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Thank you to all of our FirstPort Everyday Heroes

We want to say thank you to all of our retirement customers and colleagues for going above and beyond during these unusual times.

This post is thanking our Everyday Heroes at FirstPort retirement developments who have gone the extra mile over the past weeks and months. We’ve been proud to see people supporting each other to retain a sense of community, normality and positivity in their homes during lockdown. In this blog, we’re exploring some of the incredible things people have been doing at FirstPort sites, from remarkable feats to small acts of kindness.

Change came quickly, but this crisis showed just how essential our on-site work is. Our FirstPort colleagues have been carrying out their vital work while adhering to strict social distancing measures, committed to delivering essential services so that our residents can be confident that their homes are in good hands.

Keeping calm and carrying on

Community is at the heart of what we do, but at a time when we’re all being asked to keep our distance, that can be hard to maintain.

Yet life itself isn’t in lockdown – and for our colleagues and customers, being physically apart isn’t getting in the way of their sense of togetherness.

Development Managers across our retirement developments have made sure they are on-hand to provide support and guidance to residents who are struggling during self-isolation with a friendly ear, and support with things like online shopping and access to local services.

At Jubilee Court, Development Manager Sondra has been called a “shining light through a dark period” by her residents. She has been actively keeping spirits high with initiatives including a singalong and a fish and chip night – all while socially distanced. Our colleague Dawn from Saddlers Court has also been going the extra mile and remembering the personal touches that make our communities what they are, such as keeping one gluten-free resident stocked up on suitable snacks and nibbles!

Residents at Tylers Ride have praised their Development Manager Tracey for helping to make sure those who are self-isolating have access to food supplies and medicines through lockdown. One resident said: “Tracey has once again proved she is a diamond…I would like to thank her for her wonderful way with people and for helping us all.”

Special occasions are just as important as the daily routine. Particularly in our retired communities, we’ve seen many people forced to mark milestones and pass big days in isolation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t let them know they’re loved. At Read Court, we helped one resident’s family hang banners outside her home on her 100th birthday. And the celebrations really got going at Pegasus Court, where customers celebrated one of their neighbour’s 90th birthday by singing songs and waving banners, all while properly socially distanced.

Supporting our key workers

Keeping our own communities thriving is important, but we also know that the real battle is happening beyond our front doors.

We want to thank the many residents and FirstPort colleagues at our sites who have gone out of their way to support the country’s care services in their time of need.

Most of our residents have been paying their own tributes, every Thursday night as part of the nationwide clap for carers and by hanging key worker thank you signs and banners around their homes.

Residents at Tembani Court also joined the cause by clubbing together to raise funds for their local hospital. The enterprising group didn’t stop there, and even threw in some hand-knitted heart-shaped cushions for good measure.

Keeping a smile on our faces

As well as the good and the great, we’re also proud to report that our customers and colleagues haven’t forgotten the importance of putting a smile on each other’s faces.

Development Manager Tina ran an Easter hat competition, while at Caiystane Court residents were sent on a virtual Easter egg hunt over the long weekend.

VE Day, of course, was particularly significant for members of our retirement community. While parties may have been cancelled, there was bunting out all over the country to mark the occasion. Development Manager Sarah-Jayne went even further by preparing patriotic goodie bags for residents at Beeches Court, while at Montgomery Court our colleague Sally baked over 100 cakes, leaving them outside her residents’ apartment doors to enjoy with a tipple on the day.

We’ve also kept residents at our retirement homes busy with a weekly entertainment pack including puzzles, crosswords, adult colouring sheets and recipes. Every Friday, our Development Managers are popping these packs under the door of any of their residents who may find them useful to help keep entertained while they’re spending more time at home. Our colleagues have also been passing on key news and updates on the ongoing situation. We have received many compliments from our residents and their families on how our activities and updates are really helping them to stay positive, one resident commented: “There are plenty of self-isolating weekly puzzles and word searches, and more or less daily up to date news. If I am going to have to be isolated better to be here with everyone in same situation”.

Meanwhile at Ryland House local musicians have been entertaining residents and neighbours with impromptu performances – leaving few dry eyes in the house. These even caught the attention of BBC Manchester, which came down to the site to interview residents about how much it meant to members of the community.

Of course, nothing is more rewarding than being thanked for a good job well done. We want to extend our gratitude to all of our residents who have passed on kind words of encouragement to us in recent weeks. We’ve received a huge number of kind messages both in person and online, all of which are greatly appreciated – it makes it all worthwhile.

And finally…

These are just a handful of examples of the great work being done around the country, and while we can’t mention everyone, we can say another huge thank you to all of our retirement customers and colleagues.

Normal times will come again, but until they do, we’ll continue to support each other and keep the uplifting sense of community that makes our developments so special.