A former cruise ship entertainer seeking a new lease of life in social care is the latest recruit at a family-run South East care group – joining at a time its own virtual world cruise docks in India.
Ella Yard, a cruise ship entertainer turned Recreation and Well-Being Champion at Nellsar’s Loose Valley Care Centre in Kent, has helped bring an authentic world tour experience
to residents during the ongoing lockdown, having previously worked with the famous Disney Cruise Line.
In her role as youth entertainment host onboard the ship Disney Magic, Ella visited Russia, Finland, Norway, Estonia, New York, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Florida to name but a few destinations, allowing her to provide residents with the thrills of globetrotting from the comfort of their armchairs.
Ella said: “I’m delighted to have made the move to social care. I’m really enjoying spending time with residents who are all so lovely. I’ve always been a performer, having previously worked in theatre in educational settings and then as a youth entertainment host for Disney, but I’ve had no experience in care. So, it came to a nice surprise when I realised while the audience is different, I was able to transfer my skills across and provide people with fun and meaningful activities. It’s been such an exciting challenge.”
As part of the ‘Around the World with Nellsar Cruises’, a six-month virtual world cruise offering a welcome distraction from the pandemic to all 13 of Nellsar’s homes across Kent, Surrey and Essex, the care group continued its grand voyage with a visit to India yesterday (Wednesday 10th).
Excited to disembark, residents enjoyed Indian-themed activities, decorations, music, cuisine, quizzes and films. Staff members helped residents create rangoli pictures and marigold garlands to decorate the respective homes, while lanterns were also designed for a special light festival event to mark the ‘arrival’.
Having launched from Hong Kong last month to coincide with Chinese New Year, the virtual ship will dock at a different country each month with upcoming destinations including Spain, Italy, France and the Caribbean, before returning to the UK in August.
Viv Stead, Recreation and Well-being Manager at Nellsar, said: “After the success of last month’s virtual visit of Hong Kong, which saw all our homes’ staff, residents and even relatives come together and fully immerse themselves in this light-hearted adventure, we’re delighted to see the same enthusiasm and uptake of our trip to India. We had to add it to our list, being such a colourful country with dazzling costumes, fine food and spices, and wonderful music. We even arranged for traditional bhangra dancing classes at some of our homes, as we wanted to soak up as much culture as possible and celebrate India for the incredible country it is.”
She continued: “We’re delighted to have Ella join us and help bring some authenticity to the cruise, having been globetrotting herself with Disney cruise line. Since the pandemic began, we’ve taken on people from all different backgrounds, some of whom hadn’t previously worked or even thought about a career in social care, just like Ella, but who have excelled in their new roles and are now crucial team members in their respective homes.”
The cruise liner will soon set sail for Spain, where it will dock on Wednesday, April 14th.
For those who are interested in a career in care, Nellsar’s latest job vacancies can be found at https://recruitment.nellsar.com/. Alternatively, for more information on Nellsar and its homes, please visit www.nellsar.com.