Care for the elderly in Northumberland.

Fish and chips, ice cream and a seaside walk at Tynemouth

By 14th July, 2017 News No Comments

Yesterday, a group of residents, staff and volunteers went on a summer trip to the seaside at Tynemouth.
Our Activities Coordinator was worried that it might be just too hot to enjoy the day, but the weather was perfect, a little overcast, and not too much blazing sun.
After a short journey in our mini bus, we enjoyed a refreshing stroll along the promenade and had a relaxing time watching the boats and ships out on the horizon.
Then we enjoyed a delicious Fish and Chip lunch at Crusoe’s restaurant at the Longsands in Tynemouth. The cafe is amazing and is actually on the beach, so we were able to watch visitors playing in the sand and surf. We then rounded off the day with a very welcome ice-cream at the Links Cafe in Whitley Bay.
Our residents remarked on the freshness of the sea air, and reminisced about their own visits to the beach and seaside on holiday and with their own families.
Thank you again to our volunteers who helped make our trip a very successful outing!ng!

Celebrating 2017 National Carers’ Week at Charlotte Straker House.

By 12th June, 2017 News No Comments

This week is Carers’ Week in the UK.

It’s a national awareness week that celebrates the contribution made by the 6.5 million people across the UK who provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend.

To support the week, we have organised a photo with our latest community respite care bed resident – Peggy Walton – with all of the Charlotte Straker staff involved in her care.

Peggy is 100 years’ old, and is a farmer’s wife from Bellingham in Northumberland.

Her family organised a week’s stay in the charity’s Community Respite Care Bed, and Peggy had a full team of nurses and care assistants looking after her during her visit.

Peggy said “I’m very happy here. I’m very fond of the nurses and we’re having lots of good chats. They are looking after me very well.”

She has really enjoyed her stay, and loves chatting about Northumberland and the farming community and about the families she knows in the area.

We have loved looking after her – come and see us again soon Peggy!

The photo shows in the back row from l to r – Claire MacDonald (RGN), Jill Urwin (Senior Care Assistant), Iwona Proszowska (Deputy Manager) and Merilyn Jewitt (Senior Care Assistant).

In the front row from l to r – Carol Scott (Care Assistant), Peggy Walton (Respite Resident), Emma Warren (Senior Care Assistant).

Our 25th Anniversary Summer Fete – we raised over £1,000

By 12th June, 2017 News No Comments

Thank you to all those who helped out and attended at Charlotte Straker 25th Anniversary Summer Fete on Saturday.

Thanks to your generosity, we raised over £1000!

Our volunteers organised over 12 different stalls selling items such as plants, bric a brac, books, toys and games as well as our tombola, raffle and picture raffle.

Our catering team produced some scrummy home made cream teas with scones and cake.

As well as our own stalls, other local charities were invited to take part, and we had stalls from the Corbridge Youth Initiative, Tynedale Hospice at Home, Riding for the Disabled, Chrysalis, the Tynedale Lions and Corbridge Scouts.

The winner of the picture raffle was Margaret Healy. David Kaye was the artist of the picture prize. He always kindly donates a picture for the fete – we have some of his art on display in Charlotte Straker House.

Our Activities Coordinator, Karen had transformed the outside seating area for the fete by re-potting lots of plants and helping residents to create a little rockery.

Our Crafty Women raffled their beautiful hand made embroidered quilt, which was won by Marie Hannah. Alongside the raffle, and their two stalls, they raised an amazing £344 – thank you for all your creative hard work!

The winner of our little Fancy Dress competition won a £10 Forum book voucher.

It was a really well supported day and made us proud to be part of Corbridge village.

Thank you to all the Friends and volunteers who donated stall items and prizes, and gave up their valuable time to set up, man the stalls, organise attractions and tidy up.

We have attached some photos from the day, taken by the talented Corbridge resident Ian Wylie.

Our Summer Fete! 3rd June 2-4pm at Charlotte Straker House

By 18th May, 2017 Events, News No Comments

We are really looking forward to our annual Summer Fete on 3rd June 2017 from 2-4pm.

This year we are holding a children’s Fancy Dress competition, with prizes for different age groups. We will have tombolas, plant stall, bran tub, book stall, bric a brac, crafty items plus stalls from local charities and organisations.

See you there!

Visiting the Spring lambs at a Northumbrian farm

By 18th May, 2017 News No Comments

We had a great trip out yesterday to a Northumbrian farm, to see some newborn lambs.

The farm is run by our Marketing Coordinator, Sally, who also writes the Pint Sized Farmers blog.

Our residents, Lily, Olive, April, Alan, Margaret and Betty, and our staff and volunteers had a chance to meet the lambs close up, feed some sheep nuts to the ewes, say hello to the pet lambs, and also have a stroke with Candy the farm pony.

Everyone loved the chance to see the animals close up. Lily named the latest newborn lamb “Keith”, and all our residents got to stroke the two tiny Fidget and Midget lambs, plus Daffodil the pet lamb.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, and everyone managed the uneven ground really well – Margaret even walking all the way round the farm buildings to see the pet lambs!

All our residents said “hello” to Candy the farm pony, who was very keen to meet everyone and eat a few handfuls of sheep nuts.

Afterwards all the visitors went for a well earned cup of tea and piece of cake at Brocksbushes Farm Shop & Tea Room.

(Keith the lamb is still doing well and has just been rescued from the hay rack for the second time today, as he keeps falling in…)


Tiny pony Goldie, is star of the show at Charlotte Straker House

By 1st May, 2017 News No Comments

We all enjoyed a visit from a very cute (and very tiny!) pony yesterday.

The star of the visit was American miniature pony Goldie (at 26 inches high) from KL PONY Therapy.

She was very well trained! Our residents look forward to their visits and absolutely love seeing the ponies – Goldie was very patient and spent ages being stroked and petted. She even went up in the lift to visit people in their bedrooms.

It benefits all our residents as many remember horses and ponies from their childhood, and they love getting the chance to stroke their mane and spend a bit of time cuddling the animal.

K & L pick the ponies to have a placid temperament and although they are no bigger than two feet tall each pony they own has a very big and friendly personality.

Blondie the pony is a natural at only 9 years old, with a very placid temperament, going to each resident in turn to nuzzle them and gets lots of pats in return.

Goldie’s handler Amelia said the tiny equines live up to 55 years old and are bred as pets in America. They can even be used as guide horses to look after the blind and disabled in the same way as guide dogs.

Amelia said: “They are very intelligent and easy to train. Obviously, they can’t be ridden, but they are such little characters and all are different. Goldie is so relaxed she often falls asleep whilst she’s being patted.”

Thank you to handler Amelia and of course Goldie for their visit!

A fascinating visit to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle

By 27th March, 2017 News No Comments

We visited the Discovery Museum in Newcastle last week with a small party of residents and volunteers.

Brian and Alan especially enjoyed the visit, and Alan went around the “Newcastle Story” twice! We really enjoyed that exhibition, as it explained how Newcastle changed from Roman occupation right up to the present day. Brian was really interested in the model ships and big engineering exhibits, as his career was in civil engineering.

The great staff at the Museum organised an excellent lunch, and everyone enjoyed large portions (great value for money!)

The museum is very interesting, with great accessibility and we all found the exhibitions fascinating – all the residents told us that they would like to do it again.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped out and the staff of the Discovery Museum – we hope to see you again soon!

An Interview with Jackie Kellett – our Senior RGN

By 23rd March, 2017 News No Comments

Jackie Kellett is one of our longest serving members of staff, and the first Registered General Nurse employed by Charlotte Straker House, when she started work in September 1992.

After 25 years’ experience at our residential home, she knows every aspect of the building and our care routine, and how it has developed over the years.

As a senior RGN, Jackie currently works four days a week, and cares for all the residents and supporting our elderly residents who have complex care needs. She leads the care team during her shifts, and makes sure that they champion our residents’ safety and dignity whilst meeting their medical, physical and emotional needs.

She told us “I love the nursing side. I think I’m good at listening and one of the best parts of my job is really chatting with our elderly residents, building a relationship and talking to their relatives about their care. I like to make sure that they feel appreciated.”

Jackie is exceptionally experienced in palliative care – helping and supporting residents and their families during the last few days and weeks of their life.

She says, “It’s not often talked about, but it’s so important to ensure residents are listened to in their last days, to make sure everyone is comfortable and understands what is happening. My personal goal is ensuring residents have the best quality of life in the days that they have left – that they are pain free, and supported psychologically, socially and spiritually.

A “good death” is a gift and I’m very proud that we do our best to make this happen. Once a resident has passed, relatives can struggle, so I’m here to help support them up to the funeral and beyond.”

As Jackie has worked with us for such a long time, she has many friends amongst the staff and residents of Corbridge. She says “It’s just like a big family. We have good fun. Because our work can be emotionally draining, it’s great to have such a strong network of friends. The staff turnover at Charlotte Straker House is extremely low – we all try to lead by example”.

Jackie’s husband is a farmer near Matfen, and she is currently busy lambing, as well as helping to look after her brand new granddaughter Anna. “I’m busy!” she laughs, “but I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

Thank you to Jackie, for her long service at Charlotte Straker House, and for being such a committed member of staff – she will have worked for us for 25 years in September!

(The picture shows Jackie and resident Peggy in our lounge at Charlotte Straker House)


Volunteers for our new “Men in Sheds” group required

By 13th March, 2017 News No Comments

We are looking for male volunteers to support our male residents to become part of a new ‘Men in Sheds’ group.

The location will be our comfortable summer-house on the grounds of Charlotte Straker with heating and lighting, and plenty of space for DIY-ing, tinkering, and creating or simply putting the world to rights, over a cuppa!

If you are interested please contact Karen, the Activities Co-ordinator on 01434 633999. Thank you!

Strutting our stuff at the Charity Fashion Show in Corbridge!

By 9th March, 2017 Events, News No Comments

Our Charity Fashion Show went ahead last night at the The Angel of Corbridge – and it was an amazing evening!

The Angel Inn was full to capacity, and we have raised £2385 to be split between the Charlotte Straker Project and the Corbridge Youth Initiative, which will go towards essential resources and activities.

Our Corbridge traders pulled together to showcase the best in Corbridge Fashion from Katie Kerr Shop, Norma James of Corbridge, Shorts of Corbridge, The Wedding Dress Company, Finale Shoes and Accessories, Reflections HAIR and Beauty and Croft and Graves Optometrists

The event sold out incredibly quickly, and everyone had an fabulous time, drinking prosecco and watching our volunteer models strutting their stuff up and down the catwalk. The Tynedale RFC First Team plus Archie Erskine, player at the Newcastle Falcons also made an appearance – accompanying the girls from Reflections HAIR and Beauty in their section of the show! 

Some handpicked Corbridge businesses also had stalls at the event, with Vintage at the Tower, The Pond, Corbridge Garden Room and Vintage at the Tower, Croft and Graves Optometrists, Kirsty Taylor Jewellery, Reflections HAIR and Beauty and Finale Shoes and Accessories

The raffle was a great success, including hampers from Fortnum & Masons, shoes, a beautifully iced cake, flower arrangements, handbags, scarves, and vouchers for designer outfits.

On behalf of the Charlotte Straker Project and the Corbridge Youth Initiative we would like to thank all the Corbridge Traders, those who gave us raffle prizes and helped out on the evening plus our volunteers and supporters who came and made the evening such a success!

We have raised over £2,000 to be split between both charities which will be spent on essential resources.

Ian Wylie kindly took some fantastic photos – hope you enjoy!