We simply couldn’t do our work without the support we receive from charitable trusts and grant-making organisations. Just some of our many supporters include ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, The Robertson Trust, Seafarers UK, The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation and Queen Mary’s Roehampton Trust.
This source of charitable income makes a real difference to our residents’ lives. Here are just a few examples of the work these valuable donations help us to do:
The Erskine Lighting Project
In order to ensure we offer the best possible living environment for all our residents, but particularly the 70% who are affected by varying degrees of dementia, in 2015 we undertook a major project to upgrade the quality and design of lighting in all Erskine Homes. All light fixtures and lamps were replaced with modern LED fittings, increasing lux levels by 200% in some areas, making a significant difference. The project was a major undertaking and included rewiring all homes, and redecoration of residents’ bedrooms and living areas following construction work. We took the opportunity to include “dementia friendly décor” – white walls with bright, contrasting colours which ensure residents can differentiate between walls, floors, doorways. Improved lighting and décor has made a noticeable difference, and has greatly enhanced residents independence as they are able to orientate themselves and move around more easily. It has also reduced the risk of trips and falls, improving safety of our residents which is of the utmost importance.
This project could not have gone ahead without the £704,000 secured from charitable trusts and grant makers.
Enhancing Dementia Care
Dementia affects over 70,000 people in Scotland – Alzheimer Scotland predict this number will rise to 127,000 by 2031. There is growing demand for the highest quality of specialist dementia care. The support of charitable trusts helps Erskine to continually enhance our care of veterans with dementia.
For example, donations enable us to deliver regular Lunch Clubs for the benefit of residents with dementia at The Erskine Home and The Erskine Edinburgh Home. Lunch clubs are designed to focus on the social aspect of meal times, encouraging conversation and interaction, independence and procedural memory, all of which can be challenging for someone with dementia. Grants allowed us to purchase special “dementia friendly” crockery and cutlery, as well as finishing touches such as table cloths, vases and flowers, helping to create a real sense of occasion.
Donations from charitable trusts have also enhanced dementia care at The Erskine Edinburgh Home, by funding the delivery of a monthly Making Memories Café for residents with dementia and their families. The café brings people together to offer emotional support and education around the challenges of living with dementia.
Erskine continually strives to enhance the care we provide, and the need to fund initiatives such as lunch clubs and dementia cafes is ongoing. We simply could not do this without the generosity of charitable trusts and foundations.
Erskine residents are older, frailer and with more complex care needs than every before. They often require specialist care equipment. Grants and donations from charitable trusts regularly help us to purchase specialist care equipment for our residents.
For example, donations have helped us to purchase specialist chairs which can be tailored to meet the needs of an individual, with adjustable arm and foot rests, head and neck support and pressure relieving cushions. These chairs are vital for our most vulnerable residents, helping to ensure their comfort and safety. Each chair costs £3,500.
We also require donations in order to buy mattresses specific to the needs of the individuals we care for. This might be standard pressure relief treatment mattresses, which costs £300 each, or it might be high grade pain therapy mattresses, needed by our frailest residents, those affected by severe pressure ulcers and those receiving palliative care. The right mattress can offer great comfort and pain relief. High grade mattresses cost £2,500 each, but the comfort, dignity and peace which it brings to residents and families is priceless.