A newly appointed ‘experience coordinator’ at Belong’s Atherton care village has rolled out a range of engaging socially-distanced activities to keep residents in high spirits while nationwide restrictions are still in place.
Fortnightly baking competitions have gone down a treat since Jo Woods joined in June, with residents from the village’s six households whipping up cakes and biscuits in a bid to be crowned Belong’s bake-off winner.
Outside the kitchen, local duo, Music in Mind, has been providing the outdoor entertainment to a socially-distanced crowd of residents, who have enjoyed dancing along from their gardens and balconies.
As the lead for the village’s busy activity schedule, Belong said Jo’s background in event planning has proven “vital” to finding new and innovative ways to keep everyone feeling positive over the last few months, ranging from static biking competitions and virtual tours to arts and crafts sessions and pizza and prosecco parties for households.
She will also be responsible for Belong Atherton’s experience day programme, which enables customers from the wider community to enjoy supported access to village facilities and actives on a daily basis.
Relocating from Wilmslow to Leigh six years ago, Jo joins the care village from her previous role as conference and event coordinator at Leigh Sport Village Stadium, where she organised and hosted large dinners and weddings.
She also has experience in third sector fundraising, coordinating a number of charity events for Sainsbury’s local stores.
Commenting on her appointment, Jo said: “I am thrilled to be leading activities provision at Belong Atherton, albeit under slightly different circumstances than normal! Lockdown has given me the opportunity to really understand what residents enjoy and the events programme has been designed to reflect this.
“Although this is my first role in the care sector, I feel that I’ve found my true calling in life and nothing makes me happier than when a customer says an activity has made their day. I have a number of exciting plans in mind for the village once restrictions have been lifted, involving both community groups and charities, and I look forward to putting those into action in due course.”