International Day of Happiness 2021

19th Mar 2021 - Written by Katy Westaway

Reading time: 3 minutes

Saturday 20th March is the International Day of Happiness – a day to spread positivity! This year is focused on finding positive ways to look after ourselves and each other through the coronavirus pandemic.

At Brunelcare we have taken steps to ensure the wellbeing of staff, residents and tenants, so we can get through these challenging times together.

Help in the community

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic we have received over 300 offers of help from the community through our volunteering initiatives.

Volunteers have taken on roles such as befriending, help with shopping, and community support. Some of our volunteers will be
celebrating their one year anniversary with Brunelcare at the end of this month!

The outpouring of support from our local community has been overwhelming, and through the initiatives, residents and tenants have found friends for life.

Mary, a tenant at Colliers Gardens, met 14-year-old Eva through our penpal scheme, and the pair were finally able to meet face-to-face after four months of writing each other letters.

Eva said: “When I first wrote to Colliers Gardens I didn’t know if I would get a reply. A few weeks later, I had a letter from Mary. I was so thrilled! Mary and I talk about everything from arts and crafts, to the weather to what we’ve been up to at the weekend. There’s nothing I like more than receiving a letter from Mary in the post. Writing and receiving letters is very exciting and it’s definitely a lost art form.”

Another pair who immediately hit it off were Mike and Nicki, who met through our telephone befriending scheme, created to help residents and tenants combat loneliness through regular phone calls.

When Mike and Nicki were matched up, they formed a strong bond over their love for music, and were eventually able to meet as part of the BBC’s Loneliness Awareness Campaign.

We couldn’t be more grateful for the kindness and support that volunteers have brought to our organisation during this time.

Reuniting with loved ones

This month we were thrilled to hear that care homes could reopen for visits. Our Saffron Gardens and Deerhurst care homes had emotional reunions as they opened their doors to visitors for the first time in months, reuniting residents with their loved ones. Deerhurst even celebrated with balloons and bubbly to mark the occasion.

Staff saw residents’ faces light up as they saw their loved ones, and some couples were able to hold hands for the first time in a year.

One visitor said: “Thank you so much for today. I absolutely loved seeing mum in her room. We made each other laugh out loud which felt so good. I’ll never be able to thank you and you lovely team for all that you do for mum and the other residents.”

We are incredibly thankful that we can reunite residents with their loved ones once again, and will continue to safely reopen our homes to visitors in the coming weeks.

Keeping staff smiling

Our team at Brunelcare have worked harder than ever this past year, and we have taken steps to ensure the wellbeing of our staff in these challenging times.

In September, we distributed surprise gift hampers to every member of staff at Brunelcare to thank them for their hard work throughout the pandemic. The hampers included a variety of tasty treats such as tea, biscuits and chocolates, and were gratefully received by members of our team.

While this year has been challenging in lots of ways, we are grateful for all the help we have received and the opportunities we’ve had to spread happiness across Brunelcare. This International Day of Happiness, take a moment to focus on your wellbeing and see how you can help others through these difficult times.