Resident revisits treasured childhood memories of milking cows

Judy Price and some of her fellow residents enjoyed a fun day out at a dairy farm, reliving childhood memories and even experiencing milking the cows
Our companion Elise Woolnough said: “Several of our residents grew up on or around farms and have happy memories of the animals, farm life and the countryside.

“Judy in particular, often talks and reminisces about her days as a young girl taking family holidays at a farm in Somerset, where she would ride horses, play with dogs and milk the cows.

“When she said she would love to have one more opportunity to milk a cow if she could, we looked around for a place to do this.

“As you would imagine, most farms have stopped milking cows by hand these days. But we were thrilled to find a local dairy farm, Holfleet Dairy based in Bockhampton near Dorchester, which was happy for us to visit and see how milking is now done.

Holfleet Dairy is home to over 400 cows, of which 350 are milked twice daily. Much of this milk is supplied to Marks & Spencer.

[caption id="attachment_5374" align="alignnone" width="768"] Colten companion Elise Woolnough and Judy Price[/caption]

Elise said: “All the residents were very interested to see how times and technology have moved on.

“We were invited up to the milking platform where we were able to watch the cows being milked, hear about the different equipment and basically enjoy a masterclass in all things cattle!”

Judy was also invited to assist in milking one of the cows.
She said: “I used to milk the cows by hand. But I imagine it would be very difficult to milk so many cows twice a day by hand!”
Judy trained as a doctor but said if she hadn’t entered medicine she would have loved to work on a farm.

“This has brought back many memories of my days in Somerset and has made me very happy.” she added.

Fellow Avon Cliff resident, Jo Hart said: “The trip to the farm was very interesting. I loved seeing young people so passionate about what they do and sharing so much interesting information with us. I also love cows – so this was a great day out for me!”


Colten Care totaliser tops hundreds for Children in Need 

Residents and team members across our homes have done their bit for Children in Need by raising more than £400
The total was totted up from various events held during and since the BBC’s annual fundraising appeal.

Kingfishers in New Milton, Hampshire, residents had fun at a singalong with visiting pianist Mark Busell who played tunes from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
Resident Terry Darrell said: “Everyone had a great time. We had many people really engaged with it. There was a lot of foot tapping and dancing. It felt like New Year’s Eve.”
As well as the live music, we held a cake sale at reception while staff wore Pudsey-style T-shirts and onesies.

Court Lodge in Lymington celebrated Children in Need with an afternoon tea and raffle featuring prizes such as hairdos, freshly baked cakes and chocolates.

Here at Avon Cliff the fun included a duvet and pamper morning while at Bourne View in Poole there was bingo and a cheese and wine party.

Our dedicated dementia care homes also took part in activities for the appeal.

At Fernhill in Longham, Dorset, staff and residents held a pyjama day and an afternoon of baking cupcakes to sell.

At St Catherines View in Winchester, residents decorated cupcakes for children at the nearby school and enjoyed a visit by balloon artist Chris Kimber who made some very clever balloon creations in front of their eyes.

The home’s Customer Advisor Vanessa Hall did her bit for Children in Need by walking ten miles to work specially in aid of the appeal.
“We greeted her with a banner we had made the day before,” said Companionship Team Leader Laura Sheldrake. “Welcoming Vanessa, getting involved with the cupcakes and watching the balloon artistry of Chris gave everyone a great opportunity to come together and have fun while supporting such a worthy cause.”

A quarter century celebrated with classical concert

We celebrated a quarter century of community care in style
Residents, families and team members marked our home’s 25th anniversary with a live classical concert.

Over canapes and bubbly, everyone was treated to an evening of music in the dining room by two visiting performers from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Violinist Jennifer Curiel and horn player and pianist Kevin Pritchard played a selection of popular pieces, much to the delight of the audience.
Resident David Small said: “The music was beautiful. It felt as though we were at the theatre, not in our dining room.”
When Avon Cliff opened in the autumn of 1997, with 50 bedrooms and situated close to Bournemouth beach, Tony Blair was still in his first year as Prime Minister and Bill Clinton was in his fourth as US President.

It was also the year that saw the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mother Teresa, while popular British films included The Full Monty and the Spice Girls’ movie Spice World.

Home Manager Theresa Sales said: “Over the years Avon Cliff has been home to many residents and their families and a happy place for staff to work in.

“It was a joy to invite our residents, their families and members of the local community to join us for our celebration. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening.”

[caption id="attachment_4989" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Avon Cliff residents Julia Averill, left, and Edith Crowley applaud the anniversary performance with, standing in rear, Companionship Team member Elise Woolnough.[/caption]

Our home’s Clinical Lead Emma Williams, recently appointed after a decade of nursing in the NHS, started her career in care as a Healthcare Assistant at our dedicated dementia care home Fernhill in Longham.
Reflecting on her move from the NHS, Emma said: “I didn’t know the home that well but I had always thought of Colten Care with fond memories. I knew it was a nice environment to work in. They have that reputation. When I started to look for another job it was the only place I looked at. I am enjoying the role as it’s very different to what I have done before.”

‘Game, set and match’ to Bella Avon Cliff serves tennis joy   

Forget Wimbledon, the place to be for enthralling racket and ball action this summer is clearly Avon Cliff
Eight tennis-loving residents competed in their own in-house version of the iconic tournament, including mixed doubles matches and a grand final involving the best two players.

Our lounge was converted into a playing court complete with net while competitors sought to win over their opponents using badminton rackets and balloons. Everyone playing received a miniature trophy to thank them for taking part.

The final, between residents Bella Kier and Sylvia Williams, was a closely fought affair which went to three match points before Bella eventually broke serve and won.

The delighted champion was then presented with a winner’s trophy, flowers, chocolates and champagne.
She said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the game. I was surprised I had the stamina to win and I’m over the moon, very happy.”
And gracious runner-up Sylvia said: “A big congratulations to Bella. It was a pleasure to compete against such a confident player.”

Sharon Surgeon, our Companionship Team Leader, said: “We’ve all had a lot of fun with our tennis tournament.

“Everyone was clearly inspired by the Wimbledon finals, insisting on full games and proper scoring.
“Well done to all competitors and hearty congratulations to Bella for triumphing in the end.”
Such is the degree of interest in tennis among residents, Colten Care agreed an innovative tie-up with Bournemouth’s West Hants Club three years ago.

Under the partnership, residents at our home and our sister home, Amberwood House were given opportunities to watch live matches in return for Colten supporting the club’s youth academy.

The West Hants was the club where the first ‘open era’ tennis tournament was staged in April 1968, widely seen as an early step on the way to today’s global professional sport.

Sharon added: “We aim to be as responsive as possible to our residents’ wishes. Many of them have a lifelong love of tennis and we’re delighted to help them continue their interest in any way we can.”

Residents show their support for people at risk of homelessness

Funds raised by the residents will be used to improve the mental health of people at risk of homelessness
Our home chose to support the charitable housing association BCHA in 2021 and despite Covid restrictions we have staged a variety of fundraising events on its behalf.

Our Clinical Lead Emma Williams explained: “BCHA’s headquarters is very close to Avon Cliff and our residents and staff greatly admire its work in providing housing, education and support to many thousands of people each year.
“At Christmas we were thrilled to donate a host of toys to BCHA for the women and children at Bournemouth Women’s Refuge.
“While Covid has prevented us from enjoying some of the larger events we would have held, our Easter Party, a special Air Show event, our Christmas Gala and assorted raffles have together raised £629 for BCHA.

[caption id="attachment_4969" align="alignnone" width="768"] Colten Care’s Avon Cliff in Bournemouth has been fundraising for charitable housing association BCHA. (left to right) – Colten companion Paulina Trzcinska, customer service advisor Hayley McEvoy, Clinical Lead Emma Williams and BCHA’s Director of Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing Caroline Moylan.[/caption]

“It gives us a great deal of joy to think the money we have raised will be helping people who really need it.”

BCHA’s Director of Homelessness, Health & Wellbeing Caroline Moylan met with Emma, Avon Cliff Customer Service Advisor Hayley McEvoy and Colten Companion Paulina Trzcinska to receive the donation and deliver her sincere thanks.
She said: “We are so grateful for the funds raised by Colten Care. This will enable us to develop much needed resources and activities to positively support people’s mental health.”
Speaking at the time of the toy donation in December 2021, Avon Cliff resident Peter Kennard said: “It is good to support such a worthwhile local charity, especially at this time of year.”

A time for gifts as residents help families in need  

A Bournemouth charitable organisation has thanked residents and staff at Avon Cliff for donations of gifts to help families and children in need
It follows a delivery of more than 80 items including toys, books, games and puzzles to BCHA, the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association.

The gifts were collected by our staff and residents at the home and by employees at our Ringwood head office, Colten House.

Two residents explained their reasons for helping.
Peter Kennard said: “It is good to support such a worthwhile local charity especially at this time of year.”
Sylvia Williams said: “It is very important to think of others at Christmas time.”

Many of the gifts will be distributed to families and children supported by BCHA at the organisation’s various refuges for those affected by domestic abuse.

Some will also go to BCHA’s Liberty project which helps victims of human trafficking and slavery.

Michelle Lewis, BCHA’s Change, Transformation and Growth Co-ordinator, said the gifts would be appreciated well into the New Year, adding: “This is a lovely donation. Because of the kindness and support of Avon Cliff residents and those employees who donated from Colten Care’s head office, there will be lots of grateful children among the families we help. Thank you!”

BCHA was founded over 50 years ago with a continuing mission to meet housing need and end homelessness.

The charitable organisation now helps more than 10,000 people off the streets, out of abuse, over skills barriers and onto independence and work each year.

Chatty Brian falls silent and ‘gives our home a break’ for Children in Need  

Our lovely Brian dressed up as Pudsey and stayed completely silent for four hours to help residents and colleagues raise funds for Children in Need
Our popular Companion, Brian Knight stayed tight-lipped despite all manner of temptations put his way.

“It was really hard for him as he talks all the time,” said Companionship team colleague Sharon Surgeon. “We were joking beforehand that he would be giving the whole home a break, but he made it, and well done to him.”
After wearing a mask that read ‘I mustn’t talk’ all through his sponsored silence, Brian said: “It’s quite a challenge for someone as chatty as me to stay quiet for four hours in a Pudsey outfit and with people all around but I’m pleased to have achieved it and it’s all in a great cause.”
The residents’ day started with an inspection of teddy bears, some homemade, on display in the lounge.

It was accompanied by a quiz on the subject of bears and a discussion about all the different bears residents have heard of during their lives.

“At the same time, we’re always happy to help children who are disadvantaged as they deserve the very best of luck with their start in life.”

As well as Avon Cliff, which raised £70, there was Children in Need fun at other Colten Care homes across the South.

A five-hour indoor rowing machine challenge completed by Laura Sheldrake, Companionship team leader at St Catherines View, a dedicated dementia care home in Winchester, helped raise more than £130.
Laura said: “It was a long day and I was absolutely exhausted at the end but it was great fun. Colleagues kept me going with doughnuts and cake.”
Other activities at our homes included ‘spotty cupcake’ sales, dance challenges and pyjama-themed parties.

Red Nose Day fun brings smiles all round at Colten Care

Residents and staff at Colten Care homes marked Red Nose Day with games, quizzes, dressing up and lots of laughter
The fundraising marathon, in aid of vulnerable people in the UK and overseas, even featured a custard pie-throwing challenge.

Here at Avon Cliff,  our Companionship Team colleagues Brian Knight and Sharon Surgeon consented to ‘pie’ each other in return for donations.

Dressed as superheroes for the day, they also made masks for residents and held a Red Nose Day quiz.

And residents were invited to suggest ‘silly’ music requests for the pair to attempt to sing, such as Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud and The Laughing Policemen.

Companionship colleague Rebecca Osborne posed as her own ‘Rainbow Woman’ superhero and gave out rainbow-designed cards to residents with messages of hope and positivity.
Resident Shirley Wilson said: “The Companionship Team are raving mad. They put in such a great effort to help us enjoy a day full of fun and games.”
In return, Sharon said: “We all need some laughter in our lives at the moment and this was a great way to showcase how fun things can be here at Avon Cliff.”

At Outstanding-rated Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, team members organised a ‘Red Nose Hunt’, encouraging residents to take time in the garden, enjoy  the fresh air and get some exercise. The hidden ‘noses’ had a variety of jokes on them for the residents to read out when they found them.

Companionship Team Member Sam Hurst said: “This created a fun and lively atmosphere for all. Residents thanked us for the opportunity to explore new areas of the garden which they had not seen before. One of our residents said that it made her whole week as we laughed and giggled our way around the garden.”