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Published by Literature from The Grange, 2019-05-23 08:25:10

Cheif Executive Letter May 2019

To family and carers

May 2019

Dear Parents and Family Carers

News from The Grange

My first anniversary here flew by in March, and time continues to rush past in a
delightful whirl of everyday activity, special events and unexpected encounters.
Since Christmas, we’ve met exotic insects, enjoyed a magic show, welcomed a
Ugandan choir, had fun with the firemen at our first Safety Day and held a very
energetic fashion show. Our social media pages are full of great photos reflecting
the variety and novelty of life at The Grange. The Grange now has a new podcast
‘Chatter Matters’ produced by people we support. It’s on our website:

Care Quality Commission
At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve hosted inspections by the Care Quality
Commission of both our registered services. In each case, inspectors were
complimentary about the care provided. They made comments such as:

People were supported to live as independently as possible at a service which
encouraged and inspired people to live full lives. (Supported Living)

People were supported to live in a homely environment with a caring team of
staff. (Residential Care)

The loveliest comments were often those taken from telephone interviews with
family carers, and I do thank you for the support and appreciation which they reflect
for our work each day here.

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23 MAY 2019

Inspectors decided that both services should retain their ‘good’ ratings across the
board. Whilst it would have been pleasing to see the odd ‘outstanding’ thrown in for
the various criteria, the scope of the inspections is very limited and hardly
acknowledges other aspects of the organisation, such as our ground-breaking skills
department, our beautiful grounds and our social events. You can find the full
reports by following the links from

Healthy living

In spite of the unexpected recent absence of Brenna Russell – who has now accepted
the role of Healthy Living Coordinator on a permanent basis – we have continued to
push forward with our work in this area. Wednesday 12 June sees a Fitness Festival
at The Grange which is a joint project with other local care providers, and to which
people supported by those organisations have also be invited. We also welcome our
first Healthy Living Volunteer to the team this month. A group of people we support
has recently started attending Bookham Slimming World with quite rapid and
dramatic effects, in some cases. The Skills Team have picked up many of Brenna’s
regular commitments, which has been helpful in identifying where best to deploy her
talents on her return. In between big events such as the Community Golf
tournament here on 31 May, the Dorking Colour 5k on 8 June and the Super Hero Tri
at Dorney Lake on 17 August, there is a daily programme of activity on site with
support staff increasingly taking the lead in devising and delivering it. Zumba and
aqua-aerobics are the latest offerings. Healthy food choices continue to be
promoted and role-modelled, with healthy options such as fruit and popcorn being
served at events, and the cake-fuelled habits of The Grange gradually being ‘nibbled
away’, if you will excuse the pun.

Keeping Safe

Ensuring that people are safe on site and off is a key concern of our staff. The Keep
Safe @ The Grange Group now meets once every two months, with support from our
local Police Community Support Officer and Keep Safe Volunteer. They have already
been spreading tips about staying safe in the winter, on line and when travelling on
public transport. The Safety Day they organised earlier this month was an interactive
way to share simple ideas – such as good hand-washing, helping someone who is
choking, dealing with stranger danger, etc. We were grateful to Freewheelers
Theatre, the Fire Service and the Police for taking part and we were impressed by the

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23 MAY 2019

range of games and exhibits that staff were able to produce – including the ‘Pass the
Germ’ game, a ‘Dangerous Plants’ quiz and a string of colourful ‘safety bunting’ now
on show in The Conservatory.

The Pegasus Scheme

The Keep Safe Group is keen to encourage more people to sign up to the Police’s
Pegasus Scheme. This records basic details about people with special
communication requirements so that when they are involved in an incident away
from home, the emergency services understand how best to support them. More
details can be found at
us/sspegasus-scheme/pegasus-card-scheme/ I hope you will encourage your family
members at The Grange to sign up, with help from their support staff. If you do it at
home, please send a copy of the form to [email protected] so that
we know who does (and does not) belong to the scheme.

And waste paper bins…

On a more basic note, please can you refrain from buying plastic waste bins for
Grange flats? They have proved on more than one occasion to be a fire risk. Metal
ones are safer, as and when you can replace them.

Would you like to talk Makaton?

We are very happy to open up our Makaton introductory courses to families. If you
would like to book yourself on, please contact our HR Officer Chirag Mehta
([email protected]) and he will give you the next set of dates.
There is no charge, and our Communications Tutor Sue Lee is a very encouraging

Being heard

The Grange is keen to provide the means for people we support to contribute to
debates about all aspects of life. We submitted case studies for the recent review of
concessionary bus travel by Surrey County Council. Two people we support are on
the new NHS-led steering group trying to address loneliness among people with
learning disabilities. We have had two people take part in training materials for care
professionals being produced by the University of Surrey. More of our residents will
be attending ‘lunch and learn’ sessions at the Clinical Commissioning Groups in

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23 MAY 2019

Guildford and Weybridge next month to spread understanding of their needs among
medical practitioners. And the recent allocation of funding to investigate the cause
of regular flooding in Bookham was apparently greatly influenced by The Grange’s
contribution, which reflected a very different point of view from the one local
Councillors were used to hearing. We are even helping to shape the new Local Plan.
These activities provide some interesting experiences for your relations, and their
opinions on some of the round table discussions by ‘the professionals’ can be very

Save the date - AGM
Our Annual General Meeting and Review will take place on the morning of Thursday
3 October. We will be launching our new Strategic Plan with some very exciting
projects in the pipeline. Please do come. We can promise you that this is no
ordinary AGM – last year’s sent people away wreathed in big smiles, and we were
told it was the best ever. So do make a date with us – chat to staff, hear about the
achievements of your friends and relatives at The Grange, and enjoy a convivial
As ever, there is so much more to tell. But I’ll close here with a few photos from
recent weeks to cheer you on your way. Please keep all your helpful feedback
coming. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Yours faithfully

Chief Executive Officer

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23 MAY 2019

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