Bouncing beats Covid blues

Throughout the pandemic and its restrictions on everyday life, Livability’s staff have remained determined to make life as great as possible for the people they care for. For our services, this means doing much more than taking care of routine needs. It means making sure there are high points in everyone’s week.

We caught up with Mandy Nixon, area manager for Livability Treetops, our Colchester residential home for people with high-dependency needs.

People we support, Livability Treetops - bouncing balls activity

Bouncing balls activity – Livability Treetops

How is the Treetops team ‘keeping the show on the road’, Mandy?

‘My team is amazing and stays positive and upbeat, even when we’re feeling frustrated because restrictions mean what we can offer our residents seems much less than usual. But our activities coordinators make sure there’s always something going on here!’

What’s on offer during a typical week?

‘Well, our folk were missing a trampoline exercise class they usually attend locally, so we found the money to buy a trampoline for Treetops, which we set up in the dining room. The residents absolutely love it! We play music during the session and it’s fun and great for wellbeing. It also helps physical issues for our people, like digestion. And we’ve been doing cooking with the residents, which included making our Christmas puddings this year, and cakes. Plus the odd silly thing, like messy games where you get to put your feet in disgusting-feeling things like baked beans!’

How much does Covid add to your admin workload?

‘We have 21 residents here and 72 staff. We’re testing staff for Covid three times a week, and residents get a regular PCR test. This means a huge amount of data entry, taking many extra hours. Of course we want to do this and anything else that keeps people safer, but we also won’t let it subsume our main purpose here – enabling the people we support to live well and enjoy life.’

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