It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Karen Burdon in the summer.
As overall Activities Manager for several years, Karen was responsible for a 37-strong group of Activities Organisers and minibus drivers.
She stayed in that role until Jo London joined us in September 2014 to share activities management. Karen then concentrated on supporting the Activities Organisers at our New Forest, Salisbury and Winchester homes.
Karen was instrumental in our policy of linking our residents’ activities programmes with fundraising for good causes.
Thanks in no small part to her, our Activities Organisers, residents, colleagues and volunteers have raised more than £140,000 for charities in the past six years. The latest annual total, for 2015, was the highest yet at £32,000.
As well as coming up with creative fundraising initiatives, Karen devised and developed ideas for activities such as scarecrow competitions, lots of other arts and crafts activities, fancy dress events and managed the roll-call of visiting entertainers.
She leaves a strong legacy and ethos around the importance of activities as a pillar of our overall care proposition alongside clinical and social care and hotel services. Her testimony is the superb, ongoing work of our Activities Organisers.
At the time of writing, we are looking into the idea of creating an ‘outstanding activity’ award in her honour. Here we share a few photographic memories of Karen: