The ‘Everybody’s Talking’ Competition 2017

Win £100 to spend as you wish, plus a Whole Home Toolkit for every entry

We know that providing social activity is the job of everyone who works in a care home, and that every role or task could be an opportunity for conversation and a more enriching experience for residents. It’s not just the Activity Coordinator’s role to provide meaningful activities – it’s everyone’s job to get everybody talking in order to deliver a whole home approach. 

So here at the Sparkles we’ve decided to run a competition which recognises and rewards good practise and great ideas in delivering a whole home approach. 

To enter, all you have to do is tell us what your home is doing to encourage and involve all staff, (especially those not usually involved in activity provision), to interact meaningfully with residents. It’s your chance to win one of three prizes of £100 to spend as you wish.

We will choose a winner and award £100 in each of the following categories:

  1. the most inspiring example of a whole home approach
  2. the most creative ways of getting non-activity staff to interact with residents
  3. the most meaningful and person centred example 

Prizes for Every Entry

Not only will the competition winners be rewarded, but EVERY SINGLE ENTRY will also receive our Whole Home Toolkit.

This includes:

  • a set of 11 role-specific printed Daily Sparkles featuring articles about aspects of staff roles and how these tasks looked in the 1950s and 1960s
  • a set of 9 nationality printed Daily Sparkles to help care home staff talk to residents about where their families originated from
  • a copy of ‘Everybody’s Job’ the NAPA guide for the whole staff team 

We know how creative and innovative you all are, so to celebrate and share all your fantastic ideas, hints and examples resulting from all the entries, we will also produce a handy guide to implementing a whole home approach. This will be printed and sent out to all competition entrants along with the Whole Home Toolkit after the competition closing date.

How to Enter

Submit your entry before Friday 3rd March 2017

Just tell us as clearly as you can, in no more than 500 words, what you are most proud of in terms of delivering a whole home approach.

  • exactly what your home does to deliver a whole home approach and why it is successful
  • who is involved and who initiated the activity or initiative
  • what are the benefits and how does the example improve your resident’s quality of life  
  • tell us how it was received and the improvements you might make 
  • any useful tips for other homes thinking of doing the same thing

To help you enter the competition and to give you an idea of what we are looking for we have prepared the following two examples.


Last summer we set up a gardening club in the home I work in. I work as the Activity Coordinator and am always trying to do activities that get us out in the garden and doing the jobs that many residents would have done in their own homes. We pot bulbs in September and sprinkle seeds in spring, but I don’t know that much about gardening! So I decided to speak to Ian, our gardener here at Mayfields, and asked him if he would help me to run a weekly group for interested residents. 

At first Ian was a bit worried as he hadn’t had anything to do with the residents. He was also concerned that he wouldn’t be able to get on with his actual job or be able to look after the residents. I explained that it would be only an hour a week and that I would be with the group all the time to look after their needs, if only he would look after the gardening! 

We started by inviting Ian into the lounge to have tea with us and some of the residents spoke about their gardens and what they used to grow. One of our residents, Paul, mentioned growing roses and Ian took him out into the garden to look at the ones growing there. 

We worked out a timetable of an hour a week. We started each session in the lounge where Ian talked to us about what was going on in the garden that week and what needed doing. Then everyone got their coats on and spent time in the garden. Sometimes there were small jobs to do like pruning or sweeping leaves. It has been a great success as residents feel that the garden is theirs now, as they help look after it and know what’s happening and growing. You often see Gardening Club members taking their visitors outside to show them what they are up to. Ian also enjoys it a lot. He says the best thing for him has been learning the resident’s names and being able to chat easily to them when he sees them. 

This was a really easy project to set up and get going. There are five residents who always attend and sometimes there are a couple more. We are now hoping to
fundraise for a garden shed where residents can go and sit and where they can work in when it’s raining. 

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Here at Kingswood Rise we have written and put up an information sheet about each room’s occupant. They are just inside the door of each resident’s bedroom and tell you what the person used to do, where they lived and their favourite topics of conversation.  This means that all the domestic staff that come into the room can read the information and are then able to start a conversation with the resident. This helps make it much more personal and has led to some nice moments. 

The staff also encourage residents to help with the tasks if they want to, like making the bed or putting the laundry away and they can talk together while doing it. One lady really loves the opportunity to use a duster and helping to clean her room. This means that the morning rounds are less boring for all concerned and staff and residents are getting to know each other more. 

This idea came out of a training day that a member of staff went on and it was then brought up in a meeting and a decision was made to try it out. 

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