Life skills toolkit

Everyone should have the opportunity to engage in activities that have a purpose and are meaningful to them. This can help to sustain both physical and mental health – including overcoming loneliness, improving wellbeing and boosting self-esteem.

Photo of female resident sat in a wheelchair

In care homes, it’s important that we take the time to understand people’s unique life experiences, roles and routines, interests, hobbies and likes – and use this knowledge to empower and enable people to engage in a range of activities that are important and enjoyable for them.

Everyone who works in a care home, from Administrators and Home Managers, to Kitchen Assistants and Support Workers, is responsible for supporting people to enjoy a meaningful life.

Meaningful engagement and activity should be central to daily life in care homes, and people should be offered opportunities to participate in a selection of ‘activities’, with a variety of people, throughout the day. It’s often the one-to-one and spontaneous five-minute conversations that make a difference to people’s days.

Our Life Skills Teams play an important role in ensuring that this happens, and this toolkit will help you to embed a whole-team approach to service user engagement in your home.

About this toolkit: the bronze, silver and gold award scheme

The award scheme is an incentive scheme for all Exemplar Health Care homes, to help you to embed effective service user engagement in everyday home life.

This ‘Life skills toolkit’ will help you, as a Life Skills Team member, to put practices and initiatives in place to support effective service user engagement in your home.

There are three booklets in the toolkit that cover the standards required to achieve a bronze, silver and gold award. You should work through each booklet, implementing the practices and initiatives in your home and completing the checklists and activities throughout.

When you’ve achieved everything that’s required in each standard, you’ll be awarded a bronze, silver and gold plaque and certificate, as part of a celebratory event in your home.

Every three months, you’ll review the workbook with the Service User Engagement Manager and your home’s Service User Ambassador.

Before each review, you should go through the workbook and update the checklists and activities to evidence that you continue to meet the required standards.

We’ve designed the workbook so that you can fill it in on the computer, to save printing costs.

Life skills toolkit 


  • Introduction
  • Bronze award
  • Silver award
  • Gold award


Appendices and templates

Bronze award


Silver award


Bronze award