National Association of Providers of Activities for older people Berrystead's Activities Leader Julie Hilton wins National NAPA competition 'Breath of Fresh Air'


Julie Hilton & berrystead Directors receiving the check of £3,000

From left to Right: Sally Knocker (NAPA), Director Sukhi Hoonjan, Berrystead Activities Leader Julie Hilton, Director Kuldip Hoonjan, and Sylvie Silver (NAPA)





Back in June activities leader Julie Hilton of the Berrystead Nursing Home in Syston, entered a competition set by NAPA (National Association for Providers of Activities for the elderly) entitled ‘Breath of Fresh Air’.

The challenge was to get all of the residents of Berrystead enjoying the outdoors through a week of planned activities on a 1:1 basis, within small groups and as larger groups together with their family and friends.

For some, particularly those bed bound or very frail and for when the weather proved inclement for outdoor activities it required thought to be put into how to bring outdoors indoors.

Members of staff, individuals from the local community and relatives helped with the activities over the week.

Among the activities enjoyed were an outdoor quiz, themed to the garden followed by a barbeque, singing for enjoyment a medley of songs themed to flowers on the lawn, a sensory afternoon with a cream tea, a family treasure hunt around the garden and a ‘Songs of Praise’ service. There was also an outing to Melton Bowls Club for lunch. Craftwork involved making cars with ‘windows’ that opened to reveal a photograph of a scene of the outdoors.

The week also gave the opportunity for much reminiscence. An empty Kilner jar became a receptacle that held a favourite outdoor experience for a resident and when the seal was broken released treasured memories to talk about.

Julie’s entry made her one of the five finalists in the competition. A total of 357 care homes had taken up the challenge.

The prizes were awarded at a gala presentation evening at the Royal Hospital Chelsea in London using the state apartments and lawns on Tuesday 16th September 2008. Presenting the awards was Baroness Neuberger DBE.

Activities leader Julie Hilton was the overall winner on the evening winning a check for £ 3,000 to be used for activity provision for the residents of Berrystead. This preferably to help fund those activities that further give the residents the choice to enjoy the outdoors. Her prize also included an outdoor seat and six bottles of champagne to share with staff, residents and relatives and friends to celebrate the care homes success in the competition.

Accompanying Julie at the gala evening were care staff Tracy Sleath and Vicky Pellington who gave much  help and support and the directors Sukhi and Kuldip Hoonjan who take a strong interest in the home’s activity provision and give their full support.


NAPA Gala Programme


















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