An interview with Paula, Activity Co-Ordinator at Middleton Park Lodge Nursing Home

08 December 2023 News

We spoke to Paula about her role as Activity Co-Ordinator, and why she thinks you should join the activities team!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi! I’m Paula, and I’m the Activity Co-Ordinator for Middleton Park Lodge Nursing Home in Leeds. I’ve been in my role for over a year now, and so far I’m really enjoying it. My background is actually retail-based – I haven’t worked in the care sector before, so joining Middleton was a completely new experience for me.

How did you become an Activity Co-Ordinator?

I came across the role by chance - I was already working at Middleton Park Lodge Nursing Home as a kitchen assistant, and as part of my role, I often spoke to the residents to offer snacks and hot drinks. I enjoyed talking to the residents and having a natter with them; they have some great stories to tell, and I loved seeing their faces light up when I came into the room. When the role of Activity Co-Ordinator came up, I took my chances and sent an application. I was so happy when I was offered the role!

Why did you want to become an Activity Co-Ordinator?

For me, I’ve always enjoyed speaking to people and getting to know them on a personal level. Working in retail meant that I could have friendly conversations with customers, but I really wanted a role that allowed me to build relationships and make an impact to someone’s life. As Activity Co-Ordinator, I genuinely feel valued by both the residents and the team, and I can see how I make a difference to a person’s day just by taking them for a walk to the shops.

What do you do in your role?

As Activity Co-Ordinator, our main role is to help keep residents active, engaged and happy. We look at the individual needs, likes and dislikes of each person and help them retain the hobbies they’ve always loved, such as reading, playing dominoes or even swimming. We also have a ‘Person of the Day’ programme, where we spend the day however they wish – some people simply want to sit and have a natter over a cup of tea, where others want to go to the shops and have a nosy!

What’s the best part of being an Activity Co-Ordinator?

By far, the best part of my role is seeing how much of an impact I’m making to our residents. Some residents don’t have relatives or get nervous socialising with other people, so having someone regularly visit and spend time with them makes a huge difference. It’s also great to help them try something new, like gardening or even creating fun mocktails at our in-house bar.

What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in becoming an Activity Co-Ordinator?

Do it! Applying for the role of Activity Co-Ordinator was the best decision I’ve made. I was initially worried I wouldn’t get the role as I don’t have a care background, but as long as you’re willing to learn and are passionate about helping others, you should apply.  If you’re concerned about not having the right skills, Orchard Care Homes have a great Learning and Development team who will help find the right courses for you. I’m currently on a hand therapy course, which helps improve the blood flow in hands – and our residents love it!

Thank you so much to Paula for giving a great insight into the world of activities! If you’d like to join the activities team in any of our care homes, check out our latest vacancies here:

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