I have been an Activities Coordinator for 25 years and I love what I do!
I started work at The Leonard Pulham as a cleaner and worked as an activities coordinator part time. Back then, it was not considered an important role, whereas now it is vital part of life in a care home – essential to the well-being of our residents.
My role is to enable everyone who lives in the home to lead an active life.
I’m proud of the diversity of activities I arrange, like chair-based Zumba, cards, dominos and watching old films. We also have frequent visitors. Musicians entertain the residents while they enjoy a sherry, and everyone gets involved in the singing, even the maintenance men. Residents also enjoy having children from the local primary schools to visit to listen to them read and watch them put on shows at harvest festival, Easter and Christmas. The visiting King Charles spaniel, who’s great at tricks, is also a hit. I also make sure that everyone is offered a trip out every week. I take different residents out three mornings a week, using the Wendover Community Car scheme. Obviously, we always respect residents’ wishes so they don’t have to go out if they are not up to it. Our philosophy is this is your home, you decide.
We could go shopping into Aylesbury or for a coffee in a garden centre. It’s just like taking a friend out for the morning and having a good chat.
I get such a lot of pleasure from being an Activities Coordinator. I really get to know all the residents on an individual level. You become aware of each residents’ likes, such as which is their favourite seat, who they like to sit next to, what they like to drink etc.
I don’t see a person in a wheelchair. I see a friend who I get to support and nurture. My day is one full of smiles and laughter.
At the end of the day, I’m tired but it is a nice kind of tired. Of course, you need a sense of humour, and a bit of patience goes a long way, but it’s great to see residents feeling active and stimulated. And they really do treat me like family. Some residents may be frail but they’re all full of character.
I find my job very fulfilling. I look forward to coming into work every day and am very well supported by my colleagues as well as our volunteers. An important part of my job is managing the volunteers, making sure I support them in what they love doing, whether it’s offering knitting sessions or running crossword clubs. It is a learning process, but I must be doing something right as they do keep coming back. We’ll be organising all the seasonal activities for Christmas soon which are always fun.
Being an Activity Coordinator is so varied. If you like talking to people on a one-to-one basis, are interested in what makes people tick as well as organising events, you’d probably enjoy being an Activity Coordinator too.