A North Staffordshire care home that’s lost nine residents to Covid-19 is to get an SOS makeover to allow families to visit for the first time since the pandemic began.
Tattoo artist Jason Powner, who runs a food bank and has carried out three similar SOS makeovers, is behind the project to help dementia sufferers and their families at Chesterton Lodge Care Home.
He wants to build a structure in the garden of the care home that will allow residents and their families to sit either side of a perspex screen and see one another for the first time in months, yet still follow social distancing rules.
Jason said: “This would be our fourth SOS build that we’ve done but I know that this one would bring tears of happiness to hundreds of family and the elderly concerned. At this care home, like all care homes, residents have not seen their families since March 22. We have to help.”
He has recruited a team of builders and is all set to start work on June 6 but is now looking for donations of building materials including 500 grey slabs, two tonnes of building sand, two tonnes of hardcore and 15 bags of cement.
Natalie Sargeant, deputy manager of Chesterton Lodge Care Home, said the project will make a huge difference to the lives of residents, many of whom were struck down with Covid-19.
“We’ve lost nine residents through the virus and had many staff infected so as you can imagine it’s been quite difficult. It’s been mentally and physically draining.
“Our residents all live with dementia and they haven’t seen their families since we went into lockdown. Some of them are used to having daily visits so it’s having a big impact on their health and wellbeing.”
Care home manager Alan Geeves had the idea of building a garden structure to allow residents to see their families safely and Jason, who has already donated food supplied to the care home, stepped in to offer his help.
The care home garden can be reached without entering the building, so that visiting families will be able to stay well away from residents and staff.
Natalie said: “We hope residents will start to pick up again when they can see their families and that it will also help the relatives as it’s very hard on them too.
“We had the idea and didn’t expect to get the response that we did. Jason isn’t just doing amazing things for us, he’s doing amazing things for lots of other people too.”
Chesterton Lodge Care Home is now officially free of Covid-19.