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Birtley House Nursing Home, Guildford shines at Caring UK Awards

Birtley House, based in Bramley, Guildford, Surrey has successfully beaten stiff competition to win The Caring UK Best Outdoor Environment Award.

Birtley House offers its residents continuous high-quality care. However, the grounds and surrounding gardens at Birtley House are a key part of the nursing home offering that the private nursing home in Surrey provides. Nestled within 48 acres of the Surrey Hills countryside – Birtley is an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Those who live and work at Birtley House benefit greatly from the beautiful outside space. This creates a strong sense of belonging, and quality of life that few care homes can offer to their residents. Many residents were avid gardeners before they came to stay at Birtley House and miss their own gardens making it that little bit more special for them to be a resident here and further supports our ‘home from home’ approach.

Activities inspired by nature

The Birtley House activities team schedules and encourages various activities throughout the year. This assists the level of wellness for its residents through the environment the home is surrounded in and its nature-based activities. Birtley House strongly believes that the power of nature is key to living a fulfilling life and we try as best we possibly can to achieve this via the activities team.

Here are some of the favourite activities over the last year or so encapsulated by some great photography:

The stunning Bluewell wood

Bluebell wood

The care home is fortunate enough to have an onsite Bluebell wood. This wood blooms for a limited time in early Spring. Every resident is offered the opportunity to have a personal visit by car. This allows no one to miss out on the gorgeous sea of blue beauty. Caroline Whalley, Director at Birtley House takes great pride in ensuring there are fresh flowers from the gardens scattered in various vases across the home.

Caroline spending time gathering flowers in the gardens on a Spring afternoon
Caroline’s hard work has certainly paid off

The Covid-19 Pandemic

It is safe to say how COVID-19 brought us several challenges but throughout this time, the outside space at Birtley became vital as many residents were unable to leave the Care Home estate. With ample shelter and carefully regulated Covid 19 visits, morale was kept high throughout that period with residents and staff alike.

Activities among the Surrey Hills grounds

A well earnt refreshing ice lolly to alleviate that heat
One of our residents keeping cool with a multicoloured fan

Amongst the full calendar of scheduled and innovative activities throughout the year, Ascot race day and the Olympics were big hits. And, of course, we can’t forget the delightful care home’s 90th-anniversary tea party. This was held in a fantastic marquee on the lawn and one of the first events in a long time.

Summer Strawberryfest!

Birtley House’s annual Strawberry Tea Party saw residents gather in the Rose Garden and enjoy the delicious treats hand-picked here in our garden. A true sign of the start of summer and always a popular event with residents.

A beautiful sunny afternoon in the Rose Garden

Time to bond with toddler visits

Birtley House has a unique partnership with The Surrey Hills Forest School whereby pre-schoolers and toddlers often visit residents in the garden to help plant trees. A wonderful time is always had for both age groups.

Forestry skill making
Forestry arts and crafts

Celebrations and Community

Many celebrations and community activities take place on the grounds. There are various interactions between residents and groups such as young people with learning difficulties and through the on-site Forest School. All of which foster a strong connection that the home has with its community and one the nursing home is very much proud of.

Birtley Activity Sheets

An example above is an activity sheet where residents document the scenery with residents. This allows them to enjoy their natural surroundings whilst also carrying out an activity such as tree identification, birds and wildlife.

Seasonal Photo Competition

The Birtley House photo competition encourages staff and residents to participate and enjoy their environment and nature. An image taken below is just an example of a beautiful shot taken of the Woodland looking up towards the Care Home.

A beautiful shot taken from the Birtley Woodland looking towards the care home

Therapy in nature

The Birtley grounds are the essence of therapy in nature and one of the key elements of the care that is provided at Birtley. The environment is popular with physiotherapists and therapists alike to use when working with residents on rehabilitation. Many residents enjoy sitting quietly in the shade soaking up the views, and enjoying a tranquil moment.

The Birtley grounds on an Autumnal afternoon

The Birtley Kitchen garden, a challenge on traditional nursing home food stereotypes

The gardens have extensive areas dedicated to food production. Homegrown, fresh seasonal produce is prepared by our in-house chef who takes great care to ensure that Birtley’s residents receive the nutrients and varied diet that they need. Birtley House kitchen garden is also used by a local charity for young people with learning disabilities. Tom, a former student of the halow project recently joined Birtley House as a part-time gardener. Tom is a key addition to the gardening team and brings such enthusiasm and great ideas to the team! Thank you Tom! The halow project nurtures young people with learning disabilities to fulfil their potential through exceptional person-centred care.

Our Head Chef, Steve Hounsham amongst the Birtley Kitchen Garden
Our Gardening team with the delightful Tom from the halow project

A family run care home that cares with a difference

As a family run care home, Birtley House prides itself on providing the very best for its residents and that dates back a whole 90 years. The nursing home and its experienced team works diligently throughout the year to ensure that the Surrey care home is a tranquil and safe place for anyone who wishes to take residence at their time in their life.

Proud as ever amongst the Outstanding Environment Award, Birtley House was also shortlisted for six other nominations and amongst them was ‘Best Care home in the South’. An awards spokesperson said. “Never has there been a more appropriate time to recognise the amazing and selfless contribution that our carers make. How they have given so much to protect and care for their residents in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

If you are looking to take that next step in your life but are unsure where to turn, you can be sure that the award-winning Birtley House can lead you every step of the way.

Birtley house is a privately-owned and family-run care home in Bramley, Guildford Surrey. Nestled in the Surrey Hills countryside, Birtley House offers residential and respite care, dementia care and nursing and residential care for up to 47 people within 48 acres of grounds. If you are interested in learning more about Birtley House Nursing home, please call 01483 892 055 or