John Greenwood and I visited FitzRoy in Peterfields on 22nd September 2020, to present a cheque for £9,155 towards pulse oximeters and non-contact/infrared thermometers for all their care homes. We met Anna Galliford, Chief Executive (pictured) and Emma Harrison, Philanthropy Manager.
History of FitzRoy
FitzRoy was founded 50 years ago by Elizabeth FitzRoy and John Williams. Elizabeth’s son, Michael, had Down’s Syndrome and Elizabeth wanted him to be able to do the things he loved and be part of the community. Similarly, although John’s son Huw had severe learning disabilities, John and his wife were determined not to put him into an institution. In 1962, Elizabeth and John’s vision for doing things differently, was realised through the purchase of Donec in Surrey. This was to be FitzRoy’s first family-style home. In acquiring Donec, they secured a future that was transformed, not just for Michael and Huw, but also for generations to come.
Today FitzRoy assists 850 people with learning difficulties and autism at 78 services from areas such as Birmingham, Sussex and Hampshire. The homes all offer comfortable accommodation, 24-hour support and the opportunity for the charity’s beneficiaries to live as independently as possible.
Dealing with Coronavirus
Obviously, Coronavirus is catastrophic for the social care sector. As FitzRoy supports some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society, the charity went into lockdown a week before the Government advised care homes to do so.
PPE was the most pressing issue for the charity. In order to source sufficient PPE, FitzRoy appointed a dedicated PPE procurement employee. To date the charity has experienced only one Covid-19 death – that person, sadly, died in hospital.
The importance of Pulse Oximeters and Non-contact/Infrared Thermometers
As part of their aim to keep their residents as safe as possible, FitzRoy had applied to the Hospital Saturday Fund for pulse oximeters and non-contact/infrared thermometers for all its care homes. Already, Anna informed me, one of the oximeters was able to monitor an elderly resident whose blood oxygen levels were giving volatile readings. Having the ability to do this, had avoided the resident from having to go into hospital.
To find out more about FitzRoy, please visit their website www.fitzroy.org