Care for the elderly in Northumberland.

Our 25th Anniversary Celebrations

By 18th September 2017

It is 25 years since the Charlotte Straker Project was launched in 1992!

Our residents, staff, friends and volunteers held a tea party to celebrate, with plenty of home made cakes and scones. We also had an exhibition with photos and information from the very first few years of Charlotte Straker House.

The sun shone, so we were able to sit outside and listen to a speech made by Dr Bill Cunningham, our Chairman of the Trustees who thanked everyone for their support and spoke about our charity’s achievements.

Many thanks to all the staff and volunteers and everyone who made the afternoon such a great celebration of Charlotte Straker life.

See below for a selection of photos from the afternoon – all taken by the talented photographer Ian Wylie.

A fabulous Family Fun Day at the Corbridge Cricket Club

By 29th August 2017

Thank you to ALL those who volunteered their time and supported our Corbridge Fun Day at the Corbridge Cricket Club on Sunday.

We had a fantastic turn out and raised £2,355 which will be split between ourselves, the Corbridge Youth Initiative and the Corbridge Cricket Club.

The weather was perfect and all our supporters worked very hard on the stalls, afternoon tea, the BBQ, bar, children’s games and more. And of course, not forgetting our intrepid band of cricketers!

I’ve attached some pictures from the talented Ian Wylie – hope you enjoy (and here’s to next year!)


Celebrating our volunteers at Charlotte Straker House!

By 22nd August 2017

A few times each week two volunteers push a fully laden trolley to visit each resident in Charlotte Straker House.

The trolley is filled with a selection of savoury and sweet snacks plus a variety of toiletry items.

This picture shows Barbara Shaw about to start her round on the top floor of Charlotte Straker House.

Barbara has been a volunteer since 1992 and told us that she values the chance to “chat to each resident, whilst I’m on trolley duty. They become my friends, and I think enjoy my visits each week”.

Many thanks to ALL the volunteers who are part of the trolley rota – they are an important and much valued part of Charlotte Straker life.

An Interview with our Senior Care Assistant Merilyn Jewitt

By 14th August 2017

Merilyn Jewitt is one of our “newer” employees, having worked as a senior carer at Charlotte Straker House for just over 2 years.

Merilyn is a senior carer (and trained nurse), and she is responsible for supervising a team of care assistants, as well as supporting all our residents with their medical and personal care and all other aspects of daily living.
Her parents have lived in Corbridge for over 40 years’ and after her mother died and her father was diagnosed with Parkinsons’ disease, the family decided it would be better for him to move into Charlotte Straker House.
Merilyn says, “It was where my Dad always wanted to go. My Mum and Dad have lived in Corbridge for a very long time, and he always said that if he had to go into a home he wanted to go to Charlotte Straker. To be honest, it’s where everyone wants to go!”

Her father Brian is 89 and loves joining in all the activities and social visits, especially playing chess, indoor gardening and he goes to every single organ recital at St Andrew’s Church in Corbridge. Brian used to play the organ, so he adores music and enjoys listening to the Proms and other music programmes. He was very keen on the visit to the Discovery Museum in Newcastle earlier on this year and enjoyed inspecting the shipping and engineering exhibits. He is visited regularly by his close family, including his daughters and their children.

Merilyn explains “He was a civil engineer and had a long career visiting some of the more far flung places around the world. He is still very proud of the buildings and structures that he helped to build. Although his Parkinson’s is slowly becoming more advanced, he still loves to chat to the carers and visitors about his earlier life.”
Merilyn now lives with her husband in Barrasford, but has spent many years living in Spain, organising bird watching holidays. She still goes out to visit central Spain as much as she can, and is also preparing to go away to Australia to see her youngest son.

“I have three grandchildren”, she says “and I’m kept very busy at work and at home! I think it helps that I’m a pretty active person. Being a senior care assistant is such a rewarding job, but it’s physically demanding, and you spend a lot of time on your feet. Perhaps when I’m retired I will have more time for gardening and walking, but I do love working at Charlotte Straker House. The team of care assistants and nurses are great fun and really supportive”.

She adds “I think my favourite part of the role is building a relationship with each resident. You need to put yourself in their position. I’ve always tried to live my life by the maxim “do as you would be done by”, and I think that applies very much in my role today. I try to work out how to help each resident as an individual, take the time to get to know them, and provide as much support as I can.”

Thank you very much to Merilyn for her hard work and her commitment to Charlotte Straker Project.

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