Your Norwood – Sept 2019

29 August 2019

This past month has seen the USA/China trade tariff war, the UK’s parliament suspended, Israeli civilians killed, and terrible abuse of individuals with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland. In contrast to this despair, Norwood emerges as an oasis of human kindness. A kindness that shines so pure and bright, it has not only been a beacon of the community for more than 200 years, but continues to radiate through everything we do.

On 9 August, David Brett, one of our beloved residents, passed away after a bravely borne illness. Although this was a difficult experience, the love and tenderness displayed by staff was exceptional. Chai Cancer Care worked with the home to help staff and residents come to terms with the situation and I was most moved by an email I received from Chai’s chief executive, Lisa Steele, who felt she had to write after what she described as the “humbling experience” of working with “carers who really cared about their resident and [made him feel] like he was their family”.

Another, albeit happier, example of this kindness came to mind again, last week, when I was asked to judge the annual Garden Competition at the Tager Centre. This turned out to be the hardest thing I have had to do in my 10 months at Norwood. The creativity of the displays and the degree of effort and care expended in engaging residents and making the projects meaningful to them, was exceptional.  

This sentiment of kindness is well captured in the many stories in this edition of Your Norwood – from our dental project to the latest CQC report, from the focus on our staff to the mammoth effort of our corporate volunteers. This kindness is a gift; one that we don’t and never will take for granted. So my heartfelt thanks go out to every staff member, volunteer and supporter who helps kindle the light of kindness at Norwood and keeps it shining as brightly as it does.