National winners at Iona

Iona Enliven Care Home in Oamaru was announced as category winner at the 2018 NZACA / EBOS Healthcare Excellence in Care Awards as part of the NZ Aged Care Association Conference.

Iona won an award for the ‘Excellence in Care Awards’ 2018, with the staff programme, title ‘Connecting Cultures’ which has been running at the home for almost two years after it was developed and piloted in partnership with Immigration New Zealand.

Iona is a busy place, with over 100 staff, 80 volunteers and 78 residents who live in the facility. The pilot programme primarily focused on reducing the number of international staff  leaving employment at Iona.  Initial results show the programme has reduced this by 75% over two years.

The pilot programme involved developing and facilitating inclusion workshops for all staff, and establishing a ‘Connecting Cultures’ Group.  Various staff and external organisations are involved, and a passionate resident is also part of the group. The group continues to operate today.

The aim is to grow respect for different cultures, increase awareness of other cultures (for New Zealanders and international staff), and create a happy, safe environment for residents, staff, and volunteers. 

Different cultures are now being celebrated and showcased every two months. This is done through notice boards explaining aspects of the chosen culture, a food sharing activity / exhibition and activities with involvement from residents.

Iona Resident Joan stated, “Connecting Cultures gives us more of an insight into the staff cultures…It’s a good exercise to learn how other people live and get on.”

Iona Manager Steph Leith is positive about the impact of the programme and the difference it makes for the Iona staff team and residents, “We must embrace our migrant workforce, and make them feel comfortable because they are a wonderful part of our team and they are increasing in number every year. Without them we wouldn’t be able to continue at Iona.”

Congratulations to everyone at Iona for this award and for helping to spread knowledge, understanding, awareness and respect for all cultures through the Connecting Cultures programme.