Day in the life of an Activity Coordinator

A day in the life of an Activity Coordinator

Laura Biggs shares what a day is like as an Activity Coordinator in Henley House Care Home

Name Laura Biggs
Job title Activity Coordinator
Workplace Henley House Care Home, a 66-bedroom, purpose-built residential and dementia home in a rural part of Ipswich. Henley House is operated by award-winning care charity, Greensleeves Care.
How long have you been in the role? Two years at Henley House, but 16 years as an AC


My day starts with bedroom visits. I chat with each of our residents and tell them the plan for the day. Our activity schedule is always up on display, but thats mostly for the staff and visitors benefit. Its good to tell the residents verbally what’s happening it makes them feel connected and part of the action. During the bedroom visits I hand out copies of the Daily Sparkle, as well as crosswords for residents who like them. All our residents enjoy reading the Daily Sparkle; they will always find me and ask for their copy if, for any reason, Ive missed them on my rounds! Many will read it by themselves, but others will get just as much pleasure looking through the pages with me or another member of the team.

Our exercise session is held every day at 10am. Its the perfect time its long enough after breakfast that residents have digested their food, but not too long that they feel hungry or tired. Everyone is amazed by how a bit of daily exercise has improved residents mobility. As a team we work hard to come up with activities that improve our residents health and wellbeing, as well as being enjoyable. Alongside regular exercise, we have memory games, activities such as balloon tennis, and regular hairdresser appointments so our residents can look and feel good. Sometimes we use the Daily Sparkle music and movement session plans, which are always popular. The most important thing is that its fun!

Myself and my team- Emz and Neil the activities assistants and our volunteers, Ray and Julie- like to make sure we have lots going on for our residents every day. We are a busy home and aim to provide experiences that appeal to everyone. Arts and crafts, flower arranging, book club, visits from local farm animals, we do it all at Henley House. Of course, we never miss an opportunity to get involved with national holidays- we had great fun flipping pancakes on Shrove Tuesday! Recently, we linked up with a nearby care home, who hosted us for coffee and cake. It was great to build our connections in the community and we are all excited to return the invitation and welcome them to Henley House soon.

Residents lunch time! This is when I cover reception, so I normally spend this time making posters, printing resources and prepping activities. Sometimes I end up supporting the carers with mealtime duty; working in a care home requires good team work, so if carers need a hand Ill always do what I can to help.

After lunch, some of our residents will sit in their chairs and doze, while others will enjoy reading, chatting, or watching the television. One of our volunteers, Ray, uses this time for longer one-to-one sessions when he visits us three times a week.

Our second scheduled activity session of the day. We can get up to all sorts! Recently we arranged for a local police officer to visit us with their sniffer dog! Theres often a birthday to celebrate with a fun tea party with home-made cake by our catering team. We hold regular resident meetings to discuss what they would like to do and plan activities together. Its their home that we work in, after all.

This is the end of my shift, but the action doesnt stop when I go home! I leave ready-to-use activities (such as card games, board games, or simple craft activities) on each floor and in all communal areas, for care staff to use with residents when necessary. The Daily Sparkle is a brilliant tool for the carers to use outside of activity hours.

Of course, sometimes I dont finish at 4pm. This is our residents home; there are often events in the evening that I need or want to be at. In which case, I simply stay a bit longer.

After work, I always put my feet up. Being an Activity Coordinator is hard work, but the joy it brings is just amazing!