Director of Northants day care service for older adults deemed ‘exceptional’ by British Citizen Awards
Affinity Day Care C.I.C. director, Fern Overton, was awarded a ‘Certificate of Recognition’ by the British Citizen Awards after nominations praised her ‘determination and passion’ in setting up the service during COVID-19.
Fern, who has been providing care services in the county for 15 years, was devastated when, at the height of the pandemic, many face-to-face services for older adults were withdrawn. Having worked in the sector and seen the value that day care services provide, Fern knew that withdrawing services would have a devastating effect. Not only would older adults feel the isolation of lockdowns, but their overall health and wellbeing would be negatively impacted without vital support.
In December 2020, Fern opened Affinity Day Care C.I.C. at St. Luke’s Community Centre in Duston, after quickly sourcing funding, a venue, transport and staff. The day care service runs Monday to Friday and offers care, friendship, and fun for older people across Northampton.
Welcoming six clients on their first day, demand soared, and in just 6 weeks, the service had filled 50 weekly places. Over a year on, there are now over 135 weekly places filled.
Not content with one service, Fern and the team opened a specialist dementia care facility catering to individuals with high dependency needs. A variety of activities are available to ensure that dementia sufferers are stimulated and cared for with dignity and respect by experienced, specialist carers.
Steven Peters, who was one of the people who nominated Fern said of her hard work:
“Fern’s contribution has had a huge positive impact on the community as it has enabled those in later life to continue to receive the vital care they need.”
Mike Faulkner, The British Citizen Award Group Director said in a letter to Fern:
“Your Certificate of Recognition marks the positive impact you have made. It is activities such as yours which make life in UK communities so rewarding for many and you should be justifiably proud.”
Fern has big plans for the coming months. The Affinity family will be taking part in Northampton Carnival in June, they also plan a big fashion show and a celebration for the Queen’s Jubilee. Not only are there lots of events coming up, but Fern is determined to open a service in South Northants so that even more older adults can be supported.
Fern Overton, Director, Affinity Day Care C.I.C. said of the certificate:
“Every bit of recognition for what we’re doing is lovely and this certificate made me very emotional. The achievement was a team effort, and I couldn’t have done any of it without Ali, my fantastic staff, drivers and volunteers. This recognition is as much for them too.
“I also want to thank our clients, or as we like to call them, ‘friends’, at Affinity for bringing so much happiness and giving me the motivation I need to keep improving and expanding the service.”