Gung Hei Fat Choi - Colten Care homes and Chinese New Year

Gung Hei Fat Choi - New Forest Colten Care homes celebrate Chinese New Year

Residents, team members and visitors came together for fun activities to mark the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

 Kingfishers Companionship Team member Christina Holliday, with residents Terry Vass, Joyce Ponsonby and, seated, Lily Holden.

Colten Care homes in the South have celebrated Chinese New Year with festivities, lantern making, food, music, talks and language learning.

Residents, team members and visitors have all come together for fun activities to mark the start of the Year of the Rabbit.

At The Aldbury, Colten Care’s dedicated dementia care home in Poole, residents were greeted with jasmine tea and fortune cookies with traditional Chinese music playing in the background ahead of an arts and crafts session on making Chinese lanterns.

After much threading and construction, resident Beryl Spaulding said of the completed works when they were held up: “Just beautiful”.

Companionship Team member Cara Duroe said: “Some of the messages in the fortune cookiesSenior Care Lead at Colten Care Kingfishers Fay Suenfa were very apt. Ronald Woolley’s read, ‘Getting older means getting better. Old is good. Get old. Get happy.’ Another read, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’

“Residents also learned how to draw their name in Chinese. Gwendolyne Hunte took great care in filling hers out, asking for the finished paper to be put on her bedroom wall.

“This was a great celebration overall, promoting awareness of another culture and providing stimulation through our planned activities.”

The fun at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Kingfishers in New Milton, Hampshire, included a talk by Senior Care Lead Fay Suenfa.

Born in China, Fay shared details of her family traditions and how they celebrate Chinese New Year.

Other Colten Care homes celebrating the day included Outstanding-rated Canford Chase in Poole which held a tai chi morning and invited residents to make their own Chinese-themed fans.

At Linden House, Outstanding-rated dementia care home in Lymington, residents made Chinese-style hats and decorated a model of a dragon’s head during a craft session.  

Each Chinese New Year is linked to an animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. 2023 is the year of the water rabbit. As this is a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity, the year is predicted to be one of hope.

The traditional New Year greeting ‘Gung Hei Fat Choi’ is translated into English as ‘Congratulations and best wishes for a prosperous New Year’.




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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.

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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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