Dignity Action Day shines a light on the need for more volunteers in care homes

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Residents of Carter House Care Home in Raynes Park were treated to a celebratory afternoon tea event on Thursday 1 February to mark the annual Dignity Action Day celebrations.

Dignity Action Day is a national annual event to recognise those living in care and afford them the dignity and respect they so deserve.  However, the day has also highlighted the shortfall in volunteers visiting such care homes for the elderly to give their time and help bring more happiness to the residents and assistance to the staff.

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Carter House Care Home on Farnham Gardens pride themselves on regular events throughout the year for the 36 elderly residents, including the 16 residents placed by Merton Council.  For Thursday’s Dignity Action Day event, the residents were treated to music by Carshalton based singer and musician Nick Brown who performed reminiscent songs of yesteryear such as ‘Bring me Sunshine’ and ‘Sweet Caroline’ which the residents, staff, volunteers and guests enjoyed singing and dancing along to.

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Joining the event were Hannah Doody, Merton Council’s Director of Community & Housing and the Mayor of Merton.  Dignity Action Day is a regular date in the diary where members of the community are encouraged to visit anyone they know living in care to try and make their day as special as possible.  The day has a Dignity 10 Point Challenge associated with it which aligns values and actions to those working in care homes which everyone – staff, relatives and volunteers – are encouraged to adopt all year round when working with people in care.

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Carter House Care Home is one example of quality 24 hr care in Merton with specialist residential  and nursing care for Older people.  They regularly host events which embrace many aspects of the local community including regular visits from a committed group of faith groups who visit the residents and bring gifts at special occasions, fortnightly church services from the Full London Gospel Church where some of their members from the Korean community also conduct impressive opera performances for the residents, the Salvation Army’s band and children visits and songs from neighbouring West Wimbledon Primary School throughout the year.

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Councillor Tobin Byers, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “There is no better occasion than Dignity Action Day to remind ourselves of the huge respect we owe to those in our care services around the borough and across the country.  We each need to play our part in ensuring that they are afforded a full and happy life by doing all we can to ensure those in care homes fully recognise our pride in them being such an integral and respected part of our community here in Merton.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer their time – no matter how small an amount and whether regularly or unregularly, should contact Carter House Care Home on 020 8947 5844.  If you would prefer to visit a care home nearer to where you live – visit www.merton.gov.uk/ to see a list of your local care homes.  Following the necessary DBS checks, you will then be able to help enhance the lives of those living in care by volunteering your time and services.



About the London Borough of Merton

An outer London borough to the south west of the capital with a population of 200,000 residents living in 80,000 households and served by 7,500 businesses. Formed in 1965, the borough’s five main town centres are Wimbledon (taking in the Village, the Broadway and South Wimbledon), Mitcham, Morden, Raynes Park and Colliers Wood.  Merton is home to the world famous All England Lawn Tennis Club, where the Wimbledon Championships take place every year bringing an extra 500,000 people into the borough for the tennis extravaganza.  In the 13th century, the Statutes of Merton, the basis of common law in England and seen by many as the forerunner for modern parliament, were signed here.  In the 19th century Merton was a place of industry where famous names such as Arthur Liberty and William Morris based their businesses on the River Wandle. The Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson also lived in Merton.


About Carter House Care Home

Carter House are a quality care home with specialist residential care for elderly and also for those people with dementia and nursing needs.  They also provide respite care for a temporary stat at the home. Run by C&C, an organisation founded over 90 years ago to provide refuge to homeless young women and they have continued to offer inspirational, person centred care and support to vulnerable people. C&C aims to be inspirational in everything they do and to promise their residents the very best service.  They know that for many of their residents a simple conversation can be a valuable social interaction, and their homes are often a hive of activity with thriving communal spaces.  To become a volunteer and give any amount of your time, please contact hilma.dunn@ccht.org.uk


Merton Seniors Forum

Merton Seniors initiated a project two years ago called ‘Dignity in Care’.  Trained and DBS checked volunteers visit Care Homes within Merton with a brief to ensure that citizens are treated with Dignity and Care in their later years.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact them on msfdignityincare@hotmail.com. They would welcome any help you can provide.