Our ‘Life skills toolkit’ is improving service user engagement across Exemplar Health Care

10 June 2022

Activities Team at Dearnevale

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 by overcoming loneliness, improving wellbeing and boosting self-esteem.

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

To support this approach, we developed a ‘Life skills toolkit’ for our Activities Coordinators.

About the ‘Life skills toolkit’

The toolkit provides guidance and learning to empower Activities Coordinators to put practices and initiatives in place to support effective service user engagement in their home.

The toolkit includes an award incentive. There are three booklets in the toolkit that cover the standards required to achieve a bronze, silver and gold award.

Our Activities Coordinators work through each booklet, implementing the initiatives and practices in their home and completing the activities and checklists throughout.

When they’ve achieved everything that’s required in each standard, they’re awarded a bronze, silver and gold plaque and certificate, as part of a celebratory event in their home.

Every three months, they review the workbook with our Service User Engagement Manager and their home’s Service User Ambassador, to ensure that they’re still meeting the standards.

Going for gold at Dearnevale

A number of our Activities Coordinators have achieved awards as part of the toolkit.

We’ve received great feedback from our teams, about how the toolkit has improved service user engagement and supported them in their role.

The Activities Team at our Dearnevale care home in Grimethorpe has recently achieved the gold award.

They shared: “We’ve got through the toolkit really well as a team.

“We hold regular service user meetings where we listen to our service users about what activities they want to do, both as a group and individually.

“Since starting these meetings, we’ve found that more people get involved in activities, as they’ve had that choice and voice to decide what they want to do.

“We’re now able to get out in the community more which is great. We’ve done lots of local walks and some of our service users have been to the gym.

“We’ve recently started helping our local council with ‘The Dell Project’ which allows our service users to voice their opinions within their local community.

“The toolkit provides a process for supporting service users to take part in volunteering in the home. One of our service users delivers post twice a week, and another helps us out in the garden, watering and checking the plants. We’ve even had volunteers to help with hoovering and cleaning the windows!

“Some of the people we support get involved in recruitment. It’s really valuable to have their opinions on potential staff members and ensures that they’re involved in their care.

“The toolkit gives us a place to showcase evidence of our activities and engagement with service users. Since using it, we’ve got a lot more evidence to show CQC and other healthcare professionals.”

Activities Coordinator jobs with Exemplar Health Care

Our Activities Coordinators organise meaningful activities for our service users to take part in. If you like working with people and are fun and enthusiastic, then this is the job for you!

We have specialist care homes across England with plans to open several more homes in the coming years.

If you’re looking for a new job and are interested in working as an Activities Coordinator with us, visit our online job search.