Tag Archive for: video

Merry Maids UK ‘Forget Me Knot Challenge’ Raises £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society

The Merry Maids UK Forget Me Knot Challenge has raised over £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

At Merry Maids UK, we are a nationwide cleaning franchise that has long had our heart in care and the community.

When, in 2014, a friend of the Croydon-based franchise, Debbie Walker, was researching a PhD thesis on dementia patients and told her about Dementia Friends, we began to work closely with the charity and have never looked back.

Our Merry Maids business owners provide care across the UK through compassionate and professional home cleaning services.

This often means they encounter members of the public living with dementia and struggling with the disease.

This year, we took our dedication to giving back a mammoth step further by undertaking the Forget Me Knot Challenge – which has raised over £4,000 for Alzheimer’s Society.

The Forget Me Knot Challenge

The Forget Me Knot Challenge – named in reference to the tying together of Merry Maids businesses and the small blue flower that has long been associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia – was a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK ran, walked, or cycled the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business.

The results

Cleaners, business owners, customers and head-office staff from across the UK put forward donations, helping raise over £4,000 – achieving more than double their initial £1000 donations and 2345 mileage targets.

Collectively, the Merry Maids franchise network has walked 4796.14 miles – the distance between London and Dallas, Texas!

Our stories

With over 900,000 people estimated to be living with dementia or Alzheimer’s in the UK today, it is likely that we all know or have known someone affected.

Each participant had their reasons for taking part.

Like Mike Fargher of Merry Maids in Sheffield and South Yorkshire, who racked up 1186 miles and generous donations by cycling and pledging £1 per mile.

“Our Merry Maids business has had many encounters with Dementia over the years,” says Mike.

“We have some long-term clients that did not have dementia when we started to clean for them but sadly now have it.  We also take on new clients where they, and their families, wish to remain in their own homes and, with the support of ourselves and other outside agencies, can do so.”

“Sometimes a client wants to chat over a cup of tea, to tell you about their life, family and other interests. The Maids may have heard the same stories several times but will listen as if it was the first time they heard it.”

Or the team in Fylde, Blackpool and Preston – including maids Angela and Bernie – who each has had multiple family members live with the disease.

“I’m doing the Forget Me Knot Challenge because I’ve been through dementia experiences three times so far, and I’m just about to go through my fourth with my dad,” Angela said back in July.

“It’s devastating. The person you once knew changes into somebody else.”

“They don’t die… straight away. It’s a long process. But they change. They’re unrecognisable as the person you once knew.”

“You have to be kind to one another. You have to talk. Don’t bottle things up, and listen. Listen to the person who is ill because they are just as confused as you are.”

“It’s important that we help them to feel as normal as possible for as long as possible. We must find ways of making this illness easier to live with, raise awareness and money to develop new medication to help slow this process.”

Learn more

To learn more about Merry Maids UK and our work with Alzheimer’s Society, call 0800 021 3072.

If you or someone you know would benefit from a professional and compassionate, regular or one-off, home cleaning service from the dementia friends at Merry Maids UK, find your nearest Merry Maids business or visit our online shop today.

Merry Maids Forget Me Knot Challenge: Angela from Fylde and Blackpool shares her story

Angela from Merry Maids in Fylde and Blackpool shares her family history with dementia.

At Merry Maids UK, our teams nationwide are undertaking The Forget Me Knot challenge.

This is a sponsored virtual relay in which staff and owners from Merry Maids businesses across the UK run, walk, or cycle the equivalent total mileage between each Merry Maids UK business, tying them together and raising funds for Dementia Friends/ Alzheimer’s Society: creating the Forget Me Knot.

Angela from Merry Maids Fylde, Blackpool and Preston has a long history with the disease, which has impacted both her parents and mother-in-law.

Alongside participating in the challenge, which will contribute towards bettering care and finding cures for Alzheimer’s, Angela shared her story with us.

Angela’s Story

In a touching video that you can watch in full on our YouTube channel, Angela opens up about her experience.

“I’m doing the Forget Me Knot challenge because I’ve been through dementia experiences three times so far, and I’m just about to go through my fourth with my dad,” she says.

The conditions that Angela and her family have faced have varied.

From Alzheimer’s to frontal temporal and vascular dementia, the experiences and maladies were “completely different” each time.

“It’s devastating,” she says. “The person you once knew changes into somebody else.”

“They don’t die… straight away. It’s a long process. But they change. They’re unrecognisable as the person you once knew.”

Why Supporting Alzheimer’s Society Matters

Angela describes the experience and how frightening it is, particularly in the early stages, where the family had little information about what was happening to their loved ones.

“You need to talk to people,” she says. “You need people to help you, so you haven’t got to be afraid to ask for help.”

Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends do just this.

They are there to support and inform members of the public about Alzheimer’s and its varying forms so that we can all be prepared should we encounter the disease.

Dementia Advisers from Alzheimer’s Society provide critical support to people throughout their experiences with dementia, allowing people living with the condition and their carers to access expert support.

Our support will also mean they can invest in ground-breaking research into better ways of treating and caring for people with dementia.

Dementia Friends, as a subset of Alzheimer’s Society, trains people and businesses like ours to interact with people with dementia.

At Merry Maids UK, we often serve members of the public living with dementia and ensure that through Dementia Friends, our staff are trained to provide care and support while cleaning their homes – as they often cannot do it for themselves.

Whether making them a cup of tea or being a friendly and recognisable face, there are many ways to be there for those who need it.

As Angela says:

“You have to be kind to one another. You have to talk. Don’t bottle things up, and listen.

“Listen to the person who is ill because they are just as confused as you are.”

“It’s really important that we help them to feel as normal as possible for as long as possible. We have to try and find some kind of way of making this illness easier to live with.”

How you can support us and Alzheimer’s Society

As Angela says:

“It’s very important that we raise awareness and help raise money to develop new medication to help slow this process. Because it really is devastating. It really is.”

The Merry Maids UK Forget Me Knot challenge will continue to run throughout the summer months – with our teams nationwide getting involved in the virtual relay.

You can support our teams by sponsoring us in this endeavour via donations to our JustGiving page.

All proceeds will be given to Alzheimer’s Society.

Or you can become a Dementia Friend today, either online or through a more comprehensive and in-person training session.

If you or a loved one knows someone who is struggling with dementia, see how we can help to give them a better quality of life for as long as possible by finding your nearest Merry Maids business today.

Stay home, stay connected

Being on lockdown, stuck in your house, restricted movement, social distancing, whatever you want to call it isn’t easy for a lot of people but luckily for us, in this day and age, we have a wide range of technology at our fingertips to help us stay connected. 

 Staying connected is important for us on a personal level to help keep away the boredom, help keep us motivated and help keep a closer eye on our loved ones that are now out of reach. Video calls are most definitely a great option for keeping in touch with people. 

Staying connected for business is going to be vital for many as more and more people are migrated to home working; getting access to apps, software and resources will help us work effectively and efficiently and well; just make the day easier. 

Here’s a good but not exhaustive list of software and Apps you could try to keep you connected for work and socially. 

Video Calling Software

Facetime – available on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and even newer Macbooks 

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204380 Facetime is a nice simple tool to use to video call loved ones but it is also a nice easy option for one to one video meetings. 

WhatsApp is popular for group chats but also have a video feature where you can video call individual people or groups of people, WhatsApp is available for Android, iPhone on Mac & Windows PC so is very accessible for lots of users 

https://www.whatsapp.com/ 

Zoom is designed for video conferencing and makes keeping in touch from a personal point of view but is especially handy for business use with several options & plans 

https://zoom.us/ 

Skype – Skype has video conferencing available and you can chat to more than one person at a time and share your screen, this makes it good for personal use but also. Works well for businesses use too 

https://www.skype.com/en/ 

Microsoft Teams – This is more than just a chat or remote meeting solution, Microsoft teams allows you to set up teams, have chats, hold group video calls, share a calendar and share documents within the teams, it is designed for teamwork. 

https://products.office.com/en-gb/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software 

Handling documents 

Big businesses might have fantastic IT resources, but if you are a smaller business it might be harder to manage your documents between your teams.  

I wouldn’t want to suggest one over another but a few options to help you keep running more smoothly are: 

Microsoft teams – as above, it is not just great for keeping in touch, it also has the power to share documents and update them live without the need to email things backwards and forwards. 

 Dropbox – This is more of a file-sharing option, you can give authorised people access to a Dropbox folder so you can access the documents within. If you have to work with personal data you will need the business version to help you be GDPR compliant 

https://www.dropbox.com 

Google Drive – This is a file-sharing platform and they have both personal and business packages available 

https://www.google.com/drive/ 

Huddle – a cloud-based project management solution that helps project teams in businesses 

https://www.huddle.com/ 

Receipt Bank – a pre-accounting tool often used by accountants and bookkeepers but can also be used by businesses to log receipts digitally. 

https://www.receipt-bank.com/uk/ 

Smart Receipt – Turns your phone into a receipt scanner and expense report generator with Smart Receipts! You can track receipts and lots more 

https://www.smartreceipts.co/ 

Expensify – claims to be the world’s leading application for expense management, receipt scanning, and business travel. Take a picture of your receipts using SmartScan and go from there 

https://www.expensify.com/ 

 

There are loads of tools out there to help make things just a little easier… all at your fingertips.