2020 has been a year that we will not forget in a hurry, but as it comes to an end we wanted to look back and reflect on all the positive experiences we have had here at Chaseley.

We have been on lockdown since 13th March with no relative visits taking place inside the building throughout this time. We have however been very lucky to be able to organise regular FaceTime catch ups, garden visits during the summer and more recently since the weather turned visits in our family viewing room and outdoor shelter, where residents can see their loved ones through the window and talk via an intercom.

Local, national and international supporters of Chaseley, dubbed ‘Chaseley’s Army of Angels’ all came together when PPE stocks were low and difficult to obtain. We received hundreds of handmade masks, scrub sets and visors, which all really helped to ensure the safety of our residents and staff team whilst national stock levels were depleted.

The relatives of our residents have also been very understanding of the situation and shown their support and appreciation of the team here at Chaseley in a variety of ways; thank you cards, fruit hampers, cake deliveries, bottles of wine and monetary donations into a staff thank you fund. This fund enabled Chaseley to organise thank you treat bags for every member of staff, additional hand cream for use at work and a variety of treat days that included ice creams, BBQ’s and themed lunches.

Our team here at Chaseley have adapted their working practices in a formidable way and embraced the challenges we have met with positivity and determination to ensure we continue to deliver high class levels of care to our residents throughout the pandemic.

Chaseley and some of our residents have had their stories and artwork showcased in national newspapers and magazines, participated in local TV and radio interviews and we launched our very own bi-monthly Enewsletter, which you can subscribe to via our website.

Chaseley has also been incredibly lucky to have received generous donations from several Trusts and Foundations throughout the year. These grants were received for a variety of reasons – to help with the additional and unplanned costs of PPE, bathroom upgrades, lost income, pieces of equipment such as Ipads to enable more resident FaceTime contact, as well as supporting and enhancing our activities programme not only during, but also after lockdown.

We have received generous donations from members of the public, some of whom had engaged in their own virtual fundraisers, others who donated in memory of a loved one and there were some who donated to simply support Chaseley through the pandemic.

Residents were entertained throughout the year and enjoyed activities such as garden sing a longs with Elvis and several other local singers, visits from Pet Pals, themed days such as our Medieval Day that saw two knights battle it out in our garden and there was even a visit from ‘Magico’ the Spanish Andalusian Steel Stallion.

Lesley Standing, CEO shares with us that “2020 has proven to be a challenging year for everyone living and working in the care sector. At Chaseley we have been embracing changes we have had to make to our ‘usual business’. Activities and visits in general were subject to many changes but with these changes came some really positive benefits, in particular around the use of technology to keep everyone in touch. PPE has been our toughest challenge, from obtaining it in the first instance, through to staff having to wear high levels of PPE in very hot conditions to keep themselves and our residents safe. At the start of the year none of us would have predicted what could be seen as a sci-fi scenario for the world, let alone our community here at Chaseley.

We have been so very lucky to have received so many generous donations and I would like to convey our grateful thanks from everyone here at Chaseley for making this challenging year more bearable for us all”

The Chaseley Trust was established in Eastbourne in 1946 by Dr Luttwig Guttmann to care for soldiers returning from the Second World War with spinal injuries.

Today, the charity provides care and rehabilitation services for all adults over the age of 18 who have significant physical disabilities.

The 55-bed home specialises in long and short-term nursing and respite care for people with complex disabilities.

The multi-disciplinary approach to care and rehabilitation includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, social and recreational activities ensuring that people have independence and control over their lives. The ethos of the charity remains the same as when first founded over seventy years ago, to enable people with disabilities to lead a full and active life in spite of their disabilities.

As a charity we rely on generous donations from our community to provide services for which we receive no Local Authority or Government funding. Last year, the charity cared for over 100 residents and supported their families as they coped with the suddenness and/or deterioration of their loved one’s condition.

For further information on the charity contact: Jodie Cornford, Fundraising Manager jodiec@chaseleytrust.org

Tel: 01323 744200