Drama on the doorstep in Abingdon
Adult Social Care currently supports over 6,000 people every day in Oxfordshire. The safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people in Oxfordshire continues to be a priority during these unprecedented times. Social distancing rules may change the way that care is delivered but our teams are going above and beyond to support people in meaningful and practical ways.
Since the beginning of May, four Support Workers have creatively mobilised to come up with a new idea that provides a versatile and bespoke service for people who rely on them.
It’s called ‘drama on your doorstep' and it's all about having fun!
Jane Doyle is a Team Leader at the Abingdon Community Support Service (CSS) and she explains more: We work with older people or those who have a learning disability and many of them are not coming to our centre because of social distancing rules. We understand that people are bored, fed up, missing the interaction and social time with friends so a small team decided to do something different.
Tessa Whitcombe, Katharine Horton, Christine Sadler and Sharon Ashby put together music, fancy dress costumes and stories to take the fun on the road around Abingdon.
The team will phone people who are registered to attend the CCS to find out if they would like a visit on a Monday or Friday, in the afternoon. There is a list of people who is registered to attend the Community Support Service in Abingdon and the team try to visit as many people as possible. Anyone who wants to receive a visit, can certainly request it and the jolly ladies will do their best to pop by and brighten up someone’s day.
Two or three people will receive a visit on each occasion and the drama session will last about 30 minutes. Each team member will drive their car to visit a resident and meet at the property. When the team arrives, they will stand outside on the doorstep or in the garden (to social distance) and the performance begins.
Team leader Jane explains: safety is important for us and the people we visit, so we can ensure that we maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene to use hand sanitizer. We also make sure that we stay outside so we minimize the risk of infection.
Support Worker Katherine believes that everyone benefits from a cheerful tune: Drama on the doorstep is a way great to see the people we serve that we haven’t seen in many weeks. The visit seems to lift their mood and remind them that they are not forgotten and equally gives us a huge boost to know that we make a difference to their day. We also remind people to stay safe and keep well. I go away from the houses with a wonderful warm feeling.
Support Worker Christine explains that the choice of song that is performed by the group, is tailored to each person: We choose a variety of songs that we hope will cheer people up, songs that are well known and they can sing along too because music reaches out to people to lift the spirits. We tailor the songs to the people we visit such as when we sang: ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for a big Liverpool FC fan. The carers / families of those we have visited seem to enjoy the visit also & I always think happy carer = happy person we support. At the end of the day we all want to be happy & if making a fool of myself helps put a smile on someone’s face then it’s worthwhile.
Tessa was the instigator of Drama on the Doorstep and usually runs a drama group each week at Adult Community Support Service: we really try to share the performances with the people we serve. There is always room for more to come so who knows what we will be doing next, watch this space!
To find out more about the Abingdon Community Support service - click here.