Ghostly greetings as our Winchester care homes stage Halloween treats for children

2 November 2022

Residents and staff at our two Winchester care homes laid on games, craft sessions and ghostly garden trails as spooky treats for visiting children.

The bone-chilling fun at Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View featured costumes and decorations guaranteed to give everyone goosebumps.

Eight young visitors, all children of team members at Abbotts Barton, had to navigate an array of hanging spiders, cobwebs and skulls as they made their way round the home’s garden.

Kirsty Sawyer, Companionship Team Leader, said: “Our residents and colleagues decorated the garden in advance and put in as much hocus pocus as possible.

Jillian Cambrook and the Halloween spider

“We invited the children to dress up and join us on a hunt around the garden for witches’ hats with letters on that spelt out a spooky word to win a goody bag of treats.

“The children then enjoyed a hot chocolate and toffee apples with our residents.”

For grandmother and resident Jillian Cambrook, the chance to welcome the children was especially pleasing.

She moved to Abbotts Barton during the Covid pandemic at a time when visiting arrangements were restricted.

Jillian said: “We really got into the spirit of Halloween and I loved watching the children running around the garden and enjoying themselves.

“It’s something I hadn’t seen in the garden before. I would love the opportunity to welcome them again in the future.”

At St Catherines View, residents welcomed a Halloween visit from nearby Tops Day Nursery and Pre-school.

The fun included a craft session in which residents and visitors designed and decorated Halloween masks.

There was also the chance to take part in games and have a run-around in the garden.

The children were each given flowers picked from the garden which they loved smelling and showing to the residents.

Evie Airs, Companionship Team member, said: “It was amazing to see how meeting the children lifted our residents’ moods and made them so happy and excited. Halloween provides a great form of reminiscence.”

Resident Maggie Green said: “It was wonderful to see the children. They’re just little rays of sunshine.”