Category: News


11 Feb 20

Welcoming feathery friends at Buchan House Care Home

With the wintery weather slowly disappearing, the residents at Buchan House Care Home started to prepare their garden for the spring this week. As the birds and squirrels have been tucked away avoiding the wintry chill, they’ve not had many garden visitors. Some of the people living there enjoy looking out the window at the different species of birds, so they cant wait for some sunnier spells.

Making the most of the little sunshine they had this week, residents decided to make some bird feeders to get some wildlife back in the garden ahead of the transition into spring.

In preparation for the activity, team members and residents had been saving their used yoghurt pots, as they are a perfect size and shape for birds to sit on and peck. After getting them all together, residents were handed a yoghurt pot each to start filling. A mix of wild bird seed, red berry suet, peanuts, raisins, digestive biscuits, mealworms and lard were placed on each table, for the residents to pack their pots with.

While doing this, conversation turned to their favourite types of birds and ones they haven’t seen in the wild before. It was a really fulfilling activity, as many residents used to watch the birds from their homes or at nature reserves, so it was a familiar activity that everyone could connect with.

After the pots had been filled, team members placed them to the side to dry overnight. The following day, a group of residents braved the cold with Lifestyle Coordinator, Debbie, to put the pots in the garden. After setting them up, people sat with a hot drink at the window, to see if they could spot any birds.

It was a well enjoyed afternoon and now the garden is prepared for spring, the residents and team members are praying for sunshine so their feathery friends can return.

3 Jan 20

Residents enjoy festive musical entertainment at Windmill Lodge

The people who live at Windmill Lodge had some wonderful treats over the festive season, including a Christmas party, entertainment and fun.  Lifestyle Coordinator, Grace, organised a visit from the Christian Women UK, who delighted residents by beautifully singing Christmas carols in a capella at the annual Christmas party.

As music is a huge part of Windmill’s lively social gatherings, Grace also arranged for Derek Aidoo from Healthy Happy Music to come along too. He performed live music and got everyone singing and dancing along. He also organised a mini Christmas quiz and if someone got an answer to a question right, they got to pull a cracker, which was a great source of amusement and lots of cheering was to be heard.

The home had a very fun and all inclusive Christmas Day as well, with Home Manager, Michelle, Lifestyle Coordinator, Susan and three residents dressing as Santa, Mrs Santa and elves, visiting every resident and handing out gifts. Everyone enjoyed a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and a lovely time was had by all.

3 Jan 20

Paul Presley brings the vibes of Vegas to Goldenley

Lifestyle Coordinator at Goldenley Care Home, Faith Jones, arranged for a special guest appearance for this year’s annual Christmas party. Paul Davidson is an Elvis Presley tribute act, ‘Paul Presley’, based locally in Essex, who has the voice that when you close your eyes you can imagine you’re right there in Las Vegas.

It’s not the first time that Paul has shown his skills off as the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll, as back in the summer, he made his inaugural appearance at the home. Faith says “When I asked the residents if they would like Paul to come back when he performed for them in the summer, it was a resounding yes and he said it would be a pleasure, so I thought he would be great for their Christmas party.”

Paul is a now a very popular showman with residents, as not only did he serenade individuals he gave out with flower garlands, sang Christmas hits, as well as favourites and charmed residents, family and team members alike. Everyone, but especially the ladies, had so much fun. Maureen, who lives at Goldenley, was blown away, saying “He is absolutely marvellous and I love his voice.”  Liz another resident, said, “He is gorgeous” and smiled the whole way through the performance. Thanks for bringing the glitz of Vegas to our home this festive season, Paul, you’re welcome back anytime.

16 Dec 19

Ashlyn Care Home’s trip to Akhter Early Learning Centre

Some residents of Ashlyn Care Home have developed new friendships with preschoolers, having visited Akhter Early Learning Centre Nursery and Preschool, in Harlow, last week.

The Akhter Early Learning Centre provides early years childcare and education for all children irrespective of their race, ethnic origin, nationality or religious beliefs, for children up to the age of 5.  The people who live at Ashlyn Care Home were kindly invited by the nursery to attend the children’s annual Christmas show, which was full of festive song, dance and fun and was an exciting trip out for all.

Once the joyful performance ended, the opportunity to form inter-generational friendship arose when the children came to introduce themselves to their audience. As they chatted, there was much laughter and hand holding. Ashlyn’s residents, had made Christmas cards to gift to the youngsters, and in return the nursery children gave a gift back (which is now under the Christmas tree).

Camelia Dumbrava, a Lifestyle Coordinator at Ashlyn Care Home, said during the meet and greet, “One resident, Rosemary, had tears in her eyes. When I asked her if she was feeling all right, she replied ‘no worries, are tears of joy’.” Camelia went on to say, “All of the residents were so happy and moved – there was such a warm atmosphere.”

Everyone is now looking forward to January, when the children will visit Ashlyn for a play date instead.

16 Dec 19

Carol concert performed at Buchan House Care Home

Last week, residents, family and friends of Buchan House care home were treated to a visit from Calvary Cambridge, the congregation of Calvary Chapel, in Arbury, who performed a carol concert just for them.

Maureen the daughter of a former resident, is a member of Calvary Cambridge, an independent fellowship of believers of Jesus, and has been attending Buchan House once a month recently to perform morning ‘Prayer & Praise’ sessions for the people who live there.  Lifestyle Coordinator, Debbie, said, “There has been a great response to these services, giving people the opportunity to be as involved as much as they wish.”

Maureen organised the visit with Buchan House team members, as an extra special festive occasion. The cohort gathered in the Snowdrop lounge, which was decorated with tinsel and Christmas ornaments,  and sang a variety of well-known carols, from past and present, including Once in Royal David’s City, Away in a Manager, and The Holly and the Ivy. Song sheets were handed out so that everyone could join in if they wished, and the singing was accompanied by an acoustic guitar.

Kathryn concluded, “It was wonderful of some of the members of Calvary Chapel to host a private carol concert for our residents and their families. It was very much enjoyed by all those attended and we would like to thank them, especially Maureen, for organising and taking the time out of their week to come to see us.”

11 Dec 19

The Buchan House knitting club donate hand-made items to The Rosie Hospital

Over the duration of this year, a small team of committed women at Buchan House have been attending a weekly knitting group at the care home, making maternity blankets for a local hospital.

Each week, the knitting club gather at the care home to work on their next blanket and chat over a hot drink. The group really enjoy the sessions and can regularly be found sitting together outside the class to make more progress with their blankets.

The small club, made up of Maureen, Joan and Hazel, has already donated three sets of blankets to the Neonatal (newborn) Ward at locally based, Addenbrookes Hospital. Being a part of this group has brought them lots of joy as they get to practice a hobby with their friends whilst supporting an important community asset. Nurses and team members at the hospital have been very thankful to the group, which keeps them motivated to donate more.

This week, the group had a completed batch of blankets and traffic light hats to donate, so team members took the residents up to The Rosie Maternity Hospital. The nurses were once again thrilled that the team had dedicated their free time to supporting the maternity ward. They mentioned that blankets are important at this time of year as they help to keep the babies warm and feeling safe so their donations are always appreciated.

The residents loved visiting the hospital and seeing their hard work benefit a good cause. They have already started on the next batch but will be taking a break over Christmas to enjoy the festive activities that have been planned at the home.

Since visiting the hospital, the club has received a letter from the Lead Clinical Nurse, thanking them for all of their kind donations. This meant so much to the residents and they look forward to kick-starting the scheme again in the new year!

10 Dec 19

Pesky elves participate in music therapy at Buchan House

Katherine hosts regular music therapy sessions at Buchan House, where residents learn and play along to popular songs using percussion instruments. The sessions help to improve physical and cognitive functions, whilst engaging the residents with something they all enjoy – music.

This week, residents gathered in the lounge for another musical session but with some unwelcome visitors. Some naughty elves have been causing chaos at the care home recently, playing pranks and making a mess. Although the residents find all their handy work entertaining, team members don’t welcome it so much as they have to clear it up.

In the hour-long session, Katherine handed out a variety of percussion instruments which included tambourines, drums, shakers and guitars. As well as giving residents the freedom to play as they wish, Katherine also sings some familiar songs from the past to encourage reminiscence and bring back fond memories. New songs are also introduced throughout the class so they can practice and experiment with rhythm.

Everything was going well until some elves that snuck into the session began making a racket with some of the instruments they had stolen. It certainly got the residents attention and they joined team members in helping to shoo them away.

With the class back on track, group members began swapping instruments so they could try them out. Each instrument requires a different action to make the sound, so while experimenting, residents were also benefitting from the light movements involved.

This is a really enjoyable session for the residents as it provides them with creative freedom and choice. It’s always full of energy and there is a noticeable boost in mood after Katherine has visited.

Thanks for another fun and fulfilling session, Katherine, see you again soon!

10 Dec 19

Goldenley Care Home host their big ‘Christmas Bazaar’

The Christmas celebrations officially kicked off at Goldenley Care Home this week when team members, relatives, residents and friends gathered for their annual ‘Christmas Bazaar’.

Inspired by ‘National Elf Day’ last Friday, team members decided to continue the theme and dress up as Goldenley elves again. The residents found the change of outfit entertaining especially June (a resident), who posed for a picture with the group.

Team members and some of the residents then headed down to reception to begin greeting guests and family members. As they walked in, people were commenting on the Christmas decorations saying how lovely the place looked. The group then spent time introducing each other and catching up before heading off to look at the different stalls and activities available.

Phyllis was one of the residents who had family attend for the Christmas bazaar. Her daughter, grandchildren and great children all came along which was very special for her. As Christmas hits played in the background, she took her family around the stalls to show them the things they had for sale. There was a lovely moment when one of Phyllis’ favourite songs came on and she started to dance along with her daughter. It’s moments like this that have a lasting positive impact on the residents –  dancing and enjoying themselves surrounded by friends and family in an environment where they feel supported.

After a morning of celebrations and festive fun, the kitchen team brought out a selection of cakes for everyone to enjoy. As people sat with their hot drinks and ate their cakes, there was a buzz of conversation in the room and smiles all around. It felt like everyone was one big family; just how Christmas should be!

As the day drew to a close, people said their goodbyes and shared their Christmas wishes.

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate with us. If we don’t see you before, we hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

5 Dec 19

Ashlyn Care Home hosts its annual Christmas Bazaar

This week, team members and residents at Ashlyn Care Home held their annual Christmas Bazaar, an event that brings the community together for games, activities and to fundraise for the home.

Ashlyn Care Home is part of a very tight-knit community and local people are really supportive of the work they do, always trying to help the home as much as they can. This year was no different and local people made the effort to come by, take part and support. Relatives attended too and helped to run a variety of stalls selling books and other Christmassy items.

There was lots more on offer to keep people entertained, including a Santa’s Grotto Raffle. The prizes had all been homemade by the kitchen team and included a variety of freshly baked cakes. Teddy Tombola was also quite popular with the visitors and created lots of excitement when a person won.

To deliver some more Christmas-spirit, the Voices of Harlow Choir came to sing a selection of traditional Christmas songs. They’re a very talented group and before long, everyone was singing and dancing along with them. The residents at Ashlyn particularly enjoyed this performance as the older music helped them to recall moments from their past and reignite happy memories from previous family Christmasses.

This event really helped to bring the community together and residents thoroughly enjoyed the festive, family atmosphere around the care home. It was great seeing everyone interacting and showing their support to the team members and residents ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Christmas Bazaar at Ashlyn. Being there to engage with the residents creates priceless moments for them and everyone shared comments about how enjoyable their afternoon had been. As well as all the positive benefits to the resident’s wellbeing, the care home managed to raise a staggering £558.00 for the resident’s comfort fund.

Merry Christmas to you all from the team at Ashlyn Care Home.

4 Dec 19

Okeley Care Home kick-start their Christmas celebrations

Residents and team members at Okeley Care Home kicked off their Christmas celebrations this week with some very special guests from the community.

Team members and residents gathered in their festively decorated reception area to welcome members of the Salvation Army (SA). The SA play a very important role in the community and are very supportive of local events, so they came down with their band to perform some Christmas songs.

They started off by playing a selection of Christmas classics which the residents thoroughly enjoyed. The songs sounded brilliant being performed by a live band and encouraged reminiscence as live music was very popular back in the 50s and 60s. As the band played and residents sang along, the Mayor of Chelmsford stopped by to join in with the celebrations and cut the red ribbon, officially marking the start of Christmas at Okeley.

Members from the SA, the mayor, residents and relatives all spent some time chatting before making their way to the dining room for a special buffet that the kitchen team had prepared. The Mayor and his deputy both stayed for lunch and enjoyed a tour of their well-decorated home, commenting on the care and warmth shown at Okeley on their way around.

It was a very enjoyable day with some very special people – we couldn’t have asked for a better way to welcome the festive period.