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Care home WhatsApp initiative supported by the My Home Life Charity wins ‘Care for Older People’ Award at the Nursing Times Awards 2020

By Mr Shamim Quadir(Senior Communications Officer), Published (Updated )

As a response to COVID-19, the My Home Life Charity supported colleagues in Nottingham to develop a WhatsApp peer-to-peer support group for care homes during the first wave of COVID-19 that quickly went national.

The initiative won the ‘Care of Older People’ category award at the Nursing Times Awards 2020 in November.

The winner was announced by Hilda Hayo, Chief Executive of Dementia UK, and was accepted by Anita Astle MBE, Managing Director, Wren Hall Nursing Home, and one of the founders of the My Home Life WhatsApp peer-to-peer support group.

Watch the recording of the Awards ceremony below (from 29:09 for the Care of Older People’ award):

Asked by presenter of the Awards, Naga Munchetty, how quickly the initiative was set up, Anita responded:

Really quickly, started on the 17th of March and by two weeks later we had 257 members on the WhatsSpp group and there were other networks forming from that. I’m absolutely delighted for everybody […] thank you so much, this [award] means such a lot to us all.

My Home Life was launched in 2006 by Help the Aged (now Age UK) in partnership with City, University of London to promote quality of life for those living, dying, visiting and working in care homes.

My Home Life is hosted in England by City, with partner organisations in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia and Germany. There is also a regional group in Essex.

In 2020, ‘My Home Life Charity’ was set up in order to support the partner organisations to deliver their work.

Speaking of the Nursing Times Award win, Tom Owen, Director, My Home Life England said:

“As a response to Covid-19, My Home Life Charity collaborated with others to support colleagues across Nottinghamshire in their development of a peer-to-peer support group for CQC registered care home on the WhatsApp platform.

“The model that was developed provided managers with practical and emotional support at a time of huge challenge. The group also included individuals from the wider system who had the national expertise and local practice knowledge to help practitioners through the uncertainty, the complexity and the array of sometimes conflicting guidance that care homes were receiving in this difficult time..

“My Home Life’s role through all of this was, as always, one of enabler, encourager, supporter. We congratulate all those involved behind the scenes and at the forefront of practice in care homes in Nottinghamshire who made such a difference in a challenging time.”

Find out more

Visit the Nursing Times website for all Nursing Times Awards 2020 winners.

Visit the My Home Life website.


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