For further information on any of our activities, please contact our Co-ordinator (Maggie) at the surgery between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Her telephone number is 01626 357090, email kingscare.L83004@nhs.net.
KingsCare League of Friends Registered Charity Number 1096343
KingsCare League of Friends is the patient support group attached to Kingsteignton Medical Practice but now covering all the GP practices in the Newton Abbot Cluster. Our aim is, through voluntary help, to improve the quality of life of those in need within our community.
KingsCare began life in 1997 when a small group of volunteer drivers were recruited to bring patients into the surgery for appointments. By 2003 it had grown to the extent that it was granted charitable status.
There are 5 members of staff:
- Co-ordinator- Maggie Bonnell is employed for 37.5 hours a week to recruit and train the volunteers and co-ordinate all the activities of the group.
- Assistant Co-ordinator – David Clifford is also employed 37.5 hours a week to support the Co-ordinator and also to co-ordinate the activities that we now run out of the Avenue Church in Newton Abbot.
- Rosemary Newman – is employed for 30 hours a week as the Hospital Discharge worker based at Newton Abbot Hospital. Her role is to work with the staff, the patients and their carers (where appropriate) to ensure a safe discharge from the hospital. She also supports David Clifford to run a monthly Carers Support Group and a social group called Coffee, Cake and Conversation at the Avenue Church.
- Briony Enright –is employed 18.5 hours a week as a Mental Health Support worker giving individual support to patients and running, with David Clifford, our monthly Memory Café in the Avenue Church for patients with memory problems and their carers.
- Ian Whyte – is employed 18.5 hours a week as our Transport Co-ordinator. His role is to organise the volunteer drivers to take patients to (mainly) medical appointments, to ensure that our vehicles are maintained and to attend meetings arranged by Transport for Your Community, a Devon wide group of community transport providers.
Most of our activities are made possible through the hard work and commitment of a team of 100+ volunteers. New volunteers are always very welcome.
Befriending – trained volunteers visit patients in their own homes to sit and listen, to give the carer a break or to run small errands.
Transport – our Transport Co-ordinator arranges transport to and from the surgery, local hospitals and dentists for patients who would otherwise have difficulty in attending appointments. A small donation is requested and the drivers can claim a mileage allowance.
We bought a mobility vehicle in 2010 to make it easier and safer to bring in patients with severe mobility problems. There is no extra charge for requesting this vehicle. The vehicle was funded by contributions from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All Programme, the Claire Milne Trust, money from Councillor Mike Walters (from his councillor’s funds) and generous donations from individual patients. This project won us the Devon Community Transport award for the Best Fund Raising campaign/event of 2009/10.
We will shortly be taking delivery of a Peugeot Boxer people carrier that can seat 9 people or 3 people and up to 3 wheelchairs. This is being funded by contributions from Newton Abbot Hospital League of Friends, the Darling Family Settlement, generous individuals and reserves. This vehicle with increase our capacity to ensure people with mobility issues can attend medical appointments and social/exercise activities.
Carers Support Group - we hold a Carers Support Group – Time for You - on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Avenue Church from 10.30-12 where carers can get together to share experiences, listen to speakers and generally make friends and get the information they need to maintain their role.
Memory Café - we run the Newton Abbot Memory Café for people suffering from memory problems and their carers on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 2.15-4.15. Memory Cafés exist all over Devon, many are run by local people/groups and manned by volunteers. The cafés all provide information, advice and support in an informal setting. We always have either Briony, our Mental Health Support Worker, and/or a Community Psychiatric Nurse from the Older Persons Mental Health Team to give time for a private discussion of issues of concern.
Home shopping – we have a volunteer who visits people who are housebound with a lap top and a dongle so that she can order their shopping from Tesco or Sainsburys for home delivery. We can, occasionally, offer shopping support for individuals, either taking them to the supermarket or doing the shopping for them personally.
Luncheon Club – our volunteers serve a two course meal cooked for us by an outside caterer at the Royal British Legion in Kingsteignton on the second Monday of the month. Transport can be arranged on our minibus with many of our ‘customers’ being collected from and returned to their own homes at a pre-arranged time. Lunch is followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a Bring &Raffle table is always present. The lunch costs £6 and transport 50p each way.
Tea & Chats – our volunteers serve tea and biscuits while our patients enjoy a monthly get-together. Again we run a very popular Bring & Raffle table and vary the format of the afternoon with special events from time to time. This is held in St Michael’s Church Hall in Chudleigh Road, Kingsteignton, on the last Thursday afternoon of each month from 2.30 – 4pm. We charge £1 except for when we have special events such as a cream tea afternoon where we charge more + 50p each way for transport.
Coffee, Cake and Conversation – David and Rosemary host a social morning on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at the Avenue Church from 10-11.30 for people to get together, make friends, listen to speakers or generally just chat.
Games morning – every Monday morning (excluding Bank Holidays) a group of volunteers host a morning of board games and table tennis in the Avenue Church from 10-12.
Craft morning – every Tuesday morning (except the 2nd of the month) a group of volunteers lead a crafty group at the Avenue Church from 10-12.
Time Out Mens Group – every 2nd & 4th Tuesday a group of men meet at the Avenue Church for some ‘me’ time under the leadership of a project worker employed by AgeUk through Westbank League of Friends. They meet at 12.30 for trips out or to go for a walk or to the pub or stay in and play games - whatever they feel like on the day.
Gardening – Wednesdays is gardening day. Volunteers help patients to grow flowers and vegetables in a portion of an allotment on Coach Road in Newton Abbot from 10-12 each week from the end of March – October. Over lunchtimes Briony leads a gardening group working out of the greenhouse at the back of the surgery in Whiteway Road, Kingsteignton
Mens Group – working with Age UK Devon and Westbank League of Friends we organise a Mens Group – Time Out - every 2nd and 4th Tuesday from 12.30-3.30. Based at the Avenue Church, men can get together to go for a walk, a trip out, a trip to the pub, stay in and play games. The choice is theirs. The Church acts as a meeting place and the paid worker who looks after them all is called Tim.
In 2007 Kingsteignton Parish Council awarded us a grant of £200 which enabled us to set up a Data Link Scheme in the village for anyone who might be reassured to know that essential information is readily available to the Emergency Services should they suffer an accident, sudden illness or fire. The scheme ensures that vital information is available not only to identify you but also to advise on relevant illnesses, allergies, medication and contact addresses. Labelled sealable wallets are available from the surgery. These wallets contain 2 matching labels and a form which the patient completes with the required information. One label is stuck on the inside of the front door, the other on the fridge door and the plastic wallet is kept in the fridge. There is no charge for these wallets.
Walk This Way Kingsteignton is part of the Walking for Health initiative which operates throughout Teignbridge. In Kingsteignton we have 2 led walks a week, one on Monday morning where the walk is fairly brisk and may be quite lengthy and a second on Wednesday morning where the walk is more of a gentle stroll of no more than 40 minutes around the village. Both generally start from the surgery at 10.15 and both end up at a local café for coffee. A monthly schedule of walks is posted on our board in the surgery.
Tai Chi –Classes take place every Friday morning at the OAP Hall, Oakford, for an hour under the leadership of Tai Chi teacher, Nick Taylor. There are 2 classes each lasting an hour. The first is from 10-11 for those who can stand and exercise, the second is from 11.15-12.15 for those who need (or feel safer) to sit and exercise. Each class costs £5 but members can pay £40 up front which covers them for 10 classes that need to be taken within 15 weeks. New members are always welcome.
KingsCare Chorus – A group of (mainly) pensioners meet on Monday afternoons from 2.30-4pm at the Senior Citizens Hall Hall, Oakford, Kingsteignton to sing under the leadership of our professional singing teacher, Nicky Smith. We charge £3 per week to try to cover our costs + 30p for a cup of tea in the break. New members are always welcome – especially men (and altos!).
Exercise class – we facilitate an exercise class at the Avenue Church on Monday mornings from 9.30-10.30 and 10.30-11.30 for anyone wanting a structured exercise programme under the leadership of David Jenkin. The class costs £4 for the hour.
In December 2003 we were fortunate enough to win an LDV Convoy minibus through a Herald Express promotion. A group of volunteers soon came forward to help the Co-ordinator to raise the funding necessary to adapt the bus for use by patients with disabilities and to run it on a day-to-day basis. This bus gave many people much pleasure for 11 years but age caught up with it so in 2013 we began a fundraising campaign to raise the £35,000 needed to replace it. We finally succeeded in August 2014 when we took possession of a Peugeot Boxer minibus with seating for 13 + the driver, a tail lift that carry the heaviest of wheelchairs and removable seats so that 2 wheelchairs can sit comfortably within it. Many contributed to this purchase including the Claire Milne Trust, sponsored events, local councillors and individual patients.
A group of volunteers plan trips out for patients throughout the year and drive the bus to a variety of different locations around Devon and the neighbouring counties including trips to shows at the Princess Theatre, Torquay and the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. We also support other local groups through using the minibus to provide transport for them and occasionally take our walking groups out on Dartmoor or up to Exeter to walk along the canal.
KingsCare regularly takes on new projects. Over the past few years we have:
- produced a CD and web site of reminiscences of a self-selected group of patients under the title of Tea & Chats. This project was funded by Awards for All (2005)
- produced a book of memories of life in Britain as recalled by patients who were non- combatants during WW2. The Right Honourable the Lord Clifford of Chudleigh wrote the introduction and launched the book at a party held at St Michael’s Primary School, Kingsteignton just before Christmas 2005. The children sang songs from the era, wore plastic helmets and waved flags. They also served tea, spam sandwiches and slices of carrot cake to all the contributors to the book which was called My War – Life on the Home Front. In January 2006 various contributors were featured on the early morning programme on BBC Radio Devon every morning for a week. This project was funded by the Home Front Recall Programme. The book is available for purchase at the surgery or at the Hub, now priced £1.
- In July 2006 the Friday dancers took part in the Big Dance. This was a national event whereby dance groups throughout the country all danced the same dance to the same music at the same time in order to make an entry into the Guinness Book of Records. The dance leader for Devon happened to be Laura Greaves who was our dance teacher at the time and we were also fortunate that the location for our dance was under the great rocks at Haytor. Shots from Haytor were shown on the BBC that evening.
- In the Spring of 2007 we were awarded a second grant from Awards for All for another book. This time it was a book of poems, anecdotes and recipes from staff and patients of Kingsteignton Medical Practice and friends of KingsCare. The book is called Flotsam & Jetsam and was launched on 17th April 2008. It is available for purchase at the surgery or the Hub, now priced £1. In May 2009 we were awarded the Grand Award from the David St John Thomas Charitable Trust for the best book produced by the community, for the community in 2008.
- In March 2008 we were awarded a second grant from the Teignbridge Rural Regeneration Fund. This time to run a short course of singing lessons. These were a great success thanks to the leadership of Sue Kibbey, a professional jazz singer and teacher from Teignmouth. We finished the project with a concert on 23rd June. Everyone so enjoyed themselves that are singing is now a regular activity. Sue (unfortunately for us) moved to France so Kingsteignton teacher, Nicky Smith, took her place and the KingsCare Chorus continues to flourish.
- Dance South West organised a Cultural Olympiad in Plymouth on Saturday 27th September 2008. KingsCare then had a dancing group whose swan song was to represent older dancers in Devon at this event where they were professionally choreographed and asked to perform in the open air to live music. Great fun was had by all.
- In February 2009 WellUK, an organisation based at Westbank League of Friends in Exminster, funded us to undertake a night time photography project. The resulting collage of pictures is on display in the surgery.
- In 2010 we opened a charity shop cum community hub at 27 Fore Street, Kingsteignton where we sell donated goods and do what we can to recycle clothing, books and bric-a-brac for which there is no market. We also offer the use of the computers for anyone who needs help to search for information on line. The opening hours are 10-4, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Closed Wednesdays and open from 10-1 on a Saturday. The shop, known as the Hub, is run entirely by volunteers so sometimes these hours cannot be adhered to the shop’s phone number is 01626 438004.
- In 2014 we were awarded another grant from Awards for All to produce a book about how people cope with long term conditions. We asked the same series of questions of 15 people and recorded their responses in ‘A Glass Half Full’. We were able to exhibit the book and some of the artwork of the participants for a few days in January 2016 at Dame Hannah’s, Seale Hayne. The book is available to purchase at the surgery and the Hub priced at £2.95.
- In 2016 Kingsteignton Town Council have made us a small grant to undertake an inter-generational project. More details will be made available later in the year.
The costs of running KingsCare are met partly through donations, partly through grant aid and partly through the fund raising efforts of the volunteers. To this end we hold a variety of events throughout the year.
Any donations are always very gratefully received and can raise extra funds through Gift Aid.
Over years Drs Milburn and Clarvis and Nurse Claire Waite have various marathons and raised money fro us through sponsorship. In 2014 Dr Clarvis cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats and raised funds for us along the way.
In June 2006 one of our much love volunteers, Julie Willis, lost her battle against cancer. Her parents, Rodger and Hazel Kerrison and her sister, Paula, worked tirelessly alongside the KingsCare volunteers to raise money at a special event in the September of that year where Julie’s life was celebrated. It was a wonderful day and the money raised has been recycled into……
The Garden Project – the area immediately in front of the surgery contained 2 beautiful, tall weeping willow trees, some bushes and a great amount of grass. We wanted to turn it into a better space so we have had a stained glass panel made and erected in a wrought iron frame with a hand crafted wooden bench beside it and a memorial to Julie. The garden was opened by Rodger, Hazel and Paula on our Open Day on 23rd April 2008. Details of the whole project are available in a book which is available to read on request from the KingsCare office in the surgery.
Over the years we have received various grants from national grant givers. The Tudor Trust, for instance, helped us to exist and grow over a 4 year period. In September 2015 we were awarded a 5 year grant from the Big Lottery, Reaching Communities Programme. This is enabling us to employ the staff we need to increase our outreach in Newton Abbot.
The Wellbeing Partnership – the problems associated with looking after the ageing population has led to the NHS working more closely with the Voluntary Sector. In 2015 Teignbridge CVS established the Wellbeing Partnership which is a coming together of the local patient support groups in South Devon under one umbrella, putting us in a position where we can all work together to support the vulnerable members of our society with the possibility of funding from the statutory services.
Becoming a friend of Kingscare
Anyone can become a friend of Kingscare which means for a minimum of £5 a year you will get an invitation to our AGM and a chance to learn more about the organisation and what our plans are for the future. These sums of money really help to support our work. Please call the office for details.
The King Trust
The King Trust was set up in 1986 by Connie King in memory of her late husband, Ken, in grateful appreciation of the care he received from the doctors and staff at the surgery. Having achieved her initial aim of raising the funds necessary to purchase an ECG machine for the surgery, money continued to pour in and she established the Trust. Over the years donations from patients enabled the practice to buy items such as the high backed chairs in the waiting area, a bath hoist and syringe drivers. The Trust was dissolved in 2004 when it made its final donation to KingsCare for adaptations to the minibus. Since that time, KingsCare has been able to purchase another syringe driver, a camera for the nursing staff, a motorised wheelchair and a Novacor heart monitor.
For further information on any of our activities, please contact the office at the surgery between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Telephone 01626 357090, email kingscare.L83004@nhs.net Website www.kingscare.co.uk.
For further information on any of our activities, please contact our Co-ordinator at the surgery between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Her telephone number is 01626 357090, email kingscare.L83004@nhs.net.