Our Winchester care homes raise £3,000 for older people’s community charity

22 March 2022

Our homes have together raised more than £3,000 for a charity that helps older people in the community to live well.

Colten Care homes Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View staged a series of fundraising events for MHA Communities Winchester after both choosing it as their charity of the year.

The biggest single moneyspinner was a late summer fete held on a green off Worthy Road, just yards from Abbotts Barton.

The event, attended by the Mayor of Winchester Vivian Achwal and featuring live music, children’s games and a sale of plants arranged by residents of both homes, raised more than £1,200 for the campaign last September.

Another successful initiative was a fun ploy involving the ‘arrest and detention’ of a nurse at Abbotts Barton, Joby Varghese Thekken Vazhakala.

He was ‘taken into custody’ by resident and ex-policeman John Arbor and ‘formally charged’ with ‘serious offences’ such as ‘smiling too much’ and ‘not having any grey hair at his age’.

As news spread, residents, colleagues and community contacts were invited to pledge contributions to a ‘bail fund’ enabling Joby to be released after a couple of hours of wearing a prison uniform, peeling potatoes for the Abbotts Barton kitchen and shredding paper for the home’s administration team. More than £450 was raised with Joby joking on his release: “It was all for a good cause but I never want to peel another potato again!”

Staff from both homes also dressed up and took part in a cross-town Santa vs Elves race at Christmas 2021. The aim was to see who could reach each other’s home first.

The St Catherines View team ran from their starting point in Stanmore Lane with the Abbotts Barton competitors coming in the opposite direction from Worthy Road.

Speaking at a cheque presentation to round off the homes’ campaign, Abbotts Barton resident Mavis Borlase said: “I’m thrilled about the amount raised and I hope the charity can make great use of the money.”

In response, Carly Ratcliffe, Administrator at MHA Communities Winchester, said: “We are very grateful to both Colten Care Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View for their fundraising efforts this last year. This money will go a long way to supporting older people living independently across the Winchester district and enable us to continue to offer a variety of exciting and fulfilling social activities in their local communities.”