Actions speak louder than words
THE HARDEST PART WAS LOSING FOUR PEOPLE WE SUPPORT TO CORONAVIRUS.
We are grieving for the loss of Marian, and have been in contact with her sister, who has been saying such lovely things about staff. Our biggest fear was that it was something we had done, or hadn’t done, but we can honestly say we did everything we could to keep coronavirus out.
Jayne, service manager
THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS AT FITZROY
shifts missed when staff had to self-isolate
of people we support tested positive
staff self-isolated due to confirmed or suspected covid
staff training modules moved online
on ensuring our staff had the PPE they needed
Love4Life events moved online
AGAIN AND AGAIN, OUR STAFF PUT THE PEOPLE WE SUPPORT FIRST.
Our incredible staff were our driving force in fighting coronavirus. The virus was a devastating threat, and FitzRoy staff stepped into the unknown, risking their lives every day to come into work and keep the people we support safe. Their determination and dedication saved lives.
Moving into our services to protect the people we support
With more and more staff needing to self isolate, a huge risk was making sure that the people we support had enough staff supporting them, so they were safe and their needs were met. We enhanced our sick pay and overtime pay rates to encourage safe staffing levels.
And we launched our coronavirus rapid response team – a team of 90 staff who volunteered to be on standby to leave their homes and move into a service where there was an outbreak and the lives of people we support were at risk.
- Seven services
- 150 critically vulnerable people
- 11,500 hours
Steve Vieweg is a support worker at our Timber Grove service in Rayleigh, Essex. He bedded in at one of our Suffolk Supported Living services for seven days to support Stuart. Stuart had tested positive for coronavirus and his usual staff team were self isolating.
Once I got the call, I was fully kitted up, fully trained and itching to go. It was intense, I had never been to that service before or met Stuart and when I left, I had a lump in my throat. We are facing a terrible scourge, but I felt safe. I wanted to make a difference and I certainly did that!
Managing an outbreak
Dealing with a coronavirus outbreak is the greatest challenge our staff have ever faced.
Thankfully, they didn’t have to face it alone.
“At times, it felt like we were in the trenches in the war, I am incredibly proud of my whole team. They kept calm and did their jobs, and still found a way to have a laugh and make the people we support smile. The experience has really made us stronger as a team.”
“We had two staff test positive for coronavirus and within two weeks, we had a total of 22 staff and six people we support all test positive and we were in crisis.”
“My team worked around the clock to help make sure we had enough staff to keep the people we support safe. We were finally able to breathe a little when we had three members from the rapid response team move in – I was overjoyed when they arrived.”
“The hardest part was when we had four people we support positive at one time. We had two residents, Ted and David, in hospital. That was really frightening.”
Denise, manager, Webb House Care Home in East Sussex
“It was really boring self isolating in my room but the staff sat with me and cheered me up, they painted my nails and made the time go quickly.”
Maxine, who lives at Webb House.
Leaving family over Christmas to keep the people we support safe
Over Christmas, four staff members at Lethrede, our Suffolk supported living home, chose to give up Christmas and New Year with their families and move into the home after a coronavirus outbreak. Deputy manager Harry said:
My team were just brilliant through the whole thing. We had to explain to our residents why they couldn’t go home for Christmas and they accepted the news really well. We all celebrated Christmas together.
The impact of school closures
When it was announced that schools were having to shut due to coronavirus, FitzRoy support worker Adrianne made the difficult decision for her children to live with their father during lockdown so she could continue her vital work.
Watching the people we support deal with lockdown has been really hard. I understand what they are going through and everyone has been going the extra mile to help each other through it.
Adrianne, support worker, Nottinghamshire supported living
This year has been difficult, but above all else, what we have learnt is that together we are stronger than ever. When faced with the toughest of challenges, we pulled together in the most extraordinary way. At the start, we all feared the worst, given the demographic and health of many of the people we support and we did everything we could to protect our staff and keep coronavirus out of our services. It was heart breaking to lose four people we support to coronavirus, but without the resilience and commitment of our staff, things could have been so much worse.
Every part of the organisation has been tested to the limits, but we end the year stronger than ever, optimistic and in good shape for the challenges ahead.
In 2022 FitzRoy will be celebrating our 60th anniversary. I think that Elizabeth FitzRoy would be as proud as I am of the determination and commitment of our staff to keep each other and the people we support safe in the face of a global threat.
TECHNOLOGY PROVIDED A STRONG FOUNDATION FOR OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND TO THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
At the beginning, we were looking at the data just waiting for our first case – it was scary. But once we started getting outbreaks, we just got on with it and made sure our managers had all the support and information they needed. Our managers have been incredible.
Kirsty, Head of Quality and member of FitzRoy’s coronavirus response team
We set up a cross departmental coronavirus response team as soon as the pandemic began, offering leadership, guidance and support.
To manage our coronavirus response, the digital transformation team developed an innovative coronavirus dashboard using Microsoft PowerBi where managers across our services could detail the full picture in their region.
These data systems were a gamechanger for us. They could be updated daily, allowing us to respond quickly and efficiently to emerging issues such as:
People we support and staff at risk cohorts.
PPE stock levels in services.
Staffing levels, sickness, furlough, high risk shielded groups.
Coronavirus infections (suspected & confirmed in people we support & staff).
COPING WITH LOCKDOWN
Staff channelled our value ‘We Are Creative’ with every aspect of lockdown, and for Craig who we support in Cambridgeshire, his ‘McDonalds Tuesdays’ were a much loved part of his weekly routine.
When McDonalds had to close during lockdown, staff recreated Craig’s meal in packaging they had been given by their local branch so that Craig could still enjoy his weekly burger.
Moving home during a pandemic
Audrey moved into Linden Cottage care home in East Sussex at the beginning of lockdown.
“It was a really difficult time to move home. Suddenly she had all new faces around her, her family couldn’t help her move because of lockdown. I am so proud of my team for making her move so seamless.”
“Audrey has brought nothing but energy and joy to our home. She’s already done so much, such as helping with the transformation of our old garden house into our ‘cupcake cottage tea room’.”
Service manager, Dean
Staff decided to transform their neglected garden shed into a tea room. They had an overwhelming response from their local community who donated goods and time. And the residents have loved helping to create the tearoom.
Throughout lockdown, Connor helped maintain our Rural Skills gardening project. Rural Skills is part of our Hampshire day services, where people we support learn gardening, bushcraft and woodwork.
“Connor loves to express himself through gardening. We decided it would be best to put Connor’s skills to good use and for him to join me in maintaining Rural Skills over lockdown.”
Connor has been incredible, he is amazing with the leaf blower – you wouldn’t believe how many bags of leaves we were clearing from the site. Connor has also been painting everything. It’s been really therapeutic for him.
Claire, support worker, Hampshire day services.
For the whole country, the vaccine offers hope for our best route out of coronavirus. FitzRoy staff and people we support have all been getting their vaccine.
Angela is supported in her own home by our Nottinghamshire support at home team. She recently had her second vaccine…
I WAS A BIT NERVOUS, BUT I REALLY SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN. NOW THAT I HAVE HAD MY VACCINE, I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL I CAN GO ON HOLIDAY AGAIN, MAYBE NEXT YEAR.
KEEPING LOVE AND
Love4Life goes virtual
Our Love4Life friendship and dating project went virtual throughout lockdown, offering members a programme of online activities and meetups. As lockdown began to ease and the face to face events started up again, Love4Life manager Hayley noticed the impact lockdown had on Love4Life members.
After being indoors for so long, members found it really overwhelming to suddenly be talking to so many people, so we have been holding a ‘conversation starters’ workshop to help people prepare for social events.
THANK YOU LOVE4LIFE FOR FINDING MY WIFE.”
Love4Life member James recently popped the question to his girlfriend Tasha who he met through Love4Life.
I decorated the room with fairy lights and when Tasha came in I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. When she said yes I was just over the moon.
FUNDRAISING TO TRANSFORM LIVES
It has never been more important for us to support people with learning disabilities and autism through fundraising. Whether it’s to fund a tablet that helps someone connect with their loved ones, the oximeters and infrared thermometers that helped us save lives, or our Love4Life friendship and dating project that proves that everyone can find love – every penny raised made a difference and helped us transform lives.
We are always looking for new and creative ways to enable the people we support to live fulfilled lives.
Thanks to your support, we were able to invest in seven Magic Table 360 projectors.
The Magic Table 360 is a projector where images and lights move and change when they are interacted with. This means the people we support can play football, air hockey or go fishing, among many other activities. We recently had an outbreak at our Huw’s nursing care home in Nottinghamshire. With all residents having to self-isolate in their rooms, the Magic Table 360 provided a perfect source of entertainment. The people we support were entirely absorbed by the colours, sounds and games.
Technology has made an enormous difference throughout lockdown. Thanks to our generous donors, we have been able to provide tablets for anyone we support who wanted one. Tablets have been great for keeping in touch with friends and families when they weren’t able to visit, but also there are some great apps that give the people we support more choice and control in their day to day lives.
Thank you to our incredible fundraisers
Fundraising during lockdown was a challenge. Thank you to everyone who ran, cycled, swam, dog walked and fundraised for us in a hundred other ways!
Storm and Ben, support workers at our Whitegates View care home in Hampshire, decided to do a sponsored headshave and they managed to raise an incredible £3,000 for garden equipment and a projector and screen for movie nights.
Trevor lives in our Pelham Road supported living home in Kent. He loves challenging himself and fundraising, so after a long winter he decided to put on his walking shoes and get outside to complete a marathon in three weeks. Trevor raised almost four times his original fundraising target!
I feel very proud of myself for raising money and getting lots of exercise.
FitzRoy at a glance
FitzRoy transforms lives every day, supporting people with learning disabilities to do the simple things that make a real difference to their everyday life. Our vision, mission and values guide us each step of the way, and are as important now as when the charity first began in 1962.
Our vision is a society where people are treated as equals, regardless of their disability.
Our mission is to transform lives by supporting people with learning disabilities to lead the lives they choose.
Values are not values until they are tested, and it is certainly clear now that we truly are values driven and in the toughest of storms, we can come out the other end and thrive.
Actions speak louder than words
In the last year we supported 700 people in the 82 services we run across England and our Love4Life friendship and dating project had over 130 members.
live in one of our supported living services.
were supported at one of our five FitzRoy day opportunities.
people with learning disabilities and autism were supported to live in their own homes.
people live in one of our 20 registered care or two nursing homes.
- 99% operational income
- 1% donations and legacies
- 93% supporting people with learning disabilities and autism
- 7% Central Support
With special thanks to:
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (National Emergencies Trust)
Herefordshire Community Foundation
Hospital Saturday Fund
Norfolk Community Foundation Covid-19 Local Resilience Fund
Nottingham County Council Covid-19 Community Fund
Suffolk Community Foundation
The Edward Gostling Foundation
The National Lottery Community Fund
WHAT’S NEXT FOR FITZROY
The road to outstanding
From Chair of Trustees Martin Kyndt
As we head into our 60th year, we are taking some time to look at what we want to achieve over the next 60 years.
This past year has shown us how strong we are, and how incredible our staff are. We know that if we want to continue to transform lives then we need to live and breathe our values and always reach for outstanding, We need to always push for constant progress and improvement and never be satisfied.
Our digital transformation programme, online care planning and performance dashboards give us a clear line of sight on our achievements and our impact. This will help us identify and expand on our strengths and those areas where we need to improve. We are challenging ourselves with our feet firmly on the road to outstanding for all of our services and in everything we do.
We are constantly humbled by the amazing support we have received from local businesses, communities and the families of the people we support as well as charitable trusts and community foundations who have been so supportive over the year.
From donations to our life saving coronavirus crisis appeal to face masks, visors and hand sanitiser, we could not do it without you. There are so many examples of kindness and generosity we have experienced up and down the country.
We want to say an enormous thank you to all our staff, the people we support, their friends and family and all our supporters. And everyone who has been rooting for us to get through this awful year as unscathed as possible. Together we are stronger. And we couldn’t be where we are today without all of you.
The Board members during the year were:
HRH Princess Alexandra GCVO KG
Countess of Euston
Virginia McKenna OBE
Lord and Lady Tanlaw
Chief Executive and Company Secretary
Director of Operations & Business Development
Director of Finance
Director of Marketing, Fundraising, and IT
Director of Human Resources