Karen Spencer is the HR Manager at our Runcorn site, UK, and she is someone who certainly knows a thing or two about people. She loves coaching and mentoring people to help them develop their skills for the workplace. This is an area she’d like to gradually grow at the Industrial Coatings site.
Recently, Karen was putting together a people manager refresher program for the Runcorn managers. She was looking for a project they could work on as a cross-functional team while supporting the local community – that’s when she learned about Millbrow Care Home.
Putting Life Back into the Garden
Millbrow Care Home in Widnes provides specialist dementia, palliative, respite, and convalescent care to nearly 45 residents, the majority of whom have some form of dementia. The home had a summerhouse on its grounds that was a little worse for wear and unlikely to last another winter. Karen and her team of 15 volunteers turned up to give it a new lease of life.
The JOHNSTONE’S® colors chosen for the job were Brilliant White and Kingston Aqua, a palette created by our color specialists from the Architectural Coatings business for its friendliness to those with dementia and visual impairment. By using carefully selected paints and the right contrast, the brighter colors help sufferers with way finding and identification through color.
Armed with these paints, the team reinvigorated the outside of the summerhouse as well as the decking area. They also painted planters, which they filled with winter flowers to give some extra color to the space.
A Little Bit of Color – A Lot of Impact
This COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® project marks the first for our new colleagues in Runcorn, and all feedback has been really positive.
Karen and her team could immediately see the impact they had made on the lives of the residents.
Karen was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly everything went, as she knows how difficult it can be to get something like this off the ground in such a big organization. She felt supported by her network of colleagues and encouraged by how engaged the people managers were about getting involved in a community project.
Family, Netball and Volunteering
Want to know what Karen gets up to when she’s not an HR manager and painter of summer houses? Her puppy, Ted, a recent addition to her family, keeps her and her husband on their toes all day and up all night. But Chloe, their 10-year old daughter is delighted to have a furry friend to bother her.
With her passion to develop others around her, Karen is especially passionate about young people. She considers it important to engage the youth in her community because we can help them see their wider career options, so, she volunteers as an apprentice ambassador for the Liverpool City region. The support doesn’t end there. After work on a Friday, she heads over to her local Netball Club, where she is chair, and she coaches 4 – 7-year olds!