Colten Care carol singers light up forest of Christmas cheer

5 December 2023

More than 30 residents from six of our care homes joined forces to sing carols and entertain visitors at a church Christmas tree festival.

Performers from our homes across the New Forest and Christchurch were in fine voice amid the seasonal fun at St Thomas Church in Lymington.

Under the direction of our Music and Arts Partner, professional musician Fiona Pritchard, the choir sang ten carols, adding the gift of Yuletide music to complement a display that numbered more than 60 Christmas trees.

Fiona said: “It was so lovely to be able to bring all the homes together to sing. They rehearse individually and when they come together, the sound is magical.”

Jack Phillips, a resident at Kingfishers in New Milton, said: “It was a great afternoon, I just had the best day.”

As well as Kingfishers, the singers came from Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, Avon Reach in Mudeford and the Lymington homes Belmore Lodge, Court Lodge and Linden House.

The festival, organised as an annual fundraiser by the Friends of St Thomas, ran over five days this year with Colten Care once again one of the partners alongside other businesses, organisations and charities.

As well as the opportunity to sing in public, several of our homes organised arts and crafts sessions in the run-up to the festival so that residents could make decorations for some of the trees on display.

“We are proud to support the festival here in Lymington, especially as three of our homes are just minutes away from the church,” said Laura Davis, Marketing and Communications Manager for Colten Care. “The logistics of bringing six homes together to perform is no mean feat, so hats off to all involved.

“Residents told us just how wonderful the day was, how the relatives were there to support and join in, and how the public were wowed by the fact there were so many residents there and how lovely it was to hear them sing. Everyone was joining in. It’s something people will go out and talk about.

“The residents and relatives had a wonderful afternoon and that is at the heart of why we take part.”

Involvement in the St Thomas Church festival is just one of the many ways our residents are celebrating Christmas this year.

A choir representing five of our homes is singing at a public service at St Peter’s Church in Bournemouth in aid of the disability charity Diverse Abilities. They are Fernhill in Longham, Amberwood House in Ferndown and the Poole homes Bourne View, Canford Chase and The Aldbury.

Bourne View is the venue for a separate rooftop carol concert with residents, families and friends from Amberwood House coming along to join in.

Also in the comfort of their own surroundings, residents at Bourne View, Avon Reach and Kingfishers will welcome visits by fellow carol singers on a ‘road trip’ from the Julia’s House hospice charity.

Children from a nearby day nursery will likewise entertain residents at St Catherines View in Winchester with carols.

At Braemar Lodge in Salisbury, residents and staff created a seasonal wreath tree to feature in an annual tree festival at the city’s St Thomas Church which is traditionally attended by thousands of visitors each year.

Across our 21 homes, residents will also enjoy Christmas fetes and fayres, live music, pantomimes, gala lunches and dinners, and a host of festive games and competitions.