care staff believed that dementia limited the person’s ability to do so. This suggests that we aren’t simply facing logistical barriers, but also the misperceptions of those directly delivering care. And so, it is important that we not only provide ways and means of getting out and about, but that we also have a responsibility to raise awareness as to why it’s so vital.

Research has showed that spending as little as 5 minutes in nature, sometimes referred to as ‘a dose of nature’, can be good for health and wellbeing, and – whilst most people would accept that staying indoors for extended periods of time is bad for your health – knowing some of the true benefits that come with adventuring away from of the care environment is something we should all be able to talk about. Benefits such as:

  • A chance for spontaneous social encounters that aren’t possible without leaving the four walls of the home.
  • Opportunities to reminisce by encountering places, smells or sounds that might not have been revisited in a long time.
  • Improved relationships within the home, through shared experiences and personal discoveries, leading to greater empathy through care.
  • Better orientation with nature and the seasons for those who struggle to remember specific times and dates.

Have a look to see if any homes in your area are opening their doors this weekend, and if you’ve already been invited to visit a home this Care Home Open Day, then make sure you return the favour! Let residents and staff know about other community events they could attend or offer to join them as a volunteer on their next outing away from the home.

For more information, please email benjamin@oomph-wellness.org