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Why I love My Job

Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something new and this is a vital skill for any activities co-ordinator. Luckily for us, we don’t have to look far to find creativity in our Surbiton Home. From the award-winning memory garden to the extensive and ever-changing activities program that residents enjoy each month, we are constantly innovating.


Raquel Pena Aristizabal is the Deputy Activities Manager at our Surbiton Home and is no stranger to creativity. After finishing a degree in Fine Art, she moved on to work at an Art Centre, before working in a local nursing home. Each position added to her creative knowledge and built a firm foundation that eventually brought her to The Royal Star & Garter Homes:


The move from Richmond to Surbiton can only be seen as a positive move in my eyes. From an activities point-of-view, it has brought the residents and staff closer together, and we can now offer a wider range of activities for residents to choose from. It’s more like a family home than a nursing home, with the café bar being the central hub of this new environment. I regularly get to sit down with residents to enjoy a cup of tea.


We are able to offer a wide selection of activities and as such there’s not really a single activity that stands out as a Home ‘favourite’, the most popular activity is music though. From March onwards, we are planning a decade of music per month, starting from the 1920s and closing out the ‘naughties’ at the end of the year, which will be great for residents and staff. There are more than a few staff members who are looking forward to sharpening up their foxtrot.


Art and creativity are two of my passions in life, stemming from my degree and work. They are two elements that I would be lost without and I’m very grateful that my job at Surbiton allows me the opportunity to explore them. We regularly run arts and crafts sessions, which always get a good response, and recently expanded to include jewellery making. This has proved to be a great success and it fills my heart with pride to see residents wearing the items that they made.


I have so many great memories of my time here at the Charity that to choose one would be impossible. I can safely say that this is the best job that I have ever had and will cherish my time here forever. From quizzes to crosswords and social teas to visits into London, there’s no aspect of my job that I don’t enjoy.