The Care Workers’ Charity (CWC) was founded in 2009 with the objective of supporting current and former care workers with one off crisis grants.  In 2020 they raised £3.2million and paid out almost £2million in Covid-19 Emergency Fund grants and over £200k in Crisis Grants to over 3,000 care workers in need.

Autograph Care is working in conjunction with the Care Workers Charity and over the next few months will be organising events to help raise funds. The Care Workers Charity is there for additional support which can be found in many forms. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, below are some of the things the CWC can help with.

Crisis grants

One-off payment to support someone experiencing an unforeseen or life changing circumstance, such as bereavement, illness or injury and who has no resources to meet associated costs which could include funeral expenses, moving home, travel to hospital expenses, home repairs. They provide crisis grants to people who have worked in a paid role in the UK’s care sector and are involved in or support the provision of care. This includes people who have been involved in residential social care, home care, supported living care or day care. Mental Health Support

The CWC is working towards a more holistic offering for care workers that doesn’t just involve financial aid and part of that progression is the introduction of Mental Health Support. They have now launched their Mental Health Support Programme which will be able to offer care workers struggling with mental health free treatment with qualified therapists.

For further information visit www.thecareworkerscharity.org.uk

Inwood House and Walton Manor are now accredited with Wakefield Council for their Workplace Health and Wellbeing Charter. This will give benefits to all staff at the two Wakefield homes ranging from small workshops, support in mental health and health and wellbeing, discounts at any Wakefield Council Aspire facilities.

By signing up to this charter Autograph Care is pledging to encourage healthy behaviours in the workplace and to support staff as much as possible with their needs.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to be part of Time To Talk day on the 3rd of February.

A few pictures from the homes showing a great effort was made by all

Mental Health First Aiders

Following from our first edition of Let’s Talk we now have 4 fully trained and qualified Mental Health First Aiders within Autograph Care and we will be promoting their roles within the company.

I know we had a huge response when we first asked for people who would like to attend the course but unfortunately due to various reasons quite a few had to withdraw at the last minute. We will be running further MHFA First Aider courses and if you would like to attend the next scheduled course and be part of our MHFA Team please email karen.ragan@autographcare.co.uk with your details.

Hady Winterbottom, Stoneswood
Karen Ragan, HR
Emma Shepherd, Walton
Coral Shanklin, Stoneswood

JOIN OUR COMMITTEE

Our first Health and Wellbeing committee meeting is scheduled for the 26th April at 2.30pm.  We would like as many people as possible to join the committee, helping to promote Health and drive the Health and Wellbeing of staff throughout Autograph Care.  If you are interested in becoming part of the team email karen.ragan@autographcare.co.uk

Energy Saver

With the current energy crisis looming, as part of our Health and Wellbeing programme we have put together some hopefully useful tips and advice on cutting your energy bill, as well as details of who you can contact if extra support is needed.

How to save energy in the kitchen

The kitchen is a key area of the home when it comes to energy wastage, with a huge amount of energy to be saved when cooking if you know where energy is most likely to be wasted. Here are just a few tips.

1. Use a microwave. Heat up food in the microwave as often as possible – it’s generally the most efficient way to heat up and cook food because its relatively small size means that a stronger level of heat can be focused on whatever’s being cooked.

2. Be water-conscious. When you’re boiling food in a pan, make sure you only use the amount of water needed to cover the amount of food you’re cooking, because boiling water you don’t need can waste a lot of energy.

3. Take it slow. To save energy (and lessen the need to cook when you get home after work), try using a slow cooker to cook throughout the day – they only use about as much energy as a light bulb.

4. Leave enough defrosting time. Defrost frozen food in the fridge overnight or while you’re at work. Defrosting food in advance typically halves the cooking time and also means that you don’t need to use the energy of a microwave to defrost more quickly.

5. Don’t go for metal trays in the oven. Use glass or ceramic dishes in the oven wherever possible because they retain heat better than their metal counterparts, making them the most energy-efficient option.

6. Get the fans out. Invest in a fan-assisted or convection oven, which circulates heat throughout the oven. This means the heat doesn’t have to be as high as it would in a normal oven.

7. Use the right size pan. Always use a pan which is the right size for the amount of food you are cooking – this means you won’t waste energy while heating a bigger surface area than you need.

8. Use the right size hob. When you’ve selected your pan, make sure you use the right size hob for it. A bigger burner will waste energy and a pan that’s too big will take longer to get to the right temperature.

9. Keep heating rings clean. Similarly, make sure you keep your heating rings as clean as possible – any food that sticks to the ring will absorb heat, which will make it less efficient.

10. Use the right ring for the right thing. If you’re going to use the oven, cook a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on and hot, especially if lunch-prepping for the week ahead is your kind of thing.

Energy-saving laundry tips

Because of the amount of water used in washing clothes and the amount of energy that goes into drying them, there’s a few ways you can bring down your energy usage and financial spend when doing the laundry.

11. Shrink your bills, not your clothes. 90% of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is spent heating the water, so if you wash your clothes at 30-40°C you’re saving a significant amount of money.

12. Hang up your laundry. Air-dry your laundry rather than tumble-drying it, particularly if the weather is warm or windy.

13. Save yourself ironing time. Take your clothes out of the dryer before they’re completely dry – they’ll iron much quicker and you’ll use less energy on your drier. There’s a lot you can do to use less gas around your home.

14. Install a smart meter. If your supplier offers smart meters to customers like you, it’s a no-brainer to install one. By clearly indicating where you’re spending the most on your energy, you can take steps to cut down usage wherever possible and save money. With the current energy crisis looming, as part of our Health and Wellbeing programme we have put together some hopefully useful tips and advice on cutting your energy bill, as well as details of who you can contact if extra support is needed.

15. Upgrade your gas appliances. This is a bigger one, but with more energy-efficient appliances on the market than ever before, if a new oven’s something you’re thinking about, look for one which uses gas in the most
efficient way.

16. Invest in a smart thermostat. A smart thermostat will enable you to track your gas usage and make adjustments when it comes to using less. Similarly to gas, there are a few changes you can make around your home that could help cut down your average electricity usage and the amount of money you have to spend.

17. Use energy-saving lightbulbs. A lot of electricity is used in lighting your home, but you can use less energy by investing in specific energy-saving lightbulbs, which are readily available. You won’t lose any light, and you’ll save money too.

18. Install dimmer switches. This way you’ll be able to light a room as much as you need, which means you can tailor the amount of electricity you’ll be using to do so.

19. Use energy-efficient electric appliances. Some appliances, like dishwashers, run on electricity as opposed to gas, so it’s worth seeking out the most energy-efficient models to ensure you’re not spending more than you need to. Look for models rated A+++ by the EU as a general guide.

20. Don’t leave anything plugged in that isn’t being used. A lot of wasted electricity occurs through leaving appliances plugged in that aren’t being used. Even charger cables that don’t have anything plugged into them, but are still connected to the socket, can waste electricity, so it’s often better to err on the side of caution by unplugging anything that isn’t being actively used and switching the power off at the plug. Use insulation and home improvements to save energy and money During the winter, insulation is one of the key ways you can bring down your energy costs when it comes to heating your home. You may also be eligible for a grant to help you insulate your home – find out more here.

21. Insulate the loft. A quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof as warm air rises, and older properties that already have insulation in place may not have the recommended levels, particularly if it was installed in the 1970s or 1980s. If possible, ensure that your loft or attic space is properly insulated to prevent that heat loss.

22. Double that glazing. If you’ve got single glazing (or a lot of heat is being lost through the doors and windows), install double glazing to more efficiently trap heat.

23. Insulate the walls. Whether you have cavity walls or solid walls, both can be insulated (or re-insulated) to encourage heat retention. There are now government-backed full and partial grants available to help you pay for insulation if your home has cavity walls. You can also insulate gaps between the floor and skirting boards.

24. Insulate hot water pipes. Uninsulated water pipes mean it takes longer for hot water to become hot while it’s running. Insulating the pipes will help prevent water wastage.

25. Consider solar panels. Having solar panels installed on your house could save you as much as a third on your electricity bills.

26. See if you’re eligible for help. There are plenty of energy help schemes available that could give you a discount on your bills if you’re eligible. Save energy and money around the home.

27. Stay warm, cut costs. Turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can save you as much as £80 per year!

28. Turn the pressure down. A high-pressure power shower is a luxury but you’d be surprised how much water they use – sometimes even more than a bath.

29. Install a new boiler. Apart from ensuring boiler safety, upgrading to a highly-rated boiler can improve your home’s energy efficiency. Your energy supplier may be able to help with a grant – find your supplier’s contact details here.

30. Don’t leave the tap running. Turn the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face – it can waste more than six litres of water per minute while it’s running.