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Awards boost for Great Yarmouth care home

PUBLISHED: 10:46 17 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:46 17 January 2014

Avery Lodge care home - small home, only 14 residents often with mental health issues, has reached final of Norfolk Care Awards in three categories.
Manager-owner Sherylanne and Karl Hodgins with staff and residents.


Picture: James Bass

Avery Lodge care home - small home, only 14 residents often with mental health issues, has reached final of Norfolk Care Awards in three categories. Manager-owner Sherylanne and Karl Hodgins with staff and residents. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

A Great Yarmouth care home offering “much more than tea and sympathy” has been nominated for three prestigious awards.

Avery Lodge Residential Home in Southtown Road, which cares for 14 residents, has reached the finals in three categories of the Norfolk Care Homes Awards 2014 - delivering excellence through learning and development; promoting dignity and respect through everyday life; and motivational leadership.

Owner-managers Sherylanne and Karl Hodgins have run the independent home for 12 years and said reaching the finals has been a huge boost for their hard working team.

“A lot of people see what we do as going above and beyond but we believe it should be the standard, the norm,” said Sherylanne, 50.

“I don’t need an award to know how good our team are, they prove it every day with the level of care and support offered to all who walk through our doors but this has given them a huge boost to know that the hard work they all do is recognised as being more than just a tea and sympathy service.”

The home cares for 14 residents aged 65 and over, some with mental illness.

“We are small and we are one of the few owner managed homes left in Norfolk,” added Sherylanne.

“It is unique. A lot of our residents are older people with complex needs, not only dementia but depression, schizophrenia or other mental illness needs that a larger home might not be able to deal with.

“For us, finishing a day’s work knowing that you have made a small difference is the reason why we do it.

“It could take months to make a tiny difference, but it’s always worth it. It could be helping someone who has become alcohol dependant following the death of a partner to take one step on the road to recover. It could be something as small all as someone choosing what they want for lunch, not just having what everyone else is having.” In their most recent Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, inspectors praised Avery Lodge staff who “valued the individuality of the people they were helping to care for”.

The home employs 19 people and Sherylanne, who is individually up for the motivational leadership award, said every one is integral to the team.

“We have very loyal staff. During the floods, when other care homes had be evacuate and send residents to the emergency rest centres, we arranged to spend the night at the Old Vicarage home in Hopton where they were kind enough to let us have spare beds and use a front room. And some of my staff worked 36 hours straight to make sure the residents were OK.”

She added that all Avery Lodge staff, including the chef and the housekeepers, are NVQ qualified to ensure they understand the “ethos of care”.

The Norfolk Care Homes Awards will be held at Dunston Hall in Norwich on February 13.

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