2 Aug 19

Cambridge Rugby Club arrives at Buchan House for Care Home Open Day

On Friday 28th June, care homes across the country participated in National Care Home Open Day. Families, friends and new residents are all welcome to look around the care home, meet the people who live there and take part in different activities.

Buchan House wanted to make sure their open day stood out from the rest and so invited the local primary school and members from the 1st team at Cambridge Rugby Club (CRUFC). The team at Buchan House are always keen to involve the community in what they do, and so invite different local groups to events they host at the care home.

On the day, there was a range of activities for guests, residents and family members to take part in, although lots of time was spent socialising and meeting new people. Before long, players from Cambridge Rugby Club turned up and certainly attracted a lot of attention. A reporter from the local paper had arrived with them to capture some pictures and learn more about Buchan House’s involvement with National Care Home Open Day.

Residents enjoyed speaking to the sportsman about competitions and matches they have coming up and learnt loads about the game. The CRUFC team showed a real interest in the lives of those living at Buchan House and took the time to pose for pictures and answer lots of questions.

Everyone who came along to Buchan House had a great day and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in National Care Home Open Day. To make the event even more special, the reporter wrote an article which appeared in the Cambridge Independent and featured pictures of residents and team members with the athletes.

We’d like to thank everyone who came along to Buchan House with special thanks going to St. Laurence Primary School and Cambridge Rugby Club. You all helped to make this a very special day and certainly one that will not be forgotten!


1 Aug 19

Buchan House residents brighten up Devonshire tree with Butterfly art

The team at Buchan House recently got creative with residents as they participated in the ‘Tree of Celebration Butterfly project.”

The scheme invited care homes across the country to design Butterflies that would be used to brighten up a tree in Knightshayes, Devon. The idea was formed by Creative Mojo (CM), a company that host all-inclusive craft experiences for adults in care homes across the country.

In collaboration with the National Trust, Creative Mojo wanted to make sure that the work and talents of those living in care across the UK could be visible and recognised by the wider public.

Creative Mojo has hosted sessions at Buchan House before, but never have residents had the opportunity to get involved with a scheme like this, so you can imagine how excited everyone was. Participants at the care home were assisted by a team member from CM, who helped them to create some eye-catching designs that would surely separate them from the rest.

The people living at Buchan House had a great time decorating their Butterflies and took the time to ensure they were the best they could be. The team from CM then took each design away, entered them into the project and of course, they made it all the way to the Devonshire Tree.

At the end of the scheme and with all the Butterflies hung, the people living at Buchan were thrilled to see their designs on display and even included within an article published by Devon Live. For all their hard-work, residents were given a certificate of participation and thanked for donating artwork towards the scheme.

The finished tree looked beautiful in the sunshine and will hopefully help to show-off the talents of those living at Buchan house and in other care homes across the country.




1 Aug 19

Animal game sparks laughter and storytelling at Primrose Croft

The team at Primrose Croft enjoyed a game of Animal A-Z this week in a session hosted by the Lifestyle Coordinators. The aim of the game was to take turns naming an animal that starts with the corresponding letter in the alphabet.

Group games like this are always encouraged as they help to increase the interaction between residents and improve communication skills.

Starting with A, the residents began to name animals and insects with Barbara naming ‘Bumblebee’ for the letter B. This immediately sparked a memory and she began telling the group about a song her mother used to sing her:

Come and sit all around

Listen while I sing

Don’t you play with a Bumblebee

Cause the Bumblebee will sting

The group began to laugh and then joined in singing together with Barbara. It was a great moment for her and the group as it added a nice personal touch to the game.

As the game continued, other words sparked debate around the room such as Wasp, which started a conversation about different types of flying insects and which ones could sting multiple times.

Although a very simple game, the residents thoroughly enjoyed adding their personal stories and asking questions. It gave others the opportunity to learn more about their friends at the care home and some new, interesting facts.


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.