Culvery Court has undergone some changes of late. We consulted with the residents to change the décor and furnishings in the dining room and day room in the first instance.
This included removing the old single chairs and put in new sofas, large screen TV, new coffee tables, and book shelf. Residents made some lamps out of old CD racks and added plants around the room. The dining furniture was changed to remove the large tables reminiscent of an institution with smaller tables. New crockery, cutlery, tablecloths etc was purchased to make it more homely. Residents also elected to have a fridge in the dining room so they can access beverages throughout the day.
Meal times have been changed to meet the resident’s needs, with breakfast being ‘self-service’ style and having an input into the menu. This now includes an alternative option or ‘light bite’ style choice for those that request it. Residents are encourage to assist with the preparation of meals to reinforce their skills in producing a healthy balanced meal.
Throughout the hostel, resident’s artwork and pictures are being displayed.
There have also been changes to the office space, with the ‘back office’ now being an IT suite with a large sofa, large TV, play station and meeting table so residents can carry out job searches, respond to email, set up claims and also communicate with their family/friends. It also allows staff to carry out IT sessions for those who are not computer literate. Due to having a meeting table in there, it permits residents to have ‘private meetings’ with other support agencies and for group work carried out by staff.
Residents have cultivated the court yards and the front of the building, putting in plants, building a BBQ and putting in garden furniture. This has proved to be successful as residents will take an interest in horticultural activities and it is hoped they will produce their own vegetables which can be used within the hostel.
All of the changes within the hostel have been as a result of speaking with residents, taking on board their ideas and including them in the décor/sourcing/purchasing/decoration. Although these have been small changes, it has proved to have had a positive effect on residents, breaking down barriers with regards to interactions – knowing that their voices/opinions/suggestions are being heard, being able to have a positive influence within the hostel to make the changes needed in their support.