Our staff at Hastings Court share stories of kindness for Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 18th-24th May 2020. It is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, inspiring action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

This year’s theme focuses on the topic of kindness #KindnessMatters. We have seen all over the world that kindness is prevailing in these unprecedented times and that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.

To take part in this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked some of our staff at Hastings Court Care Home in East Sussex to share stories of kindness on how they have been keeping up with their mental health during this uncertain time.

The Cycling Challenge

Our residents and staff at Hastings Court Care Home have been taking part in the Lands’ end to John O’Groats cycling challenge. Senior Registered Manager at Hastings Court, Georgina Gamble, came up with the idea of the challenge to encourage staff and residents to be active during isolation.

The challenge has allowed everyone to be part of a team and help each other to achieve a collective goal. The team take it in turns to cycle a certain number of miles each on the exercise bike and then pass it on to their team members. Residents mapped out the journey on a big display board and would plot along their travel points. This would help them to follow along the journey and see how far they had left to go.

Hastings Court cycling challenge travel board

As well as working together with each other to cover the distance, the challenge has encouraged those who thrive on a bit of competition to try and beat their fellow team mates in clocking up the miles.

Lifestyles Manager at Hastings Court, Kimberley Mann said, “Having something positive to focus on that is also fun is a great distraction from all the things going on around us at the moment. Being part of a team and working towards a shared goal whilst enjoying the physical benefits of exercise has been important during this time.”

The residents and staff have successfully completed the journey to John O’Groats. Due to the challenge being so well received by everyone they are now making their way to Lands end. To mark this special occasion the team will have a cream tea with clotted cream and scones for everyone when the last mile brings them back to Cornwall.

Hastings Court staff member completing the cycling challenge

On the importance of mental health, Georgina said, “It’s important to keep up morale and the mental wellbeing of staff and residents. The staff need to know they are supported and valued and that it’s ok to be anxious in these difficult times. It’s important they are given the correct information and also know that they are being listened to.”

“We also know that for the families of our residents need support and reassurance that their loved ones are safe and happy and we are doing everything we can to keep them informed and updated. We are always looking for ways to connect them with safety always being our main goal.”

Acts of kindness

Hastings Court have been subject to various acts of kindness in the past few weeks including friends and families of residents to the local community.

One staff member’s grandmother was kind enough to make fabric bags for the team to help with the easier washing of uniforms. Staff would utilise plastic bags when arriving and leaving, making sure that infection control measures were being adhered to at all time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to the fabric bags staff can now use them to put their uniforms straight into the washing machine, making sure all of the necessary precautions are being met whilst also being efficient.

Hastings Court staff members holding up the donated fabric bags


One of our lovely residents at Hastings Court mentioned that trifle was her favourite dessert. Our HCA Freya, had the fantastic idea of not only fulfilling our resident’s request but also involving her in making the trifle from scratch. Our resident really appreciated making the trifle and that Freya had thought of including her in the process.

Hastings Court resident making trifle with HCA Freya


Staff have also received complimentary pizzas from The Royal Standard Old Town pub and Domino’s pizza who treated our staff to lunch on more than one occasion. Kimberley continued, “These gestures have uplifted the team and given them a sense of being appreciated and valued. Georgina is always buying pizza for staff when it’s her weekend shift. We have an open-door policy where staff are aware of to talk through any problems they may be facing.”

Care Home Manager Georgina receiving pizza delivery from domino's pizza

The Royal Standard Old Town pub delivering pizza to Hastings Court


Find out more about Hastings Court Care Home.