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Carol is a first for CLS!
Tuesday 10th February, 2009

Carol is a first for CLS!
Carol Prendergast, who works as an Activity Coordinator at the CLS residential care home, Garswood House in Wigan, is celebrating a double achievement.

Fifty two year-old Carol Prendergast, who works as an Activity Coordinator at the CLS residential care home, Garswood House in Wigan, is celebrating a double achievement! Not only has she received her Level Two NCFE certificate in the Provision of Activities in a Care Setting, she was also the first person to complete the course through her employer, CLS Care Services, a charitable organisation that operates over 30 care homes in the North West.

Carol has worked at Garswood House for eight years, arranging regular activities, including arts and crafts, exercise classes, bingo and music sessions. With the care home opening its specialist household for older people with dementia last summer, Carol also supports care staff to cater for the needs of these residents. Many activities in this area of the care home are spontaneous and support residents to maintain and re-learn everyday life skills, such as cooking and cleaning.

With Valentines Day rapidly approaching, Carol is currently busy arranging a Valentines tea dance – decorating the dining room with hearts and flowers and booking entertainer, Don O’Dell to provide the music. Residents will also be treated to a buffet tea, followed by chocolates.

Carol comments: “With the support of the rest of the team at Garswood House, I aim to keep things lively and offer residents the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and events. Something that is ongoing and enjoyed by many residents is making greeting cards, some of which are signed and sold in reception to raise money for the care home’s amenities fund. Our arts and crafts enthusiasts have now started creating their Easter cards.”

Just over 12 months ago, Carol was one of the first CLS Activity Coordinators to be put forward to complete the Provision of Activities in a Care Setting award, becoming the first of her peers to finish the course. During her study, Carol was assigned a designated CLS tutor, Margaret Burrows, who assessed her knowledge according to five units – ‘The Value of an Activity Service’, ‘Planning and Development of an Activity Service’, ‘Delivering Activities’, ‘Monitoring and Evaluating an Activity Service’, and ‘Human Ageing, Health and Illness.’

Carol says: “The course was very interesting and real eye-opener! It has helped me to explore new ideas as well as understand better how to involve other staff and residents’ families in the social aspect of life at Garswood House. It was extremely rewarding to be the first person at CLS to complete the course and I feel that it has made me better at my job.”

Over the years, residents and staff have admired Carol for her creativity and ability to come up with new and exciting ideas – making life at Garswood House more interesting and enjoyable. In addition to the care home’s regular activities, Carol and the rest of the team at Garswood House have arranged a number of themed entertainment events, such as seasonal celebrations, ‘American barbeque night’ and ‘Lancashire night’

The Valentines tea dance will take place on Thursday 12 February, 2.00 – 4.00pm at Garswood House. As always, residents’ families will be welcome to take part.

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