1 Aug 19

Volunteers host Church service at St George’s Court Care Home

Once a week, residents at St George’s Court Care Home receive a visit from volunteers based at the local Church. During the session, residents have the opportunity to practice their faith, learn more about Christianity and integrate with other people from the community.

For those who want to attend, it’s an important part of the week so they always dress in their best clothes and make sure they are on time.

Vanessa, who is one of the volunteers, brings along bibles that include colourful pictures and reads well-known stories with the residents. This provides an opportunity for attendees to have one-on-one time with members of the Church and ask any questions they may have.

After some time reading and socialising, Vanessa plays a selection of videos that they bring along with them. This means the members of the group who find reading a challenge, are able to fully understand and engage with the meanings of each story. Songs are also played and everyone enjoys singing along using the hymn sheets provided as it makes them feel like they are part of a real church service.

Supporting the spiritual needs of the residents is an essential part of their overall well being and we always encourage other religious groups to come in and speak to residents.

We are very keen to provide a diverse choice of spiritual fulfilment and welcome any voluntary faith groups who would like to run sessions at St George’s. Please contact us on 01223 712135 and ask for Elouise or Kayleigh, Lifestyle Coordinators.

1 Aug 19

Jukebox legend Peter Day performs at Primrose Croft

Jukebox legends performer, Peter Day, visited Primrose Croft this week to perform some well-know 50s songs to the residents. Peter is a professional singer who has released popular albums including ‘Edge to Reality’ and is well-known for his Elvis-like sound.

The residents at Primrose Croft enjoy performances like this as it allows them to reconnect with some of their favourite music from the past.

Peter performed some well-known songs from artists including Cliff Richard, Elvis, Buddy Holly and many others while residents enjoyed singing along. Mary, Maggie and June (pictured) who all live at St Fillans, were named the ‘Spice Girls’ of the group as Peter was so impressed with their tuneful singing.

The session also provided an opportunity to welcome new resident Rita, who enjoyed the session so much that she was heard humming some of the songs later in the day.

An enjoyable day of singing and dancing for all and a care home full of happy residents, thank you Peter!







1 Aug 19

Residents explore movement through music therapy session

It was an exciting day at St Fillans Care Home as music and movement therapy group, Kiddledivery, were coming in to host a class for the residents. This particular type of therapy explores movement and interaction, accompanied by music to help calm participants and encourage responses through action. Some of the benefits of music and movement therapy include; improved coordination skills, decreased muscle tension and higher self-esteem levels.

As the class started, residents were handed a range of different props including musical instruments and interactive items which they could use to during the session. This immediately sparked their interest and as the music started, residents began singing along and using the props to interact with each other. For some of the residents, this was there first time playing a particular musical instrument so they enjoyed being creative and making up their own tunes to go with the music.

Everyone who participated in the session had a great time and there was a positive energy in the room after all the singing, dancing and music. This session gave the people living at St Fillans the ability to improve their overall sense of well being through a form of therapy that makes it fun for the people taking part.

Thanks to Kiddledivery, everyone St Fillans is feeling re-energised and looking forward to the next class.

31 Jul 19

Residents enjoy indoor garden party at Goldenley Care Home

After a week of sunshine and hot weather, the rain arrived this week and tried to put a stop to the planned garden party at Goldenley Care Home. With the residents all looking forward to the event and family members invited, the team weren’t going to let the weather dampen their efforts and so hosted their first indoor garden party.

The team did a great job of decorating the lounge and getting residents in the summer mood with Hawaiian themed garlands, straw skirts and hats. The people living at Goldenley thoroughly enjoyed getting involved and dressing up as if they had landed in Hawaii for the day. A buffet lunch had been prepared by the team in the kitchen and the residents loved the large selection on offer.

Shortly after lunch, special guest Paul arrived to perform his Elvis Tribute act. Dressed in Elvis’ iconic black leather suit and blue suede shoes, he performed an array of different songs that residents all know and love.

As Paul left the room and everyone thought the performance had ended, he re-entered dressed in a white jumpsuit to perform some other well-known tracks. This helped to reignite the energy in the room and soon the residents and their families were on their feet, singing and dancing along.

Hearing well know songs from the past really helps to bring back fond memories that residents can share with their family and friends at the care home, creating stronger connections between the people living at Goldenley.

Everyone had a great time and due to the perseverance of the team, the garden party ran very successfully inside the care home.



30 Jul 19

Introducing Glenys, a volunteer at Hunters Down Care Home

My name is Glenys Simpson and I was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands.

I was an only child as I understand my parents were unsure if they would be able to cope with a second Glenys! I don’t really understand this; surely I would have been the perfect child?

My father unfortunately passed away when I was only 3 years old after surviving the Second World War. This meant my mother had to take care of me independently at a really difficult time for the family. To make sure that I always had food and clothing like the other children, my mother Flo, had several jobs working day and night to provide for me. A widow’s pension at this time was very small so she didn’t receive much outside help.

I had a very happy childhood attending the local junior and senior schools, spending lots of time with my older cousin and auntie while my mother was working. I may not have appreciated at the time just how hard it was and how much my mother sacrificed for my wellbeing, but I certainly did in later life!

After leaving school, I enjoyed the usual teenage activities, dancing, discos, boyfriends and music. I worked as a receptionist and it wasn’t too long before I met Peter, my husband to be. We were engaged after 12 months and married after 2 years. Soon after, our much loved and only son Keith was born.

In 1978, we moved to Huntingdon for Peter’s job and my mother moved in with us.

Keith subsequently married giving us a much-loved daughter in law, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Life had the usual ups and downs, however, in the late 90s, age and associated ill health caught up with mother. We looked after her until unfortunately we were unable to continue and so she moved in to Hunters Down Care Home in January 2014.

She was looked after extremely well by a caring and hardworking team and was very happy there. This is when Peter and I became involved in helping wherever/whenever we were able, particularly with the many, varied activities. Sadly, after a year a Hunters Down my mother passed away in June 2015.

We were so indebted to all the kind and caring team at Hunters Down that we have remained in touch and continue to help, participate and support activities as much as we are able. It is so satisfying to try and give something back and I’m sure the other residents appreciate it.

Peter and I are now enjoying retirement at a slightly slower pace. We spend many of the summer months in our holiday home in Norfolk, where mother also enjoyed many good times. I also go line dancing which helps to keep me fit and we still try to “do our bit” at Hunters Down whenever we can. Long may this continue!


If you are looking for a rewarding way to spend your spare time, are over 18 and hold a valid DBS Certificate, please get in touch with us by emailing info@excelcareholdings.com







30 Jul 19

Goldenley Care Home host knitting morning for residents

This week, residents at Goldenley Care home took part in a knitting morning hosted by the Lifestyle Coordinators. The people living at Goldenley really enjoy knitting as it’s a social activity that also allows them to be creative.

Friends Joan, Doreen and Joan, all share this hobby so the team set up a dedicated area in the lounge. This meant they could all come together in a communal space, rather than doing it separately in their rooms; this is always encouraged as it betters communication skills and helps to improve residents overall sense of well being.

Doreen said that knitting was something she hadn’t done in years but was keen to restart the hobby. This didn’t show though, as soon she was comfortable with the needles again and made lots of progress in a short space of time. All of the residents that were part of the knitting morning decided they were going to create scarves for the children at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Hobbies like knitting allow the residents to create stronger connections with each other and helps to create a sense of individual accomplishment when a design has been completed. Not only was the session beneficial for the residents of Goldenley, but satisfying to know these personal creations will help to make a positive difference to others.

Everyone had a great time during the session, picking back up old hobbies and developing their skills. They each made some great progress on their scarves and look forward to meeting up again and finishing them off.



30 Jul 19

Swing singer Glenn Miller connects the people at Primrose Croft

The teams and residents at each of our care homes have a range of different hobbies and interests that help to unite them. This could be during arts and craft sessions for the more creative residents or in quiet reading spaces for those who have a passion for books.

This week, Ruby, the Home Manager at Primrose Croft, was walking down the hallway humming a song by the American Swing artist, Glenn Miller. Glenn was a Trombonist in the 1930s and 40’s who was best known for his songs ‘Moonlight Serenade’ and ‘American Patrol’.

Tom, a resident at Primrose Croft, heard the humming from his room and instantly recognized it as a huge Glenn Miller fan himself. He remembers attending concerts and even went to watch ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ every day for a week when it came out in the cinemas. He laughed and said the actor who played Glenn Miller did it better than he would have done himself!

After sharing stories and laughs in the hallway, Ruby downloaded some of his music and put it on for them both to listen to. Tom was thrilled and thoroughly enjoyed singing along to some of his favourite music with someone who liked it as much as he did.

The pair look forward to introducing other residents to his music and creating wider connections around the care home.


30 Jul 19

Buchan House ‘beats the heat’ at summer barbecue

The team at Buchan House were outside embracing the weather at their summer barbecue this week.

With the hottest day record set to be broken, the team knew that keeping residents cool and hydrated was the most important thing, so parasols and cold drink stations had been set up for some heat relief. With that being said, everyone at the care home was very excited that the sun had come out for their barbecue!

Residents sat shaded under the parasols, engaging with friends and catching up with some of the team. They enjoyed sharing stories from the previous week and other special memories that the barbecue reminded them of. Meanwhile, the kitchen team were preparing the residents’ favourite meal of the week, burgers, hot-dogs and fresh salads.

Sessions like this help to make mealtimes more communal and allow residents from different areas of the care home to come together. It helps those who do not eat as much to feel more relaxed and provides a different experience to the normal lunch routine.

When the food arrived, residents took turns paying compliments to the Chefs and thanking them for enduring the heat to ensure the barbecue went ahead.

As the day drew to a close, everyone at Buchan House was saying how much they had enjoyed the day and left hopeful that their luck would continue for the next barbecue!

29 Jul 19

The King of Rock and Roll arrives at Etheldred House

The residents at Etheldred House got their ‘glad rags’ on this week to welcome special guest, Elvis in for a performance. Popular tribute acts like this help residents to reconnect with their past and provides a more interactive experience compared to radio listening.

The people living at Etheldred House love the energy that his music brings and always gets people out of their seat and dancing. The atmosphere around the care home was electric, allowing residents to be transported back to the 1970s to relive some of their favourite memories.

For those who receive Dementia Care, musical sessions like this can help to reach people that aren’t responsive to other forms of communication. In some cases, those who are unable to recall moments from the previous month can remember song lyrics from the 1970’s: it’s an entertaining activity with some excellent benefits.

After lots of singing and dancing, residents were served ice-lollies by the chef and the session ended with smiles all around!

29 Jul 19

Residents at Goldenley Care home get refreshed as summer begins

With most of the country feeling the heat from the recent arrival of summer, the team at Goldenley Care Home were feeling refreshed as the team had a ‘cool’ day planned. Keeping your temperature down in the heat can difficult, but the team at Goldenley made sure there were fun things to do that would keep residents cool at the same time.

Some of the residents were relaxing in the shaded garden, with cold foot baths and ice-creams, whilst others were inside with the team playing a host of different games. ‘Hook-a-Duck’ and ‘Twister’ were some of the activities available for residents and many enjoyed the memories it brought back from nights at the fun-fair with family.

The team had also put together a summer-themed table with a variety of cold drinks and fresh-fruit for residents to help themselves to. This helped to keep everyone living at Goldenley hydrated and provided relief from the heat outside.

Some of the people living at the care home don’t cope with the heat as well as others, so it’s important that the team find ways to combat this and ensure it doesn’t affect the recreational activities at the care home.

With the hard-work and forward-planning from the team at Goldenley, a potentially uncomfortable day in the heat was transformed into a day of refreshing fun for all.