Winchester care home hosts craft fayre in aid of the Boaz Project

Winchester care home Abbotts Barton is holding a craft fayre on Saturday 8 June in aid of the Boaz Project, a farm-based therapeutic work community for adults with learning disabilities.
Abbotts Barton Residents, staff and community friends will be selling handmade crafts including gift items and cards.

It follows a decision by residents to nominate The Boaz Project as their main charity to support for the second year in a row.

Last year, they and residents at fellow Winchester home St Catherines View together raised more than £3,000 for Boaz, which is based at Hill Farm in Sutton Scotney.

The homes’ activities included a joint summer fete on a green by Abbotts Barton, raffles, card sales, sponsored get-togethers and staff dressing-up days.
Abbotts Barton Home Manager Dee Lovewell said: “Fundraising is always an enjoyable experience for residents and staff and it helps residents continue to play a meaningful role in the local community.”
Boaz representatives will be at the forthcoming fayre with a stall selling crafts made by some of the adults they support.
Stuart Palmer, General Manager at Boaz, said: “Abbotts Barton have been a wonderful supporter of the work we do at Hill Farm, and it will be our pleasure to support this event and bring along a selection of handmade cards, woodwork, eggs and jams.”
The fayre takes place at Abbotts Barton, 40 Worthy Road, Winchester, SO23 7HB, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Saturday 8 June 2024.

Winchester care homes’ fete on the field raises £1,500 for disability charity

Two of our Winchester care homes joined forces to stage a family-friendly fete and raise £1,500 to help adults with learning disabilities.
Residents and staff from Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View held the community event on Dyson Drive off Worthy Road.

It was their fourth annual ‘fete on the field’, designed as a joint effort to provide residents and families with a fun experience while raising money for charity.

Among the visitors perusing the craft and gift stalls, sampling Colten Care cakes and taking in the live music was the Mayor of Winchester Angela Clear who also lent her help to announce the prize winners in the raffle.

The fete raised more than £1,450 for the Sutton Scotney-based Boaz Project, a therapeutic work community for adults with learning disabilities.

The project is both homes’ main nominated charity to support this year, with further fundraising events and initiatives planned over the autumn and winter.

Residents from the homes spoke about how much they enjoyed the fun of attending the fete and spending time with friends, family and neighbours.

Rosemary Smale said: “It was a lovely event and the weather held for the afternoon.”

Sheila Thompson said: “I was so pleased about the money raised for the charity.”

Dee Lovewell, Home Manager of Abbotts Barton, which is just yards from Dyson Drive, said: “Neighbours told us they were pleased that the field was put to good use and that we had laid on such as inviting event, all in the aid of the Boaz Project.
“We thank the Mayor for attending with such great enthusiasm, joining in with the activities and helping to ensure the raffle prizes were drawn.

“Together we have raised a fantastic amount of money. This will be presented to The Boaz Project, together with all the funds raised by smaller fundraising events throughout the year, towards Christmas.”

Abbotts Barton fashionistas head for glamour with royal inspiration

Glamorous residents at Abbotts Barton have been showing off stylish head gear inspired by Royal Ascot.
The third day of the world-famous race meeting is known as Ladies Day, when over-the-top hats and colourful outfits are de rigeur.

Inspired by the same theme of fashion, team members at our home ‘brought the races to our residents’ so they could glam up in the comfort of their home.

Abbotts Barton resident Pauline Elliot and volunteer Peter Russell
Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Sawyer said: “We put an appeal out to the local community asking for donations of hats and were overwhelmed with the response we received.

“Our ‘race meeting’ began with a royal parade afternoon tea and fashion photoshoot followed by a sweepstake.

“We sipped glasses of fizz as we eyed the various outfits, including hats, bows and fascinators, and cheered our horses on.”
The prize for best dressed lady went to Jeanette Mullins who sported a cream-coloured floral-designed hat and matching top. A delighted Jeanette said: “It was a very special afternoon.”

Jeanette Mullins won first prize for being the best dressed lady at the Abbotts Barton ‘race meeting’

Fellow resident June Bell shared the same sentiment when she discovered she had backed a winning horse.

“I wasn’t going to come but I’m so glad I made the effort,” said June. “‘I had such a lovely afternoon.”

Ladies Day style has also been on show at Linden House home in Lymington with residents wearing hats they have decorated in craft sessions.

Colten Care homes stage egg-celent Easter fun

The Easter Bunny hopped in, children came along to make bonnets and entertain with songs, and gardens hosted egg hunts for all to enjoy.
Easter activities at all our homes brought residents, families and visitors together for a happy season of fun and laughter.

Here at Abbotts Barton in Winchester, children from Harestock Primary School – regular weekly visitors since January this year – joined residents for an Easter crafting session.
Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Sawyer said: “It was lovely to see the conversations going across the generations as together they set about creating the perfect Easter bonnet.”
The Worthy Road home also held its annual Easter egg hunt with eleven children from the local community taking part.

Kirsty said: “They had a great time running around the garden in search of eggs and carrots and afterwards were invited to stay for a drink and cake.

“The children were delighted with their prizes including Mia who won a book, Ryan who won an easter egg and Summer who won a chocolate bunny.”

Loraine Martin, a resident of Abbotts Barton, said: “Welcoming our young visitors was such a nice way to celebrate Easter.”

At Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth, there was an Easter parade complete with bonnets and bunnies along with songs performed by entertainer Paul Hammond.
“Everyone had a wonderful time,” said Ann Marie Knight, a Companion at the dedicated dementia care home. “This was a great party for Easter with residents, friends, family members and staff all up on the dance floor. It was an amazing atmosphere, everyone laughing, smiling and having fun.”
At Linden House they also got into the Easter spirit with a musical afternoon.

[caption id="attachment_6183" align="alignnone" width="1024"] The Robins Choir from Lymington Infants School perform Easter songs for residents.[/caption]

They hosted a visit by the 28-strong Robins Choir from Lymington Infants School who showed off their Easter bonnets and sand several Easter songs and hymns.

“All the residents agreed they’d had an enjoyable afternoon and are looking forward to the Robins’ next visit,” said Companionship Team Leader Chris Dimmick.

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

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.

[caption id="attachment_4309" align="alignnone" width="768"] Jillian Cambrook and the Halloween spider[/caption]

“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.”

Our Winchester care homes’ day of fun boosts wildlife rescue charity

Our two Winchester care homes joined forces for a family-friendly fete in aid of a charity that rescues sick and injured animals and birds.
Dozens of visitors were welcomed by residents and staff from Abbotts Barton and St Catherines View with the fun get-together raising more than £1,600, an amount described as an “incredible effort” by beneficiary Hart Wildlife Rescue.

The fete, held on the green in Dyson Drive off Worthy Road, just yards from Abbotts Barton, featured children’s games, stalls selling cakes, plants and handmade gift items, a coconut shy, a barbecue, a tombola and the chance to see inside a fire engine.
Abbotts Barton resident Rosemary Smale, who welcomed visitors to her stall selling handmade glassware, said: “The fete was a great success and it was busy for the whole duration. We had a fine day so we were lucky as we had thought the weather might not hold up.”

When told the fete had raised £1,641.84, Paul Michael Reynolds, Hart Wildlife Hospital Manager said: “That is an incredible effort, very well done and thank you so much for raising the money.”

With its hospital located in Medstead near Alton, Hart Wildlife Rescue provides rescue, treatment and rehabilitation for wildlife from all over Hampshire and neighbouring counties. The charity currently deals with more than 3,000 casualties every year, a figure that is increasingly annually.

Colten Care’s two Winchester care homes also staged a fete on the Dyson Drive green last year, raising around £1,000 for MHA Communities Winchester, a charity that helps older people in the community to live well.
Abbotts Barton Home Manager Dee Lovewell said: “Our residents and team needed no encouragement to stage another fete this year. We all loved taking part and supporting Hart Wildlife.”
Vanda Baker, Dee’s opposite number at St Catherines View, said: “It was lovely to organise another successful fundraising event, surpassing our total from last year and having great fun at the same time.”

Residents say Hola to Mexican-style fiesta

Party goers donned sombreros and ponchos to enjoy a fun-filled fiesta in honour of Mexican culture and history.
The colourful get-together was inspired by the annual Cinco de Mayo national day, a massive cultural celebration.

Residents and team members marked the Mexican theme by dancing to traditional mariachi music, sampling nachos and churros, and sipping margarita cocktails and Mexican beer.

Barbara Landon-Mudge said: “We had a lot of fun at this event and thank our companions for putting in so much work to please everyone.”

[caption id="attachment_4315" align="alignnone" width="768"] Churros in hand, residents Lucy Imrie-Brown, left, and Pam Richards enjoy the Mexican-themed fiesta[/caption]

Kirsty Sawyer, Companionship Team Leader, said: “It was a joy to bring Mexico to our home.

“Of all the food on offer, residents particularly enjoyed the chocolate stuffed churros.

“There is definite interest in giving these a regular appearance on our home’s daily meal menu.”

[caption id="attachment_4316" align="alignnone" width="768"] Resident Barbara Landon-Mudge said she had a lot of fun at the Mexican themed-party.[/caption]

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the 5th of May, commemorates the victorious Battle of Puebla in 1862 when the Mexican army under President Benito Juarez stopped French troops seizing Mexico City.

In Mexico, the annual commemoration features street parades, fireworks and battle re-enactments across the country.

Sweet sounds reunite ex-bellringer Joyce with her village church

Joyce returned to the Hampshire church where she used to ring bells, enjoying a special keyboard performance along the way courtesy of one of her care companions.
Talented musician Anna Boddy ‘pulled out all the stops’ on the organ at St Mary’s Church in Micheldever to play for the visiting party including delighted Joyce Croft.

The group travelled on a minibus trip to enjoy the church and have a picnic.

Anna, a pianist, music teacher and university lecturer, gained permission in advance to play the organ when they arrived.

[caption id="attachment_4324" align="alignnone" width="768"] Joyce Croft and Barbara Langdon-Mudge listening to Anna Boddy play the organ.[/caption]

She even donned a wig to get into the character of Johann Sebastian Bach, playing a selection of the German baroque composer’s work and completing the performance with pieces by Beethoven and Elgar.

Joyce, who is from Micheldever and used to ring the St Mary’s bells with her husband, sat with fellow residents admiring the church and listening to Anna play while they all had a cup of tea.

Joyce said: “It was such a wonderful experience and I would love to do it all over again. We all loved the picnic afterwards too.”

Kirsty Sawyer, Companionship Team Leader at Abbotts Barton, said: “Hats off to Anna for organising a really special treat for Joyce and the other residents on the trip.
“It’s not every day you get to hear such amazing music performed just for you on a magnificent church organ.”
The original church of St Mary’s was referenced in historical records as far back as 903 AD.

The oldest parts of the present Grade II Listed building date from around 1380 with the church tower added in 1544. It houses six bells, two of which were cast in 1703. The heavy tenor bell weighs eight hundredweight.

The 150-seat church underwent considerable redesign during the 19th century including the installation of what is considered England’s only rural rotunda.

The organ on which Anna entertained the Abbotts Barton party was installed having previously been in a chapel at Southampton University.

The church website describes the organ as a ‘great asset’, adding: “Combined with good acoustics, the church provides an excellent environment for musical events and dramatic performances.”