Kindness on Mental Health Awareness Week at Sidney Corob House

19 May 2020

As well as the range of activities which now take place virtually in the care home including singing, yoga and entertainers, residents at Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House for people with mental health needs in West Hampstead, will be focussing on the theme of kindness as part of Mental Health Awareness Week this week, 18-24 May.

 Social co-ordinators at the home, Sheree Charalampous and Isabel Fontes are working together to support the residents’ wellbeing. People are staying connected to their networks of family, friends and volunteers online as well as participating in activities led virtually by the home’s regular entertainers and therapeutic practitioners.

 Isabel says, “We see kindness in small gestures, and in the current situation, small gestures become huge. We can see acts of kindness from a person in the home offering a place to sit to another or helping another person. Sometimes silent gestures are most noticeable.”

To begin the Mental Health Awareness Week programme, residents and staff at Sidney Corob House wrote their own personal words of kindness on sunflowers, decorating the reception area at the care home. Jewish Care’s spiritual and pastoral adviser, Rabbi Junik also gave a virtual talk about kindness to residents.

Social coordinator, Sheree Charalampous, says, “This week, our creative writing and reading groups will focus on a project and readings on kindness. We will also be planting seeds of kindness on the weekend. Our staff will take part in wellbeing programme during our handovers this week, looking at physical acts of kindness, being kind to ourselves as well as celebrating the kindness we have seen emerging from living through the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Since the visits to Jewish Care homes were suspended, many activities have moved online. The arts programme is helping to stimulate creativity and connection and art volunteers are now back online in the home. Residents are enjoying the continuity of the one-to-one classes and group yoga classes online and the resident’s choir, now being led virtually, is still going strong. They have been singing and dancing and there are regular calls on the iPad to connect residents with their families, friends and volunteers.

Sheree continues, “We are able to support our residents’ wellbeing through a full programme of virtual activities to enjoy and this is helping to keep their spirits up, which is vital to their sense of wellbeing.

Jewish Care’s Sidney Corob House Manager, Sandra Saintus added, “It is so important that, wherever possible, we can keep our residents connected to the people and things that bring us joy and a sense of community. We have seen so many amazing acts of kindness to our residents and staff during Covid-19 from relatives and volunteers from the local community so this is a perfect opportunity to continue to focus on the positive and celebrate these incredible acts of kindness.”

Staff at Jewish Care's Sidney Corob House

Members of Jewish Care's Sidney Corob House care, housekeeping and catering team