Thoughtful carer’s delight at receiving national award

Julie Robinson, lifestyle coordinator at Britten Court care home in Lowestoft. Picture: Care UK

Julie Robinson, lifestyle coordinator at Britten Court care home in Lowestoft. Picture: Care UK - Credit: Archant

A carer who harnessed the appeal of the seaside for a seriously ill resident has won a national gong in recognition of her work.

Julie Robinson, a lifestyle coordinator at Britten Court care home in Lowestoft, is set to receive the Unsung Hero award from Caring Times magazine for her creative use of activities to support resident wellbeing.

Consistently adopting a thoughtful and considerate approach, it was due to one gesture in particular that Ms Robinson was able to stand out from the other nominees.

'One resident was very ill and no longer able to visit the seaside she loved,' explained home manager, Chloe Swarbrick. 'Julie went to the beach and collected sand and shells, along with some sea water.

'She also recorded the sounds of the beach, so she could recreate a sensory seaside experience for the resident back in her room.

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'The resident, who had grown up by the Suffolk coast, was able to turn her head as she heard the waves and she gave a lovely smile. It was incredibly moving and shows what can be accomplished from the simplest things.'

Colleagues say Ms Robinson is a never-ending source of creative ideas and energy, who gets to know every resident before creating person-centred activities.

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Among her other achievements is the creation of a recipe club, allowing residents to select recipes that they and their families used to cook, before the kitchen team prepares them for everyone can share and reminisce.

She also developed a memory path where every resident can decorate and lay a stone to show they are an integral part of the home.

'I love my job because every day is different and every resident has an amazing story to tell, as shown by the recipe club,' said Ms Robinson.

'One resident was a cook at Somerleyton Hall and shared an incredible scone recipe. She watched over the chefs as we cooked and was not slow to tell us when we were not doing it to her high standards!

'Another lady shared her grandmother's Christmas cake recipe and it was so good we have adopted it as our standard home recipe.'

Ms Robinson's dedication has been further demonstrated by the decision to spend her prize money on a bracelet charm that constantly reminds her of the home.

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