Care home group, CHD Living, is calling for fundraising support for its digital ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ scheme – which has seen over 72,000 people sign up from around the world – as it looks to establish ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ as an independent, not-for-profit organisation for public benefit, creating an app to facilitate, streamline and speed up the ‘adoption’ process.
Given the thousands of signups, the group is now looking to develop an app to help orchestrate and manage the pairing process – and, having provided seed funding to get the project this far, is now looking for public fundraising support to help get it off the ground, as it opens up the initiative to other care homes across the world.
Aimed at combating loneliness and encouraging companionship, the initiative is centered on digitally connecting the public with care home residents, helping them to form meaningful, intergenerational friendships.
The campaign devised by CHD Living, a Surrey and South London based care home group consisting of 13 residences, two specialist rehabilitation centres and a domiciliary care business, was initially launched last autumn and looked for local volunteers to physically visit the home to meet and bond with residents.
However, given the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the current restrictions on movement, the group decided to take the campaign digital – aiming to harness video technology to spread the message further and encourage connections from anywhere in the world.
The call for ‘virtual volunteers’ was met with an astonishing response, with 72,000 people signing up within 3 weeks from all over the world including from the US, Canada, Dubai, New Zealand and more – far more than the care home group could possibly look to pair up.
Shaleeza Hasham, Head of Hospitality, Communications & Commissioning at CHD Living, said: “We’ve been absolutely astounded by the sensational response to our campaign! It’s been a complete whirlwind the past few weeks, but one that’s brought in much needed positivity at an incredibly testing time for the care industry. Some of the messages we’ve been receiving have been so lovely, and we’ve been pairing up people, facilitating video calls and encouraging communication; the start of which has been extremely heart-warming.”
Shaleeza continued: “By raising the funds to develop the app, we can get people involved far more quickly, helping to ensure all of the necessary admin and safeguarding procedures are undertaken swiftly and speeding up the process of connecting those in need. Given we’re currently in the midst of combatting the coronavirus pandemic, our resources are dedicated to ensuring our homes are well equipped with everything necessary to contain the virus. Consequently, we’re asking the public for help in developing the app.”
She added: “In addition to the app, we also don’t want to restrict this initiative to just our homes. We have just over 800 care recipients, so you can appreciate 72,000 is more than enough to keep them company! Now we’d like to take the next step and embrace a larger community, connecting our wonderful volunteers with residents in other care homes that might like to partner with us on this project.”
As the campaign continues to grow, the care home group has been contemplating necessary next steps to ensure that those who have expressed an interest in the scheme can be assigned someone to keep company, and have decided to embrace technology by developing an official ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ app, which will safely pair participating care home residents with volunteers and facilitate safe video communication.
To make this happen, CHD Living is currently in the process of registering the ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ scheme with the charity commission as a social, not-for-profit enterprise, which will run independently to CHD Living. The group is asking for public support in fundraising to launch the charity, as well as for the development of the app and the forming of partnerships with other care providers, enabling as many residents as possible across the globe to participate in the programme.
Shaleeza concludes: “To know there are so many people out there wanting to offer companionship to our service users is so moving. Whether receiving care because they are older, living with dementia, recovering from injuries or suffering with ill mental health, we have seen it make such a difference to the wellbeing of our residents. What started as a small-scale scheme designed to connect the local community to our homes has transformed into a global movement, and we want to keep the momentum going in the hopes that this initiative will long outlast the current Coronavirus crisis. We hope the British public will continue to support us in our cause to combat loneliness, and we are so appreciative of any donations received that will help make this happen”.
Person Centred Software, a UK technology company and developers of an app-based Mobile Care Monitoring system that allows care home staff to digitally record the care of residents as it is given, has kickstarted CHD Living’s fundraising with an initial donation of five thousand pounds. Co-founder and Director, Jonathan Papworth explains: “At Person Centred Software, we are always looking for innovative new ways to improve the health and social care sectors. We love the work that CHD Living has done with their ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ campaign and, fully appreciating the positive impact that it’s had on the lives of their residents and volunteers alike, it’s a cause we wanted to get behind. We look forward to seeing how the initiative develops and for the wider community to start feeling the benefits of the programme.”
Care homes interested in joining the scheme should register their interest by visiting https://chdliving.co.uk/careproviders-aag-form and filling in the form. From here, representatives from CHD Living will be in touch to discuss the next steps.
Members of the public who are interested in enrolling in the scheme can still register interest via https://chdliving.co.uk/adopt-grandparent.
Anyone interested in donating to ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ can do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/adopt-a-grandparent-app
Established in 1984 by founders Liakat and Nazira Hasham, CHD Living is an award-winning, family-owned group, comprising 13 residences throughout Surrey, as well as two specialist rehabilitation centres and a domiciliary care business, Longdene Homecare, providing care for over 800 people across Surrey and South London.
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About CHD Living
CHD Living is an award-winning, family-owned and operated group of care facilities, with more than 35 years’ experience of providing the best quality care to its communities. With 13 residences throughout Surrey, CHD Living also operates two specialist rehabilitation centres and a domiciliary care business, Longdene Homecare.
Each home is designed with its residents in mind, ensuring the group can continue to promote choice, independence and dignity, in safe and caring environments.