Having launched Carterwood in 2008, Amanda Nurse and Ben Hartley’s business venture reached its first decade this year. In line with the company’s core values to innovate, dare to be different, work hard and have fun, we combined our birthday celebrations with the opportunity to raise much needed funds for Parkinson’s UK. The team elected to undertake ten activities, one for each year, including both celebratory events and challenges known collectively as #10410.
A team sports day got the ball rolling, along with a Guess the Baby competition. These two activities were run alongside our Summer Social event. Blessed with glorious weather, we took the opportunity to soak up the sunshine while trying to guess which baby photo belonged to which colleague, and quickly came to the conclusion that most colleagues had changed quite a lot. Relays comprising throwing balls into buckets, stepping through hoops, passing cups of water over heads in a chain to fill the bucket at the end, and, of course, no sports day is complete without a sack race, ensured that we had built up an appetite for the barbecue that followed.
Other activities with a sporting theme included a 5K run and several ultramarathons – the team covering over 150 miles collectively. In June, with soaring temperatures, 10 of the Carterwood team ran the Bath Running Festival 5K, this was followed by two of our team members undertaking the Thames Path Challenge in September, with Aishling Barrett walking the 100K and Philippa Mulberry running the 50K.
As experts in the analysis of dementia prevalence and the quality of dementia provision within a care environment, we were keen to include a volunteering activity within our #10410 endeavours, and welcomed the chance to gain a more personal and emotional understanding of the challenges and opportunities for staff and residents alike at The Orders of St John Trust Grace Care Centre in Thornbury. Here, team members participated in a dementia friends’ session, working with residents in their new garden, planting fruit and vegetables and making bird feeders in an arts and crafts session.
The Great Carterwood Bake off was a very popular event, with 18 bakes entered. The standard was high and star bakes included a marvellous Maltesers tray bake, some scrumptious salted caramel brownies, a brilliant banana cake, a very nice Victoria sponge and a crafty chocolate Nutella sponge. The bake sale was supported by Citibase, who facilitated the sale of the tasty treats in aid of the #10410 Parkinson’s UK fundraising efforts.
The year’s events rounded up with a pub quiz and an ‘escape the room’ challenge. While we were baffled trying to calculate the number of Concordes you could fit between Bristol and Portishead and didn’t come away with a win, we were proud not to come away with the wooden spoon. Acknowledging that general knowledge and trivia may not be everyone’s forte, we employed our lateral thinking skills to find keys and clues to ‘escape the room’. Both our escape teams made it out with time to spare, but Team Powerful Puzzlers are pretty sure they thrashed Team Morse Code Masters.
The 10th birthday party provided us an opportunity for reflection as well as celebration. When Amanda and Ben joined forces back in 2008, they did so with a clear vision of what their core values were and are proud to have grown a team who uphold those values every day. In the weeks leading up to the official birthday, cards were distributed for each team member to record any memories we wanted to share; the cards decorated the party room and the recollections detailed highlighted how close-knit we are as a company.
Amanda said ‘I couldn’t be prouder of how the team have thrown themselves into all of our activities. The absolute essence of what we do at Carterwood stems from this group of very dedicated, hardworking and fun individuals. Our 10 years have seen us grow both in size and experience, and it’s been amazing to use this opportunity to really celebrate what a strong team we are while raising funds for Parkinson’s UK.’
Parkinson’s UK supports people living with Parkinson’s and their families and fundraises to help research. We are delighted to have exceeded our £1,041 fundraising target and would like to thank everyone who made it possible, if you would like to make a donation for Parkinson’s UK, our