The Facebook Portal Mini provides residents with a new avenue to connect with friends and family.

Speedwell Court dementia-friendly care home was famed in the Southampton area for its warm and inclusive atmosphere and, before lockdown, hosted regular ladies’ wine and dine nights, community café mornings, gents’ lunch clubs and film showings, among numerous activities and events open to residents and the general public. However, the coronavirus pandemic means visits are limited, and these social events have had to be suspended.

Lockdown has also meant that the residents – many of whom are living with dementia – are largely unable to see their family and friends face-to-face on a regular basis. However, the donation of the Facebook Portal Mini, which facilitates smart video calling over Messenger and WhatsApp, provides a new avenue for the residents of Speedwell Court to see and speak to their loved ones.

The donation came about through a quiz held by Carless + Adams for their network at the end of last year. The winner was Michael Davey, Associate Director at McCann and Partners, who provided advice on BREEAM sustainability during the contraction of Speedwell Court. Along with a bottle of champagne, he was given the opportunity to nominate a care home of his choice that would receive the state-of-the-art device.

Deborah Holmes, Customer Relations Manager at Speedwell Court, said: “We have been fortunate over recent months to have found many ways to keep our residents entertained, from taking part in the Motitceh Road Worlds for Seniors championship, to attending a ‘Gig in your Garden’ performed by Duo Guitar, to keeping fit with Joe Wicks and his exercise classes. However, aside from making sure they are safe from the virus itself, our residents’ separation from their families has been one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. The Facebook Portal Mini is a real game changer, and we are hugely grateful to Carless + Adams for their generosity, and for Mr Davey for thinking of us.”

Carless + Adams

Carless + Adams, an award-winning, independent Architectural Practice, provides professional advice and services in architecture. Their exclusive focus on the design of supported living and care accommodation ensures every one of their clients benefits from highly specialist knowledge, experience and expertise and an engaged and enthusiastic project team. 

Neil Rutland, Architectural Associate at Carless + Adams, said: “We were all conscious that residents in care homes have had limited contact with their loved ones over the past year, and we wanted go a small way to help facilitate a connection. We are passionate about care and creating inspiring places where the older population can thrive, and we hope that the residents of Speedwell Court will enjoy using this new way to stay connected with their friends and families.”

Deborah added: “The residents and their families love the fact that they can still keep in regular contact. Seeing each other on the screen makes it so much better than just a phone call! With some families so far away in places like Australia and Italy, or even just a few miles away now we are back in lockdown, it has made such a difference and brings a smile to everyone’s face.”

Another amazing gesture of kindness from our community. Thank you team Carless + Adams!