The event marked the first time that the Service User Council members at Exemplar Health Care have been able to celebrate Christmas together since 2019.
Representatives from each of Exemplar Health Care’s complex care services gathered for their first annual Christmas party since 2019, at Pontefract King’s Croft Hotel, an event that has been three years in the making.
Due to restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Service User Council members have not been able to meet in person for three years.
The Service User Council is an integral part of Exemplar Health Care, comprising of ‘ambassadors’ from each home across the country that represent the service users from their respective service.
The ambassadors work closely with activities coordinators, care staff and home managers to get involved in the running of their home. They take on roles, depending on their interests, goals and skills, such as greeting visitors, interviewing job candidates and running tuck shops.
Their input also helps identify ideas to improve the wellbeing of everyone who lives in an Exemplar Health Care home. For example, the council was involved in reviewing and updating the company’s ‘Service user holiday’ policy.
Rachel Calladine, business development director at Exemplar Health Care, said of the event: “After missing out on our Service User Council Christmas parties for the past few years due to Covid, we were delighted to celebrate the start of Christmas with our Service User Ambassadors last week, for the first time. There was Christmas fun, sparkly outfits and laughter in abundance. I was lucky enough to spend time with every ambassador at some point during the day and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
She continued saying, “At Exemplar Health Care, our mission is to make ‘every day better’ for the people we support and our colleagues. We’re proud of the culture we’ve built with our ‘fun’ value being at the core of everything we do, and this event was a perfect example of just that. To actually be able to see other Service User ambassadors face to face and catch up with them properly has been brilliant, we can’t wait to plan the next event.”