Robyn Taylor reminds us how important a gesture of thanks is – from cards and letters, to country-wide clapping and million-pound donations – and says that now, more than ever, we need to remember all those people working so hard for others.
That moment in March where the nation stopped what it was doing, and came together collectively to give a round of applause on their doorstep to all the keyworkers who have been working on the frontline during the coronavirus outbreak was overwhelming. For us it was a clear night sky, twinkling stars and the incredible sound of an array of cheers across the town. And each Thursday we continue this new tradition.
With most of the country at a standstill, it has made us even more thankful for everyone and everything around us. Life can be so busy and hectic, that we tend to rush about and take things for granted. But now, we have started to admire the small things and be thankful for what is most important to us.
On social media we have seen children writing to care homes, volunteers picking up shopping and prescriptions for the elderly, people checking up on one another, many acts of kindness, businesses supporting the community, virtual motivation and activity ideas, as well as the amazing fundraising taking place.
When this is over and we can say we lived through the coronavirus years, I hope that this sense of community and indomitable British spirit continues when our normal routines return. We are now witnessing the true ‘Blitz spirit’ we so often hear our residents speak about.
A few national celebration days are approaching us in the coming months which I think will be particularly important to acknowledge. Let’s praise those who continue to work so hard.
- 12 May – International Nurses Day
- 8-14 June – Carers Week
- 27 June – Armed Forces Day
- 10 October – World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
HOW TO SAY THANK YOU
- After lockdown, invite the nurses that look after your residents in to the care home and throw an afternoon tea party for them. Decorate the room and ask a resident to give a quick talk about how important they are to everyone.
- Send letters of appreciation to people in the Army, RAF and Navy.
- Make thank-you cards.
- Do some flower arranging, and give the bouquets or posies as gifts.
- Make and decorate chocolates, sweets, cakes and biscuits, wrap them in cellophane and give as gifts. Get creative and curate gift hampers of sweet treats.
- Buy a bottle of wine and make your own sticker with some words of thanks.
- Hold an awards night for all the staff and volunteers in your home.
- Make signs with inspirational quotes to put around the home where nurses and carers will see them. ‘Special nurses like you deserve a thank you for all you do.’
- Visit your local shop with your residents and present thank-you cards to the workers to show admiration for their hard work and endeavours over the past months.
- Have a photoshoot. Have each resident hold a piece of paper with a quote of why they are thankful. Send it out and post it on social media.
- Hold a Family Fun Day and invite all those people who wrote to the care home during the lockdown – this means children can meet the people they wrote to. Hire a bouncy castle, have a bbq and book an entertainer. Ask your local newspaper to advertise the event and get all the team to post it on their social media.
It’s time to get creative and think of some positive ways to show everyone how grateful the residents are! Many residents will want to express their thanks to people but may not know how, so as activity coordinators, we can support them to do so. Get together and have an idea-building session to help your residents do something special for someone they appreciate.