Beamsley House is Bright with Festive Joy this Christmas

Sarah-Jane is the dedicated Housekeeper of Beamsley House sheltered housing in Eastbourne. In a candid conversation, we explore the traditions and responsibilities she manages throughout the festive season, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the magic she brings to Beamsley House.

Under the management of Abbeyfield South Downs, Beamsley House stands as a grand Victorian-style residence, housing eight unfurnished en-suite studio flats, equipped with a secure door entry system. The house is close to the town centre, shopping centre, an array of restaurants, parks, theatres, cinemas, and the famous Carpet Gardens on Eastbourne’s Promenade, where you can see colourful displays of flowers from all over the world.

How does Beamsley House typically prepare for Christmas?

"In my first year here, we've gone all out to infuse Christmas cheer into every day! Our festive preparations include the arrival of the Beamsley elf, engaging games, cosy movie mornings, and creative crafts."

Can you describe your role and responsibilities? Do any aspects of your role change during the Christmas period?

"My primary role is to ensure everyone's well-being through food, and although the core responsibilities remain consistent, I enjoy encouraging a festive spirit. Themed menus, and fun-filled mornings with games and crafts, add an exciting touch for our Beamsley family during the holiday season."

What are some of the challenges that you face during this time of year?

"Balancing the desire to spend more time with everyone during Christmas while managing personal family commitments is a challenge. Despite this, I've thoroughly enjoyed the festive build-up."

How do you ensure that residents have a special and festive experience during Christmas?

"The key is personalisation—tailoring the experience to each resident, ensuring every detail is considered. Being creative in various ways fosters a sense of togetherness, and witnessing the positive impact of these efforts is truly rewarding."

Are there any heartwarming or memorable moments you've experienced while working over the Christmas period?

"The subtle moments stand out, like residents learning and reading stories to each other, strengthening bonds. Laughter has increased, especially during crafting sessions, and it warms my heart to see residents extending their tea time together."

Can you share some of the activities or events organised for the residents during the festive season?

Christmas can be a lonely time for older people—how do you personally cope with the emotional aspects of helping residents who may feel lonely during Christmas?

"Spending more time with residents, listening attentively, and understanding their individual needs helps alleviate loneliness. Small gestures like hugs, smiles, and creating moments of joy contribute to a sense of companionship."

Are there any Christmas traditions held at Beamsley House that make the festive season special for everyone involved?

"Although we're a new team this year, Movie Mornings have already become a magical tradition that resonates with the spirit of Christmas."

How does everyone come together to create a strong sense of community and warmth during Christmas?

"Communication is key—we share stories and reminisce during our time together. Utilising moments like our 10am cuppa time to encourage residents to talk about their memories has strengthened our relationships, creating a family-like bond."

What kind of support is available for you and other members of staff to help manage the increased workload throughout Christmas time?

"Communication and teamwork are essential. Regular discussions with my colleague, Frankie, and using planners keep us on track. Nikki provides invaluable guidance whenever we face challenges."

How do you balance your own celebrations and family time with your work commitments during Christmas?

"Balancing both aspects is fairly easy for me. I'm fortunate to combine family and work on occasions, sharing stories between Beamsley and my family, creating a seamless blend."

What motivates you to continue working at Beamsley House during the festive season?

"Working at Beamsley feels like being with my second family, and Christmas is all about family. I love what I do, and the joy of delivering meaningful moments through food and connection makes every day special. I feel incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to contribute to the joy at Beamsley House."


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