5,200 care homes across the country took part in Care Home Open Week 2023, a nationwide event aimed at encouraging communities to engage with care home residents and the exceptional care professionals that care for them. With 17,000 care homes across the UK, participating homes this year represented an engagement rate of 30% from across the sector and is more than double the number of care homes that participated in last year’s campaign.
Residents in care homes across the country joined families, local people and local MPs for events including a colourful Pride Party, special performances from Michael and Charlene, the winners of the nationwide talent competition Care Sector’s Got Talent, and the culmination of an eight-week intergenerational project with a local primary school and theatre.
Led by Championing Social Care, this year’s Care Home Open Week reached 135,000 residents across the care sector and received record engagement from MPs for an event in the sector, with one in five MPs attending a local care home between 28th June to 2nd July, including Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Chair of the Labour Party Angela Rayner, Former First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office Damian Green and Minister of State for Social Care Helen Whately.
Special messages of support were also received from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Kensington Palace on behalf of HRH The Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street.
This year also saw the launch of the inaugural ‘Great British Care Cycle Relay’, which travelled over 300 miles from North to South over 5 days, visiting 12 care communities that showcased the length and breadth of social care services at the heart of each community. A first of its kind, the relay engaged over 300 people either as cyclists or volunteers, or through welcome receptions of residents and team members from across the regions, as it safely passed on a travelling baton between relay legs to its final destination in London.
The week culminated in Thank You Day, which took place on Sunday 2nd July. Led by Care Home Open Week partner Music for Dementia, people across the country were invited to unite in saying thank you by playing, singing and listening to music together on Thank You Day. The campaign included the launch of a new version of Tony Christie’s song ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’, recorded as a tribute to carers who ‘never get mentioned’.
Mitesh Dhanak, Chair of Care Home Open Week says: “The Championing Social Care team has been thrilled to see so many care homes across the country take part this year, and our partners have pulled out all the stops to make this year’s campaign a memorable event for all those involved.
“Our ambition is to show the public, potential employees and MPs that care homes can offer a positive, fulfilling and highly enjoyable experience for residents and workers alike and we hope everyone who joined us saw for themselves the incredible value that the social care sector delivers to society.”