PCI residential care home River House wins again

Situated in Newcastle, Co Down, PCI residential care home River House has won an award for the second year in a row.

River House, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s (PCI) residential home for older people in Newcastle, has won first place for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust region at the Northern Ireland Amenity Council’s Best Kept Health and Social Care Facility Awards.

PCI residential care home River House wins again
Pictured at the presentation are, from left to right: Rev Nigel Reid, Convener of the Council for Social Witness’ Older People Services Committee, Hazel Dawson, River House Activities Co-ordinator, Mike Powell, gardener, Jackie Campbell who is a resident at River House, Stephanie Moore-Archer, Acting Home Manager, Molly Montgomery who is also a resident and Linda Wray, Residential and Supported Services Manager.

River House is managed by PCI’s Council for Social Witness

The purpose built home opened in 1988. It offers care and support in a Christian environment for 29 residents and enjoys a quiet coastal setting between the sea and the Mourne Mountains.

The annual Amenity Council awards recognise the staff and residents of healthcare facilities who showcase their dedication and pride in their workplace or residential care homes by improving their surroundings.

Speaking after the awards ceremony Linda Wray, PCI’s Residential and Supported Services Manager, said, “The Council for Social Witness, our residents and staff in River House are delighted with this award, especially as it comes as we look forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary later this year.”

PCI residential care home River House wins again

“When someone moves into a care home we encourage them to remain as independent and active as possible. For older people who have always had an interest in gardening we encourage them to maintain an interest in their hobby.”

“Residents in River House are very proactive in working in the garden and in caring for the chickens that they have, along with discussing with staff what changes they would like to see in the garden for future seasons. Winning the best residential care facility for the south eastern area last year was such an encouragement. To win again in 2018 is overwhelming,” Linda said.

PCI residential care home River House wins again at the annual Amenity Council awards.

The Best Kept Awards have been in operation for over 60 years, with the Best Kept Health and Social Facility introduced as a category in 1995. Congratulating River House, Doreen Muskett, President of the Northern Ireland Amenity Council said, “The importance of a well-kept health and social facility simply cannot be overstated – buildings and grounds act as a first impression and an untidy atmosphere can lead to negative feelings, especially for those who live in the premises.”

“Congratulations to our worthy winner, River House, for their commitment and perseverance in making the home outstanding. It is a testament to both your staff and residents.”

River House is one of five residential care homes for older people run by the Church which welcomes residents from all denominations. Two other residential care homes, Trinity House in Garvagh and Corkey House in Belfast were both highly commended at the awards.

The River House gardens are enjoyed by residents, their families and staff all year round with an additional feature introduced this year – chickens. The two birds, named Ruby and Penny, arrived in July and live in the garden.

“The chickens have been a great addition to the River House community as they have an intrinsic therapeutic value. The residents, supported by the staff, look after them which encourages increased mobility and activity,” Linda Wray said.