CMG in Bloom!

27th June 2018  Add comments

After a long winter, which seemed to have lasted forever summer has finally arrived! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. What a wonderful time of year!

One of the many things we take great pride in here at CMG, are our gardens! Last week when I visited one of our new services in Reigate, Luke who is a keen gardener and had moved in that very day was out in the garden pulling out weeds. I can’t tell you how happy that made me! Most people within CMG know that I’m a weed fanatic. I will often arrive at a service with a weed I have freshly dug from the ground, shaking it at the manager, “What is this?”. It has become such a thing at CMG that we now do a monthly weeding competition. Anyway, enough about weeds.

When I was recently at the Droveway in Brighton, imagine my glee when I saw the garden had been pruned into a world cup fashion, it is amazing! The four guys who live there are big Brighton fans, and often watch the home games, as they have season tickets. They are equally enjoying the World Cup, especially now with their football pitch garden. You can see some photos at the end of this blog.

There are so many people we support that have made huge efforts in their gardens, including Wayne who lives up in Wales. He has a fantastic vegetable patch with the biggest marrows I’ve even seen. He has had such a successful year of growing he has started his own business, selling his fruit and veg to local people. Impressive!

It’s lovely to see that the local people to one of our services, Little Orchard in the New Forest have been giving up their time to help implement improvements to the garden. They have helped build a raised bed that will enable people in wheelchairs to get actively involved in gardening. This is a product of the Care Home Open day which was held on 21st April. Many of our services opened their doors to the general public to enjoy a day of celebration and festivities.

A few years ago we started CMG in bloom competition. Services enter the competition choosing one of the following categories: most improved garden, best person involvement, or best presented garden. Once all the entries are in, normally during the August weeks our judging panel select a winner from each category. The judging panel consists of staff members and people we support.

With all these keen gardeners maybe next year we’ll enter Chelsea Flower show, dream big!

Summer solstice has now passed and the nights will start to drawing in, so get out into your gardens and make the most of this beautiful weather!

Wayne with his marrow

Flowers ar Willesden Lane

S enjoying the sun in her garden

Football Garden at the Droveway

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Learning Disability Awareness Week – Improving healthcare

22nd June 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog I would like to hand the reins to inspirational young lady, Mary Woodall. Mary has been supported by CMG for just under two years now. The work she has achieved since then is amazing. She is a leading member of campaigning for change, which is a self-advocacy group within CMG.

Mary has been proactive locally in promoting road safety, one example of this she campaigned and succeeded in getting a zebra crossing added to a busy road in her neighbourhood.

She is passionate about promoting the rights of people with learning disabilities, and is actively involved in the supported loving network (national network) which does just that! The network focusses on supporting people with learning disabilities to have personal relationships, and promotes the rights around sexuality.

Next week Mary will be attending the National Learning Disability and Autism awards where she has been nominated for the People’s award. The award celebrates people who give exceptional encouragement and support for individuals with learning disabilities and or autism. She deserves to win this, we will all be rooting for you Mary!

Learning Disability Awareness Week – Improving healthcare blog, by Mary Woodall

As it is learning disability awareness week I would like to share my thoughts on how the health needs of people with disabilities are treated.

I am aware that too many people with learning disabilities die too young, because their health needs are not picked up early enough, or treated properly.

A problem is that people with learning disabilities are thought of as a last thing, that their needs are not as crucial as people without disabilities.

Also, with changes to the benefit system, some people don’t get as much and don’t have jobs. All this affects their health and wellbeing.

I would like to see people with learning disabilities getting better health support, and for all doctors and nurses to be trained in understanding people with learning disabilities and autism.

I would also like to see everyone with a disability having a Hospital Passport, and for the hospital staff actually reading these, so they know how to treat the person.

Lots of people with learning disabilities can’t read or write and need help to make the right choices. It would be good if health issues were always clear and easy for everyone to understand.

It’s quite unfair that too many people with disabilities are not treated quickly enough when they have health issues, and I would like to see health services improve a lot, with better understanding of the people they are supporting.

Mary Woodall


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The Celebration of Ageing Well

14th June 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog is about our ageing well event which took place at the end of last month. It was the 2nd year we’ve hosted it, and it was initially created to celebrate and embrace the older people we support.

At first I was rather apprehensive as the weather was forecast to be terrible, which was not an ideal situation considering the event was set to be on the Effingham’s playing fields. Fortunately for us the sun shined for most of the day.

It was a fun filled day packed with all sorts of entertainment, activities, music and games.

The 1940’s and 1950’s theme was so strong, with all the decorations, bunting and people dressed in their vintage attire. It felt like you had travelled back in time.

There were a range of vintage garden games including splat the rat, coconut shy and hook a duck. Which were all thoroughly enjoyed!

Stephen Adamson, CMG’s sports ambassador led the walking football. This was very popular with everyone who attended I even caught some of the regional directors joining in.

Michael Fullerton (Clinical Director) was slightly in the wrong era with his ‘Peaky Blinder’ outfit, but looked great never the less. Michael ran a very important session on mindfulness, explaining the benefits of mindfulness for mental well-being, and to gain more enjoyment from everyday life. Mindfulness can help to:

  • increase your awareness of your thoughts and feelings
  • manage unhelpful thoughts
  • develop more helpful responses to difficult feelings and events
  • be kinder towards yourself
  • feel calmer and able to manage stress better
  • manage some physical health problem, like chronic pain

Another person who I’ve been looking forward to see in action for a long time is Joanna Grace. She runs sensory projects nationally and internationally to promote inclusion. She works with people predominantly with profound and multiple learning disabilities or people in the later stages of dementia. On the day she was doing a sensory story session of how flowers grow. She did this using different sensory objects and tools. Working on touch, smell and sounds.

I’ve been doing tai chi for some time now, so when Katie approached me to do a session I was more than happy. For those of you that don’t know, it is a low impact (perfect for the older generation) and health promoting exercise combining deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements.

It can help people aged 65 and over to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs. It was great to share my knowledge with others, hopefully they have taken a few moves they’ve learnt to practice at home. You can see some pictures of me in action at the end of this blog, thanks to Lilli who always seems to catch a photo of me.

The day was finished off in true CMG style with lots of singing and dancing. Vintage singer, Tania Rodd was fantastic she sang classic songs from the 40’s and 50’s including songs by Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and more. Quite a few people we support got up onto the stage and had a sing along too.

It was such a great day, and there was something for everyone. There was even therapeutic massage, which I seemed to have missed out on.

A would like to give a big thank you to Erren Wheatland (Clinical Educator)and Katie Reid (Health Care Facilitator) for all their efforts in creating this wonderful day, it was well thought out and planned. They really know how to bring the CMG magic alive.

Pam Hirsch, Regional Director Said: 

“Many congratulations to all of you involved in organising such a fun day. I really look forward to next year’s event, which I wouldn’t miss for the word!”

Cheryl Bishop, Regional director said:

“Thanks Erren and Katie for such a brilliant day yesterday. I know that everyone from my region really enjoyed it as did I. Roll on next year!”

Please head over to our Facebook page to see more photos:

Joanna Grace doing sensory stories






Tai Chi
Showing off my Tai Chi skills








M and the bearded dragon






Mary & Elmi
Mary & Elmi
Tania Rodd, vintage singer
Tania Rodd singing her heart out!



Erren & Nicole
Erren & Nicole






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Importance of Employment – Joint Blog with Sharon Allen, Chief Executive of Skills for Care

7th June 2018  Add comments

Sharon Allen, Chief executive of Skills for Care, and I have decided to do a joint blog about employment for people with learning disabilities as it’s a subject we both feel very strongly about.

I think that helping a person to get a job can often be the single most important outcome that we can help them achieve.  Not only does it give them more money, it enhances their social network and, in my experience, most importantly has a massive effect on their self-esteem.

In CMG we have an active programme of supporting and encouraging people to get into employment. Sometimes this requires us having to be quite creative to find the right match between an individual’s skills and aspirations and a suitable employment opportunity. Every month for a number of years we have tracked the number of people we support in both paid and voluntary employment. We find that voluntary employment can often be a very good stepping stone into paid employment. Charity shops in particular seem very welcoming of people with learning disabilities.

We also take our responsibility seriously as an employer. We’ve actively identified opportunities within our organisation to employ the people we support. This includes employing people as receptionists at our Head Office in Leatherhead, as administrators, cleaners, trainers and also as paid quality checkers. We also pay the members of our self-advocacy group, Campaign for Change, (They used to be known as our Service User Parliament but decided to change the name).

We also try to create a culture of celebration recognising people’s achievements in a wide range of areas, including employment. One of the most important ways we do this is through our annual ‘People’s Awards’ in which people we support receive awards in a range of different categories including health, sport, education and employment.

The following brief description of the winners of this year’s employment category will give you a feel for the sort of activities the people are supported to engage in:

First place was given to a young man who has been working at a very prestigious and traditional club in London, in the house keeping department. He was nominated because of his positive, enthusiastic and can do attitude towards his work. Since he started there his confidence has grown day by day.

Second place was given to one of CMG’s paid staff, he has a cleaning role and is said to be ‘a man on a mission’ whenever he is working. No one can get in his way until he has finished his jobs. His registered manager has said that this job has empowered him in many ways. He is more confident in socialising and communicating with others and his travel independence has increased.

Third place was given to another person employed by CMG. He has a care-taker role at Head Office and was nominated for his dedication and unswerving commitment to his employment. He is so enthusiastic whenever he is working. He is saving up his wages to buy something special for himself.

Employment is about so much more than just a wage. Whilst, getting paid for the work you do is important, employment also helps define who we are as a person, builds our social networks and is a significant element in whether or not society values us.

For people with a learning disability and/or autism a job can be the gateway to all of the above and a big boost to their personal self esteem.

Thanks to Peter both for sharing what CMG is doing to support people with a learning disability and/or autism into the workplace, which as he says is something we share a commitment to for all the excellent reasons articulated.

At Skills for Care, as the strategic workforce organisation for adult social care, we are starting our own journey towards employing people with a learning disability and/or autism, which can only be strengthened by our relationship with CMG. We know we have much to do and learn to make sure we can apply everything we have learnt from employers, and people with a learning disability and/or autism themselves.

From our work in the sector we know that employers working in social care can act as role models for organisations in the wider economy. They can show by example that we know the value that people with a learning disability and/or autism bring to our workplace.

To be good employers we have to recognise that our employees with a learning disability and/or autism might need additional support to make sure that they are able to do their job well at all times.

Skills for Care’s work on workforce productivity shows that there are five main factors associated with productivity. These are culture, leadership, employee wellbeing, learning and development and digital technology. All of these factors will apply to the employment of people with a learning disability and/or autism as well as for the whole workforce.

The culture of organizations needs to value the importance of each and every one of our employees – whatever their role (and perhaps status) in the organization is or their additional support needs are.

Leadership in organisations needs to show staff teams how people with a learning disability and or/autism make a positive contribution to organisational life. We need to find ways for people with a learning disability and or/autism to use their leadership skills.

Employee wellbeing for people with a learning disability and or/autism could include additional supervision, a different pattern of breaks, co-worker set-ups and help with accessing or understanding other employment benefits such as pensions and wellbeing initiatives. All of this well-being support must be done sensitively and discretely.

Learning and development needs to include everyone. Just because someone has a learning disability and or/autism doesn’t mean they can’t learn. Everyone’s preferred learning style is different whether you are disabled or not.

 Digital technology in our organizations needs to work for everyone. We must never assume that someone with a learning disability and or/autism wouldn’t be able to use technology as part of their work contribution.

It’s not enough to give someone a job. As a responsible employer we need to support and empower our employers and the 1.45 million strong workforce, including learning disabled colleagues and/or colleagues with autism.


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Dragons Den CMG Style!

1st June 2018  Add comments

Last week we hosted our first very own Dragon’s Den, based on the hit BBC 2 programme. The idea first came to fruition when Michael Fullerton suggested doing something to promote small businesses and personal start ups within CMG. The idea took off from there!  I have always felt very strongly about the importance of supporting and encouraging people into employment. Not only so they can earn money for themselves but also to increase their independence and confidence. We advertised this event all across the organisation calling for anyone who had a passion that could be turned into a business or an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Michael Fullerton (Clinical director), Andrew Wasley (employment officer) Simon Tobin (person we support and trainer) and I made up the judging panel. Each person had 30 minutes to present their ideas to the panel and suggest an amount they would like the dragon’s to invest.

I am so impressed with all of the candidates. Each proposal was well thought through, with clear market strategies and a plan of what funding and other support they wanted from CMG. A key strength with each proposal was the obvious talents of each person. This demonstrates that with creative support, people can maximise use of their natural skills and interests to benefit themselves and their communities. For the majority of the population it is quite a daunting thing to stand up and give a presentation to a panel of judges, let alone ask for financial support. Imagine all of this with the added difficulty of a learning disability.

Each candidate was successful and was offered a monetary sum, and help with marketing and advertising. The candidates that had products to sell have all been offered their own stall at The People’s Conference (26th July).

Once a month for the next year Andrew Wasley will be getting updates from the candidates and their home managers to report back how their businesses are going, and to offer any additional support.

The day was such a success it now has been firmly placed into the CMG events calendar. I’m excited to see what next year will bring.

“The six people, who stepped forward with a wide range of exciting enterprises and opportunities did not disappoint. I look forward to seeing how each enterprise evolves” Michael Fullerton

Please see below for pictures from the day:

Artistry by akmd (card business where people can colour in their own cards), The dragons offered £150 towards her £1000 request, support with approaching local independent shops and a stall at the Peoples Conference, social media to tie in with her blog and a card stand and honesty box at Leatherhead.
‘Cakes and Bakes’ was awarded the full request of £156.64, he was also offered marketing support and a stall at the People’s Conference.
“Playing party music in Hampshire” awarded £175 to cover lights, CD’s, T-shirt design and CD covers. He was also offered social media coverage and the design and distribution of flyers internally.
“The Pesky Dragons” Michael, Andrew, Peter & Simon
“Design & Print Business” was awarded £150 to buy canvasses and paints together with social media coverage and a stall at the Peoples Conference. The Dragons gave suggestions of selling prices and locations such as local markets and for him to sign his work. He will also have a stall at the Family Conference and the People’s Conference.






“Windsor Vegetables” was offered his full request of  £150 to get stocked up for the next 2 seasons with seeds and gardening equipment.











“Gourmet Cakes” Gourmet Cakes was offered the full amount of £110 for equipment and start up ingredients and she was also offered a stall at Peoples Conference and internally printed flyers.




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Inspirational Individuals Celebrated At the Annual Achievement Awards

24th May 2018  Add comments

The annual awards is always one of my favourite events in the CMG calendar. It fills me with pride to see what each person has achieved over the last year. This year was no different.

People were awarded with 1st, 2nd or 3rd place for various categories including sports, health, employment and education.

After a 3 course sit down meal, the award ceremony began. Each nominee had their photo displayed and a brief description why they had been nominated. The awards were presented by David Spruzen (CMG chairman) with the help of Michael Fullerton.

The whole evening was filled with many surprises, laughter and emotions. One moment in particular has stayed with me. A young man called A has been with CMG for a number of years and I know him well. He has quite severe autism and finds anything new rather frightening and distressing. Originally when he was first nominated for an award no one thought he would be able to come to the event let alone collect his award. So a plan was created, A would collect his award outside away from the crowd and noise. A’s registered manager and key support worker spent time over a number of months driving to Imber court, walking up the stairs to the ballroom and practicing to collect his award. Imagine my surprise when I saw him walk into the ballroom, through the middle of all the guests to collect his award at the front. He even managed to pose for a photo. This was such an amazing achievement and I am so very proud of A and the team at Tuscany house. It really shows what careful planning, time and consideration can do towards the personal outcomes of an individual. The staff told me how after collecting his award he was so chuffed, and couldn’t stop smiling.

The night was finished off with some great music and disco provided by DJ Jamie from The Green.

Congratulations everybody!

Please see below for some of the nominations:

Best Achievement in Education

“R has been attending college regularly and I’m pleased to say at the end of 2017 she passed her GCSE in Maths. She is now working towards her GCSE in English. R works really hard and is very dedicated to her studies”

Voluntary Employment

“S delicate and considerate in his approach and a role model to those around him. He treats everyone with dignity and respect, and always offers a smile and gives a positive response.”

Best Achievement in Sports

“A few months ago B participated in the special bike Olympics in Sheffield, where he won two gold medals and many other top ten finishes. Every Sunday B rides with his bike group, there’s not a day where B isn’t participating in some kind of sport.”

Excellence in Advocacy and Rights Promotion

“S has also been working on a composing a song which deals with bullying, and is hoping to record it along with a video. He is now employed as a Self-Advocate in the Campaigning for Change group.”

Here are a few photos from the night, please head over to our Facebook page to see more:

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The Fantastic Work of our Relative Quality Checkers

17th May 2018  Add comments

In this week’s blog I would like to celebrate the work of our relative quality checkers. This is a dedicated team of family members who give up their time voluntarily to carry out unannounced inspection visits in CMG services. We set the scheme up around 6 years ago and several of our original quality checkers are still going strong. The idea is that we provide an extra layer of assurance by asking relatives of people we support to visit services and give us their views of what is working well and what could be better. They bring the unique perspective of caring relative looking at what is important to them for their son or daughter or brother or sister. Working with the checkers, we developed an assessment format which they complete which identify those aspects of quality that they feel are particularly important. The Checkers chat to the people who live at the service, and staff to gain an understanding of how people feel about their support, staff morale etc. Following the visit, the Checkers compile a brief report using a tool that they have developed, with recommendations for improvements as relevant. For understandable reasons, people cannot carry out checks in the service which supports their next of kin.

I would like to profile one of our longest standing quality checkers, a fantastic lady called Verna:

Verna has pretty much been with us from the start, and is a brilliant quality checker. This could be due to her matron and midwifery background or purely because she has the interest of others at heart. Verna has been involved CMG for a long time, firstly through her son living at one of our houses. He’s an unforgettable character! When Verna heard about the relative quality checker scheme, she was keen to get involved. She thought it would be a great way to give something back, and make a difference to people’s lives. But not only that she wanted to see what was going on behind the scenes, get a feel for what the company does for individuals like her son.

All relative quality checkers have a format in which they follow, to see if the services are performing efficiently, affectively and safely. When Verna visits a service she speaks to the staff first leaving the manager to last. This is to identify if the staff have adequate training, and to offer support. She checks to see if the residents are happy in their home environment, well presented and if they have engaging interaction with the staff. She likes to see pictures on the walls, individualised rooms, evidence of days out and regular activities. The personal touches that you would expect to see in someones house. Verna says this hands on approach really gives her the chance to see what is transpiring in the homes, then highlight any issues and feed this information back to head office. She is particularly impressed with the cultural and ethnicity efforts that go into the services. She told me how over the years she has built lovely relationships with some of the residents, and how they recognise her when she visits.

I will finish with a quote from Verna:

“I started to be a relative quality checker to keep an eye on what was going on in the organisation, and pleased to say that most of the services really are a home from home with real quality care”

We are always keen to increase the numbers of Relative Checkers, in England and Wales, so if you are curious or interested please contact Dan Dunman (Quality Support Manager) via


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Obesity in the Care Sector

4th May 2018  Add comments

In this week’s blog I will be focusing on a topic that is on a global issue, with more prevalence in the care sector, obesity.

There are many reasons that can lead to people becoming obese. These could be due to genetics, medical conditions, medication, societal or environmental factors or purely down to lifestyle choices.

Firstly, I would like to share some UK statistics with you which are rather worrying. It shows that 1 in 4 people in the general public are obese, this rises to 1 in 3 in the learning disability population.

Research also shows that only 10% of adults with a learning disability, living in supported accommodation, eat a balanced diet and 80% of people with a learning disability do not engage in recommended amounts of physical activity.

Research has identified the following barriers:

  • Staff lack of knowledge about purchasing food and cooking healthy meals
  • Lack of time: shopping for and preparing healthy meals can be time-consuming which often leads to the frequent use of ready meals
  • Use of food and drinks as a reward or means of control
  • Over-reliance on unhealthy activities, for example driving to a café or pub
  • Staff making unhealthy choices themselves ; staff need to be encouraged to become healthy role models
  • Limited staffing can make it difficult to attend exercise classes or take part in health activities. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, mobility difficulties, mental ill health and some cancers. The subsequent risks to health are greater in individuals with a learning disability, who may already have underlying health conditions.

Staff have a duty of care to work with health professionals to provide people we support with information about the risks of being overweight or obese, helping people to make informed choices about their lifestyle.

CMG staff can help by:

  1. Motivating people we support to eat more healthily and take more exercise, and by being a good role model!
  2.  Encouraging people to attend their annual health check.
  3. Suggesting people join a local slimming club, gym and exercise class.
  4.  Asking people what activities they are interested in (indoor and outdoor) and organizing regular physical activities, and make sure it happens!
  5.  Using the government eat well guide to support people to eat a well-balanced diet, minimising intake of processed food as these tend to be high in saturated fat/sugar/salt and can increase weight and threaten health.
  6.  Using the CMG Healthy Lifestyle Pack to help people menu plan and to offer tips on diet, nutrition and exercise; educate people using the activities within the pack about healthy food swaps, food labels and five a day.
  7.  Attending the CMG ‘Supporting Good Health in Adults with Learning Disabilities’ work shop, as there is a strong focus of diet, nutrition and physical exercise.
  8.  Helping CMG fulfil their commitment to the VODG Health Charter. Obesity is a key focus area. Our aim is to help people improve their diet and physical activity to either reduce or maintain weight, minimising risk of developing health conditions associated with obesity.
  9. Supporting people to attend the ‘let’s get physical event’ this summer where we will cover health promotion in general for adults with LD.
  10. Celebrating people’s success and achievements, losing weight and maintaining weight is a big deal!

I would like to share with you all a lovely case study from one of our services in Hove.

The staff at Rutland Gardens recognised that all of the people they support were overweight and didn’t have much confidence. So they actively decided to do something about it.

They asked each person what they enjoyed doing, what they liked wearing and what they liked to eat. Their focus was on empowering the people rather than ‘losing weight’.

Hannah Bailey, service manager told me how one individual had always wanted her hair long, yet always had it cut short, as she thought she couldn’t grow it. Now she has long her and is always telling the staff that she looks like a princess.

Alongside building self-esteem and body image confidence of the people they support, the staff have reviewed menus and food choices. They support people to cook using fresh ingredients to reduce salt, sugar and calorie intake. When introducing new food they make it fun with themed food nights and taster sessions.

All of the people they support take part in various exercises/ activities. The staff have helped support the individuals to achieve some amazing outcomes. These include attending the gym, badminton, tai chi classes, line dancing and they all love to walk!

One lady has joined slimming world and walks to and from which is around 3 miles, she also walks to her new voluntary job which is another 3.5 miles twice a week.

These changes didn’t happen overnight and it has been a slow challenging process. But it really does show the effect good roles models and a strong support system have on the lifestyles of the people that are supported.

Well done to everyone at Rutland Gardens!

Please see below for photos of the weight loses of some of the people that are supported at Rutland Gardens.





Lisa has lost over 4 stone and has gone from a size 24 to a size 16. Lisa attends the gym and walks over 6 miles a week. She plays football, badminton and goes swimming with her boyfriend and wants to start Zumba Classes.







Michelle has made huge changes to her life, most of all her confidence. She has really grown as a person and is making choices for herself and not letting others decide.




Sharon now attends the gym twice a week, walks and uses her exercies bike. She swapped crisps and choclates for healthy snacks. She has gone from 19 stone to 14st 13lb. She is currently the lightest she has been in 11 years.














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Sunshine and National Care Home Open Day

25th April 2018  Add comments

What a beautiful weekend we had. On Saturday I managed to get out into the sunshine and visit several of our services who were celebrating ‘National Care Home Day’. I had a fun day seeing what the services had on offer. There were BBQ’s, bouncy castles, games, activities, music and much more. I visited Dyke road, Brighton and watched a performance by the residents. It was very entertaining!.

Rachael Dodgson too was out visiting services and enjoying the festivities. This is what she had to say:

“I was struck by how many of our staff brought their family members which was nice to see.” and “At St Helier the neighbours and local shop keeper came along and they had specially designed CMG balloons.”

The national care home initiative was started 6 years ago, to improve and strengthen links between the local communities and care homes. Their key values are friendships, making connections and celebrating older and vulnerable people.

Care homes all over the country open their doors to the local communities to celebrate people, cultures and relationships. Not only does this link communities and bring people closer together, it changes perceptions that care homes are dull places, where nothing interesting happens.  On the contrary services are welcoming places to visit, with fascinating and unique people and a full calendar of events and daily activities.

It is impressive the hard work and dedication that goes into care work, to enrich people’s lives and encourage personal development.  I visit around 10 services a week and I am always proud to see the compassion and support that the staff give. It is wonderful to see the meaningful relationships that are built within the services over the years.

Kings Road in Hampshire had various activities happening throughout the day. With attendance from family members, people from the local community as well as their local MP Caroline Dineage (pictured below).




The Ridge







Little Orchard had over 60 guests, who all seemed to have had a lovely day.






Dyke Road, Brighton.







St Helier, personalised CMG balloons.










The tenants at South Hill cooked various cultural dishes.

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2018 Driving Up Quality

19th April 2018  Add comments

This week’s blog is dedicated to ‘Driving Up Quality’. Yesterday we had our annual event, which was a great success. I would like to thank everyone who came and participated and also to all of the facilitators who provided informative and engaging workshops. The CMG magic was definitely in full bloom!

For those of you who don’t know, the driving up quality initiative was conceived by the provider sector, of which CMG was a leading partner. This was to make sure that the atrocities and abuse that were discovered at Winterbourne View would never happen again.

The DUQ code was launched in 2013 to set out the following 5 key standards for learning disability care:

  • Support focussed on the person
  • An ordinary and meaningful life
  • Being happy and quality of life
  • Good culture and the organisation
  • Lead and run the organisation well

The day started with my welcome and introduction, followed by presentations from 3 of our services, discussing how they have driven up quality in their services over the last year.

Firstly Sophie talked about the EE (encourage and empower) club. The EE club meet on a weekly basis, for the people we support to network and share ideas. Various events and activities are held throughout the year, and the people we support are recruited to coordinate.

The second presentation was by Charlotte from Carden Avenue, speaking about the Coastal post newsletter. It updates everyone on what’s been happening in those services during the last months. These include new developments, news, local events, activities and personal outcomes.

The third presentation was by Zofia, she presented with some of the people we support from Dyke road Brighton, they spoke about the self assessment they did as a service

After the presentations the group broke off into 3 workshops:

Health & screening

Erren and Katie gave an informative session on screening for breast and testicle cancer, with model breast and testicles to practice looking for lumps. This workshop was enjoyed by all, albeit there were quite a few giggles throughout the sessions.  This was followed on by Sarah and Mark, who did a great session on feelings and emotions, and how to ‘interrupt’ these negative emotions/feelings with different activities and exercises.


This session focussed on STOMP, the health campaign to stop the over-use of psychotropic medication to manage people’s behaviour. The workshop was run by Aine and Michael who reviewed the progress from last year’s DUQ and also looked at how CMG can further reduce the over medication of people with learning disabilities. Workshops discussed side effects of psychotropic medication and looked at alternative ways we can help the people we support and manage their beahviour in a positive way.

Employment and Education

This workshop was broken up into different areas; identification of everyday signs, experimenting with different paints, colours, shapes and textures and employment table focusing on work opportunities, and different ways on how to achieve paid and voluntary jobs.

To wrap up the day services and the people we support wrote pledges for the upcoming year.  Afterwards they had the opportunity to share their pledges with the rest of the group.  Here are some of the topics they chose:

  • Support and reminders to do breast and testicle checks
  • Increase activities and day out trips
  • Further promotion in independence (ASDAN)
  • Decreasing the intake of sugary drinks
  • More encouragement for employment
  • Stress management sessions
  • More medication/health reviews
  • More assistive technology


Watch this space, for more photos and the CMG ‘Driving Up Quality’ 2018 video.

Peter's speech


Wilson & Peter

Wilson & Peter

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