New innovative renovations at Heather Holmes in Kettering
The team at Heather Holmes, our residential service for individuals with learning disabilities in Desborough, Kettering, have been working extremely hard to make their home the best possible environment for the people they support to live in, as well as making it is as colourful as a rainbow too.
The Sensory Room
The support team started off with creating a brand-new sensory room. A sensory room is often referred to as a therapeutic space with a variety of equipment that can provide people with learning disabilities and additional complex needs with personalised sensory input. It can really help to calm them and help them learn and interact with others.
Service manager, Emma Painter, says. “We had a large room at the end of the home that was used as a sleep-in room and staff often referred to it as ‘the green room’. It felt like a waste of space, where it could be a space utilised by the people we support.
So, when a new staff member, Judith Clarke, joined the support team at Heather Holmes, and after she had worked with the individuals for a few weeks, she suggested changing the room into a sensory room. The individuals we support all have different needs, so a space was created to facilitate all of their needs and has now become a functional part of the house.
The sensory room is used daily and has different items in for each of the individuals personalised needs. It has become a part of the home for all the individuals to be able to access.”
The Zen Room
As well as creating a new sensory room, the support team at Heather Holmes have also helped create a ‘zen room’ too. The supported individuals who live upstairs always opt to relax in the lounge downstairs, so the upstairs living area was not being used and was starting to look a little tired. The team didn’t want the room to go to waste and have therefore created a fantastic ‘zen room’, which is a calm space for the supported individuals to sit and relax in. This also helps to support their overall mental health and wellbeing.
Emma says, “The team coordinator at Heather Holmes, Lisa Chambers, was completing a research project which looked at supporting mental health within the service. We even had a lady come in to work on relaxation, however due to the Covid-19 pandemic the project was unable to continue.
The research had been successful though, so to continue with the projects theme and encourage the individuals to relax and support them through difficult times we decided to create a calming space the whole home could use.”
As if a new sensory room and zen room was not enough, the team at Heather Holmes have also created ‘Elton’s Café’. The idea started during the Covid-19 pandemic as the supported individuals were unable to go to shops as they normally would. So, the team came up with the idea of creating a shop inside Heather Holmes to give the supported individuals a little bit of normality, here they were able to purchase their everyday necessities like milk, toiletries etc and also sit and enjoy lunch as if they were at an actual café, which all of the individuals love to do when times are normal.
Describing the ‘café’ Emma says, “The dining room is a small room leading off from the front door of the house. However, all the individuals choose to eat in the living room together where there is more room, so we started to think about how we could utilise the dining rooms space and also give them something to enjoy too.
Staff member, Lisa Brown, suggested we created a room that looked like a café where we could open and serve different things to support them to feel like they had actually been to a café. So, we decorated the dining room to make it look more like café and it is now part of the home that enables the individuals to access something within the home. This has become an inhouse activity they all enjoy!”
Outdoor seating area for the café