It’s been a long time coming. But today, on March 16th 2021, our residents received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

With all the hype and jubilation this brings, we guess it’s only natural to feel a bit reflective on what has been a strange year.

Our staff have worked valiantly throughout the pandemic. They’ve faced their fair share of trials, but at all times they’ve been inspired by the dogged determination of our residents to keep everyone’s spirits high.

On dreary days, our residents’ calm, can-do spirit has been a source of continual renewal for our staff. It serves to remind us that our residents truly embody what Briarlea’s all about – and how it’s such a privilege that we get to care for them.

And contrary to what you might assume, it’s not all been doom and gloom. In a pandemic, you certainly begin to appreciate life’s bright little moments. Here are a few of our highlights…

April 24: Having closed our doors 6 weeks prior, we sent messages to our families, keeping them in the loop of our life in lockdown.

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve really appreciated everyone’s kind words and how you’ve stayed in touch by letter, Facebook or through the many gift baskets dropped at our door. We’ve enjoyed all your chocolates, flowers and even some lovely Cotswold lavender hand soap! They’ve helped to keep everyone in buoyant spirits.

 

Summer: Garden visits!

An easing of restrictions meant we were finally able to see our loved ones again. We took advantage of the superb weather and set up camp on Briarlea’s manicured lawns for the much-awaited reunions.

 

Sep 03: We were paid a visit by Jeff who treated our residents to a slap-up fish lunch… socially distanced of course. The meal was a gift from the Star Chip Enterprise, who delivered fish and chips to care homes across the county.

We’d also like to thank Dominoes who very kindly dropped round free pizzas to our staff and for the lovely cream tea given by Tesco, as well as the hampers from Dowdeswell Bar and the Evesham Rotary Club. We feel so touched at how the whole community has rallied round Briarlea.

November 26: Colder weather heralded the arrival of our visitor pod, which allowed us to host indoor visits in a safe environment – free from the risk of transmission. We were so excited we even held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Christmas: With the advent of stricter measures over Christmas, the holiday season was a little different than usual.

But it didn’t stop us from having plenty of festive fun. Our handyman Rob even dressed up as Santa for the big day to help dispense presents to all our residents.

We were relieved to learn that we all dodged the naughty list – I suppose Santa felt best to cut us some slack for 2020.

 

December 30th: Briarlea gets its first vaccine – YIPPEE!

So, there you have it. Our year in a nutshell.

As we leap fully immunised into the spring, we’re looking forward to hugging our relatives once more. We plan to make the most of a long, fun-filled summer.

And you can be sure that all our post-lockdown adventures will be documented in our blog. So stay tuned.