Published: January 17, 2020
Published: January 17, 2020

Future-proofing the Summer at Millbrow Care Home

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.

It really was in a state of disrepair, so it was great to have that opportunity to go and protect it with some PPG paint.

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.

The summer house looks fabulous and we are very grateful for all the hard work. We will be able to use this space for future events, and residents can spend time on the deck in the warmer months.
Lynne Moss, Manager, Millbrow Care Home

Karen and her team could immediately see the impact they had made on the lives of the residents.

The joy in the faces of the residents and their relatives made me feel proud. They were looking forward to using it. They also had ideas about how they could make better use of it now that we’d painted it and protected it for the future.

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.

As a group, it was great to learn about some of our products and collaborate with our technical specialists and salesmen from that side of the business as well. It has been a great experience.

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.

As a family, we enjoy the outdoors and just spending family time together.

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!

I am very passionate about netball and the benefits the sport can bring, particularly to females.
Learn more about Colorful Communities initiative here.