Category: News


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.

28 Nov 19

Ark Farm visits Glennfield to host animal experience with the residents

The residents at Glennfield Care Home had a fun-filled day with some furry friends when Ark Farm came to visit.

Ark Farm specialise in delivering animal experiences to nurseries, primary schools and those living with assistance. Their sessions aren’t only entertaining but educational too, as team members share interesting facts about each animal during the class.

The people living at Glennfield were really excited about this activity as it offered the opportunity for some one-to-one interaction with a variety of different animals. This all-inclusive experience also meant that the residents could take part in the comfort of their own home, meaning everyone had the opportunity to get involved.

Ark Farm brought along a selection of different animals when they visited which included chickens, rabbits, hedgehogs and barn owls to name a few. The residents were really excited to meet them all and after a short safety chat, they could!

All of the group members initially enjoyed watching the animals as they roamed around and got used to the environment. Team members from Ark Farm then assisted and showed the residents how to handle each animal safely. After a short time, all of the residents were interacting with the different animals and especially enjoyed feeling the different textures of their fur/feathers.

This activity helped to spark conversation amongst the group about pets they owned in the past. Everyone enjoyed sharing fond memories and it was touching to hear about the bonds that they each shared with their animals.

The Glennfield residents had a great afternoon meeting, patting and stroking the animals from Ark Farm, we look forward to seeing them again soon!

28 Nov 19

Goldenley residents enjoy afternoon tea with a view of the sea

Residents and team members from Goldenley Care Home enjoyed a trip to The Cliffs Pavillion, a theatre in Southend-on-sea with stunning views over the harbour. They weren’t there to watch a performance though, as team members had organised for an afternoon tea in one of their luxury suites.

Everyone was particularly excited about this trip, as their previous plans to visit had been spoiled by the wet weather. So, Faith found an indoor venue meaning the rain couldn’t put off their plans again!

With the sun shining over Southend and a minibus full of excited residents, it was bound to be a great day. As the group were travelling through the town, they enjoyed singing some of their favourite songs, including some Christmas anthems! There was lots of energy and excitement during the journey which got everyone in good spirits.

After arriving at the Cliffs Pavillion, residents headed up to one of the suites where their afternoon tea would be served. They immediately commented on the views of the surrounding harbour and sea, saying how beautiful it looked. Some of the group also shared their compliments to the staff for so being welcoming and friendly.

The service was brilliant too and as a selection of cakes and sandwiches were brought out, the residents said what a great spread they had put together. It all looked very professional and the presentation of the food went down well!

As the group sat and ate, talk to turned to the food and how nice it all was. This spurred a conversation about war-time rations, as some of the residents remember how rare it was to get sweets back then. It was great hearing stories from their past which also highlighted how much times have changed.

After a very fun and filling afternoon, the residents headed off to tell their friends back at the care home about their day. On the way down, Faith met two members of staff who told her about a dementia-friendly storytelling event they hold called, “Telling Tales at the Theatre”. With many residents living with dementia at Goldenley, Faith thought it would be great to get involved with and said she will do some research into it back at the care home.

It was a very special day and one we all want to repeat again soon!

27 Nov 19

Longfield celebrate win at The Prosper Awards

Every year, Essex County Council invite nominations from Care Providers, volunteers, residents and relatives for their prestigious care awards, The Prospers. They receive hundreds of nominations from around the county. This year, two nominations made by a regular visitor and supporter of our Longfield Care Home, Anne Jenkins, were shortlisted.

The kitchen team were shortlisted in the category of Outstanding Diet, Nutrition and Hydration and Margaret Leach was shortlisted for the very special award of Outstanding Carer/Support Worker.

The team were invited to attend The Prospers awards ceremony for a 3 course meal at Chelmsford City Racecourse; a beautiful venue with a fantastic atmosphere. Home Manager, Gina Copsey, said “We were very proud to be shortlisted and even more proud when the winners were announced!”

Margaret achieved a commendation in the Outstanding Carer category for consistently putting others first. “She is kind, caring, and a wonderful mentor to new staff. Plus she regularly goes over and above and gives her own time to make the lives of our residents better.” Gina commented.

Longfield Kitchen Team were the overall winners of the diet, Nutrition, and Hydration category. Head Chef Anna Selfversparra, has worked at Longfield for 10 years and alongside her colleagues Nick Holland, Nina Tullett and Peter Tullett always goes the extra mile for residents. Every member of the kitchen team makes a huge effort to get to know residents and makes note of preferences and special requests, tailoring the menu to include special dishes requested by them. Their tasty international cuisine, including Mediterranean, Indian, Caribbean and Chinese dishes is very popular! However, it is the kitchen teams’ commitment to combatting the common risks in older people of weight loss and dehydration that really stood out to the judges. The team have made sure they are well educated in MUST scores, food textures and fortification and make sure they always know if a resident is at risk or has lost weight. They work closely with the senior team, the residents and their families to find the right, person-centred approach for each individual.

Gina concluded, “This is the second year in a row Longfield has received awards at The Prospers. What will 2020 bring? Third time lucky we hope!” Congratulations from everyone at Excelcare to the team at Longfield. The awards are well deserved!

21 Nov 19

Hunters Down Care Home host an ‘Auction of Promise’

Hunters Down Care Home hosted an auction of promise with the residents, relatives and friends of home this week. Senior Lifestyle Coordinator, Clare, lead the session with support from Terry, the husband of a resident living at Hunters Down.

The auction started with Clare and Terry auctioning off promises that had been made by local people/businesses. For example, if you paid for the promise of a home-made Christmas decoration, the person who promised it would then fulfil it.

The promises that were up for auction on the day included: a home-made Christmas cake and a Christmas craft and three card hampers. As well as the promises, people had donated other goods to the care home to be auctioned off and given out on the day.

There was a huge selection up for grabs which included, restaurant vouchers, beauty gifts, wine, and much more. Everyone was excited to see what they could pick up and with no-hesitation, the bidding started.

The room filled with energy as soon as people starting bidding on the items they wanted. Clare explained who had donated the item before accepting offers and before long, the bidding had heated up – even a husband and wife couple at the home were bidding separately on some of the items!

Many of the people in the room, including some of residents had never been to an auction before, enjoyed the lively atmosphere and the bargains they were able to pick up. It was a very entertaining afternoon for all and a huge success as every item was sold.

A total of £350.00 was raised on the day which will go towards the resident’s comfort fund to provide them with new equipment and days out to local attractions.

Thank you to everyone who donated either a promise or an item for the auction and a massive thanks to those who came and took part on the day. All at Hunters Down Care Home appreciates your support!

4 Nov 19

Queens Oak residents unite to celebrate Black History Month

Residents at Queens Oak Care Home celebrated Black History Month throughout October, taking part in activities and inviting performers to educate and entertain residents about black history and culture. Queen’s Oak is a culturally diverse care home based in London, so as much as this was about celebrating black history, it was also about marking the unity of different nations and ethnicities.

Team members hosted a day of themed activities on October 27th, to celebrate different areas of black culture and give residents the opportunity to immerse themselves in the theme. Residents and guests were encouraged to wear any native clothes they owned, which for the most part are made of colourful printed materials. This gave the care home an extra splash of colour and residents enjoyed looking at the intricate patterns on some of the visitors’ clothing.

Music from popular black artists played throughout the day including James Brown and Nina Simone. Team members danced along with the residents and had a great time sharing stories, creating connections and finding out interesting facts. To complement the theme, team members from the kitchen made an international buffet, so people could experience new foods and flavours from around the world.

In the afternoon, children from Christ the King School came to help and join with the celebrations, adding even more excitement to the day. People living at Queen’s Oak loved their company and gave them gifts before they left to thank them for coming.

It was a great day celebrating, learning and teaching about black history and other cultures.

Thank you to all the guests who provided entertainment and support, we hope you enjoyed your time at Queens Oak!

30 Oct 19

Connie makes a Halloween hat at Goldenley Care Home

Faith is a Lifestyle Coordinator at Goldenley Care Home and recently spent time preparing materials for residents to make decorative Halloween hats with.

Whilst cutting out some templates, Connie, a resident a Goldenley, came to see what Faith was up to. After sitting and chatting for a little while, Faith told Connie about the activity plans she had for Halloween, including the hat-making session she was preparing for. Connie’s eye lit up with excitement and she offered to help Faith make an example hat to show the residents before making one for themselves.

Faith was delighted that she had some help and that she could spend some all-important one to one time with Connie.

Whilst helping to cut and stick out items, Connie told Faith that she remembers when her children were little and all the mischief they would get up to on Halloween. She recalled one year they tried apple bobbing and got soaked in the process, but all in the name of good fun.

It was great hearing Connie talk about fond memories with her children and interesting to see how this activity helped her to recall moments from the past. She really enjoyed lending a hand and has even offered to help out with other Halloween activities taking place on the day.

Connie and Faith had a great afternoon in each other’s company and both look forward to the spooky celebrations on Halloween!

29 Oct 19

Baking bread pudding at Goldenley Care Home

This week marked the start of a new weekly baking activity at Goldenley Care Home. Encouraging the residents to bake helps to increase their independence, promotes group engagement and more importantly, is something that people really enjoy.

The sessions will incorporate traditional recipes, so they’re familiar for the residents and will hopefully bring back fond memories with family and friends too. With the weather cooling down and the skies looking gloomy, a home baking session certainly excited the people at Goldenley.

To start off this new weekly activity, team members from the day centre decided to bake bread pudding with the residents. This was a very popular dessert back in 40s and 50s because it doesn’t require many ingredients and provides a use to slightly stale bread.

With the help of team members, residents began preparing the bread pudding mix. They all took turns helping to stir the mixture and laughed at the mess they were making when cracking the eggs.

While residents were finishing off their mix, they began talking about the memories that came to mind. Most of the group told stories about home baking afternoons with their parents, transporting them back to their childhood. Doreen is a resident at Goldenley and used to be a keen baker – “I used to always make bread pudding when I was at home and enjoyed listening to my music when cooking,” she said. We hope these sessions help her to reconnect with her passion.

The weekly baking sessions will run every Friday, giving residents enough time to practice their skills before submitting an entry to the Excelcare Christmas Cake competition later in the month.

Have fun baking and we look forward to sharing the results of their tasty treats in the coming weeks.

21 Oct 19

Goldenley resident, Phyllis gets a surprise family visit!

Care homes across the Excelcare group operate an open-door policy, meaning friends and relatives are free to visit at any-time without providing notice. This means visits aren’t limited and team members actively encourage families to stop by and be involved with their loved ones care.

This week, Phyllis, who lives at Goldenley Care Home, was treated to a surprise visit from her grandchild, Julie and her two children, Harry and Ruby. The group stopped by unannounced which was a massive surprise for Phyllis and one that brought lots of smiles to the care home. As they arrived, Phyllis was sitting in a communal area with some of her friends, whose eyes lit up when her great-grandchildren walked through the door.

Some of the residents living at Goldenley don’t have grandchildren, so spending time with young people isn’t something they do too frequently. When children do visit, residents all thoroughly enjoy engaging with them and keeping them entertained.

While Phyllis spent time chatting with Julie, other residents enjoyed playing ‘Hide & Seek’ and singing some nursery rhymes with Harry and Ruby. It was like the whole group were one big family and it was great seeing them so full of joy as they played childhood games. This also helped residents to reminisce, as visits like this often bring back fond memories from their childhood.

It was a lovely afternoon spent chatting and playing games, highlighting the special moments that the open-door policy allows. We welcome all friends and family to stop by at any-time and create happy memories with loved ones and others in our care.