September Newsletter (Farewell John Imms)
Farewell John Imms
For the last 26 years Crocus Fields has been led and managed by John Imms. John has worked for the council for 42 years, starting in the mainstream residential homes and eventually coming to Crocus Fields in 1990. Throughout the last 26 years he helped set up The Disabled Children's Team, Minster View and The Big House short breaks units in the County, The Home from Home Scheme, The Linkwork Scheme, Direct Payments and The Outreach Team, all whilst managing and developing Crocus Fields into the service that it is today.
John was extremely pasisonate about working with families and utterly dedicated to Crocus FIelds and overnight short breaks. He loved his job and this was clear to see for everyone who worked with him. He set a clear vision and belief for the service and how it should run for the young people and their families. He helped develop a culture where the entire staff team love their job and this is shown by the large number of us who stay for years! He has left a huge void at Crocus Fields which will be difficult to fill, but has made such a massive difference to our history and development.
This month saw us finally say goodbye and wish John all the best in his retirement. On the 6th September we held a celebratory morning at Crocus Fields for staff to say goodbye, and reflect upon the (just shy of) half-century of service he has given to Nottingham City Council. There were speeches from the Sherriff of Nottingham and Andy Hodkin before Sue Burrows-Flowers delievered a poem she had written about John that had everyone present watery eyed.
Marie Halford (Short Breaks Service Manager) then unveiled a cheque of £40,000 from the short breaks capital fund to go towards the aptly named "John Imms Sensory Pod". We are hoping to have raised the rest of the funds needed by Christmas (more information below).
John will be greatly missed by everyone at Crocus Fields and we wish him all the best in retirement. His post will be filled by Joanne Wright and Pete Corkhill.
As you will have been aware from the numerous post updates regarding the newly named "John Imms Sensory Pod", we are trying to raise approximately £70,000 to pay for a sensory pod for the unit. The last two months has seen a flurry of donations, sponsored events, walks and obstacle courses. This is a quick run down of everything that has happened and the efforts that different members of team and community have gone to!
The efforts to raise this capital has spread from ourselves to families, to other people within the council and beyond. Crocus Fields is so grateful for all the efforts that people have gone to to help us raise the funds needed. We are currently £18,000 off the total amount of money required to purchase the room and have it installed on site.
Gung Ho Obstacle Course
As higlighted earlier on in September, Samuel and Elliott Bailey, along with their parents completed the biggest obstacle course in the country and raised a huge £420! Thanks go to Samuel, Elliott, Sarah and Neville for this effort.
Robin Hood Marathon...
Our very own Ashley Saunders completed the Robin Hood Half Marathon on the 20th September and raised in excess of £250. Special credit should go to Ashley having had a slight accident whilst completing a "tough mudder" the month previously, doned his running shoes once again to storm the course in 2 hours and 9 minutes.
Ashley's first Half Marathon is going to be the first of many and it is clear that he has already got "the running bug". Also at the Robin Hood Marathon were Leigh Barlow and Emma Eckhardt. Leigh and Emma have no direct link to Crocus Fields whatsoever, but got in touch after hearing about our pod fundraising during our bid to the "Being Great Fund"
Emma completed the full 26.2 mile course and Leigh the Robin Hood Half. They raised an ASTRONOMICAL £1100! On behalf of everyone at Crocus Fields we would like to thank Leigh and Emma for the 39.3 miles ran between them and all the funds they have raised for us.
Sundowner Half Iron Man Triathlon
Pete Corkhill and three friends signed up for a half iron man triathlon (1.9km Swim, 90Km Bike Ride and 21Km run) to help raise money for the pod. Sadly (or thankfully depending on what way you look at it) Pete took a tumble on a trampoline and tore his ankle ligaments, ruling him out of the race.
Jack Knight, Paul Walton and Richard Petrie took part regardless, and swam, cycled and ran through monsoon like conditions completing the course in 5 hours,3 minutes, 5 hours 32 minuites and 7 hours.
Together the trio raised in excess of over £1000 towards the cause.
With regards to the fundraising so far, we have reached £9,694 in our just giving account. We also have been awarded £2,000 from the "Being Great Fund" and £40,000 from the short breaks capital fund. This puts us in a very strong position moving forward in our bid to raise the necessary funds. It should be notedthat our just giving site closes in two days. Should you wish to donate between now and then please do so, but after that we will have to set up a new page. This will show that we have no money raised but fear not, all monies raised so far will be safely banked away ready to spend once we have all the capital. We are awiating news on an application to "Wooden Spoon" for funding and we are hopeful that this will help us move closer to the finish line.
Should you wish to sponsor any of the efforts above, you can do so here until Thursday. Another email will go out once the next crowdfunding site is set up.
Research Project on Improving Communication
A huge thank you to all the parents, carers and siblings who took part in the research project on communictaion between the service and families.
This piece of research greatly helped with a masters assigment and also to relfect on what we do well and how we can impove. What was apparant from the research is the we are good at communicating with families and have improved in this area over the past few years. However, it was also found the the level of and quality of communication can differ from family to family/keyworker to keyworker and that we have no set policy on how often we talk to you about your childs stay, what they have done and where they have been. Many parents also want differing levels of communication, some prefer diaries, some prefer emails and many of you stated that you would rather just hear about general news via a newsletter.
As a reuslt of this study, we have decided is that as a bare minimum, each child should have in their care plan how you wish to be communciated with regarding your childs recent stay. Whether this be a phone call, email, diary entry or text message. Then on Monday's Wednesdays and Fridays when the young people leave, each childs family is given an overview on what they have done and how they have been. Your keyworkers will be in touch soon to check how you wish to be informed.
The research also highlighted that many of you would value the opportunity to meet each other and a "family fun day" was by far and away the most popular choice amongst family members. 2017 sees Crocus Fields turning 40 years old and so we are going to be planning a summer birtdhay party to celebrate this landmark.
PHAB have asked us to advertise their youth service within our newsfeed. PHAB is a youth group for young people with learning disabilities in Nottingham and is ran through Nottingham University. They go on trips eahc month up and down the country to places like Cadbury's world, Alton Towers and Harry Potter Land. If you or your child would like to get involved with PHAB or find out more baout it, contact them by visiting their website here
All of their trips are affordable and great value for money. The young people from Crocus Fields who attend love the days out and the opportunities it offers them.
See you in October (again)
Once again, accept our apologies that Septembers newsletter is reaching you a little bit late. We are hoping to have the website fully updated at the end of each month but this may at times run over!
Should you have anything you would like to add to this newsfeed do not hesitate to get in touch with Peter Corkhill.