Staff at Court House Retirement Home in Cheddar have moved in to ensure they can safely deliver care to residents during the global coronavirus crisis.
By ensuring staff are staying on-site and visitors are prevented from entering, they can continue to care for residents safely.
Their actions come to reduce the risk of COVID-19 reaching the residents amid fears it could have had a devastating effect as it has at other homes in the UK.
Remarkably, they are also raising money for health care partner Weston Hospicecare through an online fundraiser.
Christopher Dando has run the home with his family for the past 34 years and says his close team deserve enormous credit.
He said “As the fear of the spread of coronavirus was getting worse, we started to hear stories of the virus reaching care homes and what it did to vulnerable residents.
“We decided that we had to do something to protect our lovely residents who are very vulnerable and many have underlying health conditions.
“After talking to some of my staff we realised that the only way we could protect the residents was if we moved into the care home lock the doors and stop anyone coming in and out.
“It became apparent that we were going to be able to get enough staff to agree to this so we planned to start straight away.
“We all feel very privileged to be able to do what we’re doing and we feel this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to step up to the plate and potentially save lives.
“I am immensely proud of my wonderful staff who without hesitation agreed to move into Court House and leave their families behind.
“I have two daughters Chloe and Edith, so I know how difficult it is for them as it is for me.
“We don’t know how long we are going to do this for but we feel that it will be for a minimum of four weeks so that the peak will pass and then we will review our situation after that.
“Corrina, who couldn’t come into the care home with us, wanted to continue to be part of our journey and thought that it would be a nice idea for us to raise money for Weston Hospicecare while doing what we are doing. So she set up a fundraising page.
“In the past,” said Chris, “we have been supported well by Weston Hospicecare, and so have some of our residents.
“Even one of the hospice’s community nurse specialists, Wendy Stephens, had her mother living with us before having support from the charity at the end of her life.”
Court House also supported the hospice last year by holding an open gardens session which raises money by inviting the public in to view private gardens during the summer season in exchange for donations.
Chris continued: “All of our members of staff are amazing and I don’t want to single anyone out but we do have two members of staff that have only worked for us for very short periods but readily agreed to move in with us.
“One lady did so after only working for us for one day!
“Also, we were very pleased when our chef Gary decided that he would be happy to move in with us and I have to say he works a hard 12 hour day every day.
“Not only for filling the nutritional needs of the residents but giving the staff the fuel that they need to keep them working as hard as they have been. I must say his food is absolutely fantastic!”
To support the incredible fundraising efforts of Cheddar Court House, visit https://bit.ly/CourtHouseCheddar to leave a donation.
Despite the global coronavirus crisis, Weston Hospicecare continues to deliver world-class palliative care to patients with life-limiting conditions in Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset and Sedgemoor.
This is not only taking place at the charity’s base in Uphill but also within the homes of patients with nurses using PPE.