Anticipating Valentine's Day 2023 with New Forest Colten Care homes

Love In The New Forest Air

Colten Care homes prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic lunches, parties, live music and community greetings.

Colten Care home residents and married couple Audrey and David Vincent pictured in 2022 celebrating Valentine's Day.

Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and Linden House in Lymington all getting in the Valentine's spirit

Residents of Colten Care homes in the New Forest are set to celebrate Valentine’s Day with romantic lunches, parties, live music and community greetings.

Hearts, flowers, bubbly, cards and chocolates will all feature in the fun as homes enter the romantic spirit.

At Belmore Lodge in Lymington, pianist Mark Busell will entertain residents at a Valentine’s-themed afternoon tea. A raffle will be held in aid of the home’s nominated charity, the Lymington Dogs Trust.

Residents at Belmore have also been making heart decorations featuring photos and wording about loved ones. These will be put on display on a ‘Sweetheart Tree’ in the home.

At Linden House in Lymington, around eleven couples have been invited to an afternoon tea party in the home’s sun lounge. The room and tables will be decorated Valentine’s-style and soft music will be played in the background to create a romantic mood.

Residents at Court Lodge in Lymington are taking a community-themed approach to Valentine's Day. In a ‘random act of kindness’ they are writing messages with loving words, attaching them to roses and sharing them with the community in nearby Woodside Park.

Kingfishers in New Milton looks forward to live entertainment from the Land Girls

At Kingfishers in New Milton, the fun includes a Valentine’s party with live entertainment from the Land Girls, a sherry and wine social, a special lunch and a bingo afternoon.

"Art with Heart" at Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst

Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst is staging an ‘Art With Heart’ exhibition featuring works by residents intended to represent love.

The home has asked Brockenhurst Primary School, Brockenhurst College and other Colten New Forest homes to contribute entries too.

Donations to Honeypot and Macmillan Caring Locally

Guests coming to the show on Valentine’s Day will also have the chance to enjoy a heart-themed afternoon tea. Donations will go to Honeypot, the national charity which supports national young carers - and which has a New Forest base in Exbury.

At Avon Reach in Mudeford, staff are decorating the home with love hearts and inviting residents to tuck into a high tea. A raffle on the day will raise funds for Macmillan Caring Locally.  

Two resident couples at Brook View in West Moors, Trevor and Pam and Audrey and David, will enjoy romantic-themed meals in the dining room.

On Valentine’s Day last year, Audrey and David took the opportunity to reminisce about their 51 years of marriage.

They met while attending ballroom dance classes together when he was 37 and she was 39.

“It was love at first dance,” said Audrey, a former teacher. “He was quite a dancer and he continues to lead the way, even if I do ‘wear the trousers’ sometimes!”

At Colten Care’s Bournemouth home Avon Cliff, residents and staff are being encouraged to wear red or pink at a tea dance. There will also be a ‘luxury high tea’ accompanied by the gentle sounds of live harp music.  

Valentine’s Day will also be celebrated at Colten homes further afield. Residents at St Catherines View in Winchester will welcome toddlers from the nearby Topps Day Nursery for chocolate-making fun.

The youngsters will be taking home the treats to give to their mums and dads afterwards as Valentine’s gifts.

At Whitecliffe House in Blandford, staff will deliver roses and sweets to all residents. In the afternoon, residents will come together to listen to favourite love songs and share memories of Valentine’s Day and loved ones.

The photo above is of Brook View residents and married couple Audrey and David Vincent pictured in 2022. The pair are looking forward to another romantic-themed lunch this Valentine’s Day.  



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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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