Early taste of Christmas magic for care home residents

Residents from Linden House, Court Lodge, Belmore Lodge and Kingfishers enjoyed taking part in Lymington Christmas Tree Festival

Woodpeckers resident Frank Coumbe was in charge of educating children from Brockenhurst C of E Primary about the local birds and once they had filled in their tick sheet everyone received a bag of bird food to take home for their garden.

‘Enchanted forest’ gives care home residents an early taste of Christmas magic

Residents from four New Forest care homes took the chance to decorate Christmas trees they contributed to the recent Lymington Christmas Tree Festival.

Groups from Colten Care’s three homes in the town - Court Lodge, Belmore Lodge and Linden House - were joined by residents from Kingfishers in New Milton to add colour and sparkle to their trees at St Thomas Church.

They then returned a couple of days later to admire the full community collection of more than 60 trees going on public display in what the church described as an ‘enchanted forest’.

Colten Care was among the businesses, organisations and charities to partner on the Christmas Tree Festival, creating a hands-on opportunity for its residents to support a community cause.

The decorations on the Linden House tree pictured above comprised simple wooden shapes with all manner of positive messages written on them - including quotes by the great and good together with well wishes of residents themselves, based on their experience of and philosophy towards life and how we would do best to live it.

As well as viewing the display, residents enjoyed tea and cake and live music performed by Milford West Gallery Quire and the Forestina Concertina Group.

Court Lodge resident Joy Blackmore said: “It was so lovely to be a part of something so traditional and like old times. I had such a wonderful afternoon.”

Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer, Elaine Farrer, said: “Our residents have had a magical time being involved in the festival, preparing their trees in advance and visiting again for the opening.

“They had great fun looking through the collection knowing that hidden amid the sea of tinsel, lights and baubles they would find a tree of their very own.”     

Lymington Christmas Tree Festival 2022 and Colten Care Kingfishers resident

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Find out more about Colten Care

With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company. It owns 21 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Seven of the homes are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission and Colten Care earns a consistently high group score, currently 9.9 out of ten, on the public review site Carehome.co.uk. Based on such third-party advocacy, Colten Care is the UK’s highest-rated care home group for its size.

All Colten Care homes are registered for nursing care

All homes are registered for nursing care and four are dedicated dementia care homes with Admiral Nurse support. Unlike people who receive domiciliary care in their own homes, residents in Colten Care homes have the reassurance that 24/7 nurse-led care with companionship is on hand whenever they need it. Residents live in the highest standards of accommodation, enjoying homecooked food, fresh laundry and housekeeping services, and safe, peaceful and inspiring gardens. Colten Care also supports residents to raise thousands of pounds for charities of their choice every year. Founded more than 35 years ago, Colten Care has won multiple awards for the quality of its care and remains an independent, family-owned care home provider. For more information, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk

Three Colten Care homes in the New Forest are rated outstanding

Meanwhile Colten Care homes across the New Forest filled their cups and plates to raise hundreds of pounds for the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning event.

Colten homes are huge supporters of the Coffee Morning and this year was no exception, with performances, quizzes, music - and more mysterious golden cupcakes - than ever.

Outstanding rated Amberwood House in Ferndown raised £338.45 through its festivities.

Colten Companion Team Leader Kirsty Richmond-Cole  said: “Our dining room was full of residents, families and friends. Tea and coffee was flowing and there was a mouth watering selection of cakes which staff, families and friends had baked including Tunde’s famous Carrot Cake, Sharon McVicars’ Chocolate Cheesecake, Justine Thorpe’s Ginger and Lemon drizzle and a Chocolate Surprise cake by Diane Nicholls.”

Companions and residents had also created banners and bunting with messages to loved ones who need support, to those they have lost and to the Macmillan nurses.

And as with all Colten homes Amberwood House staged a Golden Cupcake competition - an annual event invented specially for the Macmillan Coffee Morning, in which a one-off golden cake is hidden amongst each home’s coffee morning tables. The lucky finder of the Golden Cupcake at each home receives a bottle of bubbly.

Kirsty said: “Our rather aptly-named winner of the Golden Cupcake was Tim Luck (resident Pauline Luck’s son). He was thrilled.”

At Colten dedicated dementia home The Aldbury in Poole, resident Abdul ‘Hobi’ Sabih was one of many residents who enjoyed

a game of Guess the weight of the Giant Cupcake, kindly made by the home’s Lead Nurse Sarah Ingram.

The weight was correctly guessed by Senior Administrator David Austin.

One of the housekeeping team Simone Bernard won the Golden Cupcake competition and a bottle of bubbly.

At the outstanding rated Kingfishers in New Milton, residents, their families and staff enjoyed live music from Retro Rita who had everyone joining in with songs from the 1940s.

Colten colleagues attended in fancy dress and the Golden Cupcake was discovered by resident Christine Channell, who was also awarded a bottle of bubbly.

Resident Val Collinge said: "I'm always happy to support this charity as it's for a very good cause."

Resident June Price agreed: "What a lovely morning of music. I loved seeing the staff in their fancy costumes."

At Canford Chase in Poole, residents enjoyed icing cakes ready for their Coffee Morning, which also involved a party with games such as How many Sweets in the Jar? and Name the Animal.

And the games continued at Abbey View in Sherborne, where resident Brenda Gibbs won the Guess How Many Berries in the Pie competition.

Abbey View resident Sheila Sanders won their Golden Cup Cake prize and said she was looking forward to sharing her prize bottle of bubbly with her family. The home was pleased to raise £100 pounds for Macmillan.

Elaine Farrer, Chief Operating Officer for Colten Care said: “This year as always, the Macmillan Coffee Morning was a huge success in all our homes with people coming together to have fun, bake, play games and raise money for a wonderful cause.”

Kingfishers Resident Joan Lakeman and companionship team leader Rose Arcellana dancing

Colten Care home Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst
Colten Care home Linden House in Lymington
Colten Care home Kingfishers in New Milton
Colten Care home Court Lodge in Lymington
Colten Care home Belmore Lodge in Lymington
Colten Care home Avon Reach in Mudeford

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