Charity raises funds for training scheme

Wills Birkett and Kelsey Donnelly of Corby who are taking part in the training programme run by the Rathbone charity at Shire Lodge Nursing Home, Corby
Wills Birkett and Kelsey Donnelly of Corby who are taking part in the training programme run by the Rathbone charity at Shire Lodge Nursing Home, Corby

A Corby charity is calling on the community to help raise cash to set up a specialised training room where young people can learn to look after the elderly.

Rathbone, which has helped hundreds of young people in Northamptonshire gain work or move on to college in the past, wants to create a base within the Shire Lodge Nursing Home, in the town, where trainees can be mentored, learn and pass qualifications.

And by nurturing an efficient army of carers, Rathbone hopes to help the home, in Rockingham Road, become a mini cottage hospital for dementia sufferers in Corby.

Peter Gibson, of Rathbone, said: “Shire Lodge already provides a superb service for elderly people, some with severe dementia, but providing an even better quality of life for residents demands highly-trained staff and that costs money. What better cause to donate to than this? Businesses and individuals can help those nearing the end of their life and those starting a vital career.”

Kelsey Donnelly, from Great Oakley, is one of those learning a profession at Shire Lodge. After a sometimes difficult time at school, the 19-year-old has found that caring for others is the best way to help herself and her progress has delighted both her Rathbone tutors and the staff at the nursing home.

Without the support of the business administration apprentice, who organises residents’ food charts and deals with enquiries from families, Shire Lodge simply couldn’t exist.

But Kelsey doesn’t confine herself to the office. The former Corby Council employee makes time to feed and chat to residents and even uses the beauty skills she’s studying at night school to help do their nails.

She said: “This is an important job and I really like it here. The residents talk to me about the past and show me old pictures. They like to have a chat and just need a bit of encouragement.”

Wills Beckett, 26, who lives in the Lodge Park area of Corby, not only enjoys the company of the older people, but also has family around him at Shire Lodge Nursing Home.

His mum Helen Taylor and brother Craig both work at a home that helped care for his granddad and grandmother in their final days.

He has already completed an apprenticeship in health and social care and is now studying a Level 2 qualification in business administration and hopes to manage a nursing home one day.

He said: “When I finish my shift and walk out of that door each day, I know I’ve made a difference.”

Based in a former farm house, Shire Lodge Nursing Home caters for 54 residents and employs 63 staff who offer round-the-clock care. The nursing home has also offered young people their first taste of the workplace in careers as diverse as catering and customer service.

Mr Gibson said: “Shire Lodge is giving both young and old in our community life-changing support and now is the time for us to give something back.

“Even a few pounds could make a huge impact on the quality of life for dementia sufferers and put a young person on track to a career in caring for others.”

Rathbone is training 12 young people at Shire Lodge Nursing Home in health and social care, business administration, customer service and catering and hospitality.

If you would like to make a donation towards creating a specialised room where the young people can study, carry out training sessions and even complete exams, please contact 0800 7315321 or email