‘Happy hours’ aplenty as care homes shake and stir a world of cocktails

Fun-loving residents have been in high spirits in celebration of World Cocktail Day.
‘Happy hours’ were held at our care homes in Dorset, Hampshire and West Sussex, with drinks making and tasting sessions and the sounds of jazz adding a touch of style and time-honoured elegance to lounge get-togethers.

At Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, residents mixed some tantalising non-alcoholic ingredients in a bid to win the prestigious crown of King or Queen of the Mocktails.

Companionship Team Leader Jane Bunker said: “The laughter and stories flowed as freely as the drinks. Each mocktail served as a toast to health, friends and the skilful art of mixology.”
Home Manager Priya Joseph, Chef Brian Pearce and visitor Janet McCann from the home’s charity of the year the Brockenhurst Gateway Club had the honour of judging the best mocktail.

In the end, Queen of the Mocktails was declared to be June Farrow with her Grapefruit Surprise concoction.
June said: “I was delighted to receive such an accolade and more than happy to wear my crown. It was a delightful afternoon all round.”
At Wellington Grange in Chichester, residents received an invite to a cocktail evening in the home’s Market Cross sitting room with the opportunity to dress up if they wanted.

A choice of five cocktails was on offer including classics such as Aperol Spritz and Bloody Mary.

“It was lovely and relaxed,” said resident Deirdre Wade Smith. “We all enjoyed nice company chatting and sharing stories with each other over a cocktail or two.”

At Brook View in West Moors, residents and staff turned the in-home café into ‘Brookies Cocktail Bar’ complete with a soundtrack of jazz standards and a cocktail-themed quiz.

Chef Jack Wood ran the bar, creating and serving drinks such as London lemonade, rosemary and orange gin and refreshing mocktails.

Resident Trevor Clark dug out his dickie bow and became a dashing waiter for the occasion, helping Jack with the cocktail shaking and serving.

Companionship Team Leader Lauren Parrett said: “This was a lovely opportunity for residents to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

“We have had a few new residents join us recently so it was a perfect way to introduce them to everyone.”
Resident Paula Marels said: “What an enjoyable afternoon, Trevor was a fantastic host and the drinks were delicious.”
And fellow resident Leah Row said: “I had such a lovely afternoon with everyone. The atmosphere was great and I hope to do this again.”

‘He understood people’: Colten Care residents honour Rabbie Burns on festive day

Hundreds of our residents across our 21 care homes across the south savoured a taste of Scotland as they celebrated Burns Night in honour of 18th century bard Rabbie Burns.
Poetry recitals, songs, games, whisky tasting and dancing were the order of the day along with festive lunches and suppers featuring haggis, neeps and tatties.

Nowhere was the celebration more heartfelt than at Braemar Lodge Care Home in Salisbury.

Burns enthusiast Annie Miller, who was born and brought up in the same county, Ayrshire, as the world-famous poet, had the honour of saying the traditional pre-supper Selkirk Grace watched by fellow residents, team members and visiting guests.

Annie read out the words of the prayer: ‘Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be Thankit!’
Asked about the enduring importance of Burns Night, Annie said she had celebrated it here and overseas throughout her life, adding: “He was a young man who died in 1796, before he was 40, yet in every country of the world, more than 200 years later, his birth is celebrated.

“I am very fond of him and his poetry. He really understood people. Burns Night is a great excuse to get together.”
The ceremonial haggis was piped into Braemar Lodge by Pipe Sergeant Keith Turner of the Wiltshire Caledonian Pipes & Drums.

Wearing a kilt of Stewart Grey tartan, Keith played a rendition of Burns’ song ‘A Man’s A Man for A’ That’ and, clapped along by the assembled company, ‘Scotland The Brave’, often considered Scotland’s ‘unofficial national anthem’.
Keith said: “Burns Night is a very significant occasion, honouring one of Scotland’s best known people. It’s a unique Scottish tradition.”
He added that the Wiltshire Caledonian Pipes & Drums currently has members aged from twelve to 72 and is always on the lookout for new pipers and drummers to join.

“I’d say it generally takes a year to learn how to play the bagpipes,” Keith said.

The ceremonial address to the haggis was performed by Graham Ballard, Companionship Team Leader, who said afterwards: “It was a joy to get into the spirit of the occasion. Burns Night is a firm favourite with residents whether they are from north or south of the border.”

Among other Burns Night celebrations at Kingfishers Care Home in New Milton welcomed a performance by the New Forest Scottish Country Dancers while at Linden House Dementia Care Home in Lymington, party goers sampled the traditional Scottish dessert of Cranachan.

In Dorset meanwhile, residents at Brook View Care Home in West Moors tucked into cock-a-leekie soup and clootie dumplings along with other Scottish delicacies.

And at Whitecliffe House Care Home in Blandford, residents and team members turned a Burns poetry reading into the first meeting of a newly founded poetry club at the home.

Colten Care residents honour ‘superstar’ carers with Champions awards

Hundreds of residents from our 21 care homes have honoured the staff who enable them to live the best lives they can every day.
Colten Care’s Champions awards prompted nominations across nine categories reflecting a range of clinical and non-clinical care.

Individuals, teams, homes and departments were all recognised as the annual scheme culminated in a glittering evening at Bournemouth’s Highcliff Marriott Hotel.

Around 140 guests dressed up in style for the awards ceremony and celebration, hosted by TV presenter Dr Hilary Jones.

Nominees and audience members mingled at a welcome reception before stepping into a specially decorated ballroom for dinner, the ceremony itself and the opportunity to dance the night away.

[caption id="attachment_13325" align="alignnone" width="1314"] AWARD. Lucy O’Brien, Senior Administrator at Bourne View in Poole, won the Warm Welcome award. With her is Dr Hilary Jones, who hosted the Colten Champions evening, and Elaine Sheppard, Head of Customer Support.[/caption]

Colten Care residents were represented by special guest Jean Smith, who lives in Poole home Bourne View.

She had previously met Dr Hilary at the home’s official opening in spring 2019 when her late husband, former Poole Mayor Ray Smith MBE, became the first resident to move in.

Catching up with the broadcaster and author once again as they stood on stage, Jean said: “I can’t believe I’m here.”

She then presented Rosa Santos, Senior Care Lead at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, with the inaugural award for Resident and Relative Choice.

This category, which attracted more than 500 nominations from residents and families, was designed to recognise an individual or team ‘who have truly made a difference to your life or your loved one’s life since coming to Colten Care’.

The common theme for Rosa’s multiple nominations was her ‘kind and welcoming approach to both residents and relatives. Rosa has patience to understand residents needs so well which has such a positive outcome for their care’.
One relative wrote: “It is always a please to see Rosa on duty, she cared for my mother and father with such cheerfulness, she would make sure my father was helped upstairs to spend time with my mother when they were on different floors. She works hard to ensure our family are kept informed, added to this her professionalism and positive attitude.”
Among other category winners, Lucy O’Brien, Senior Administrator at Bourne View, who won the Warm Welcome award, described the moment her name was read out.

She said: “It was amazing, a total surprise. I was in a complete daze and then got quite emotional. It was lovely to go up and receive the award in front of everyone and meet Hilary Jones.”

[caption id="attachment_13326" align="alignnone" width="1262"] Colten Care resident Jean Smith, right, was Honorary Guest at the Colten Champions awards. She presented the inaugural Resident and Relative Choice award to Rosa Santos, Senior Care Lead at Newstone House in Sturminster Newton. With them is awards host and TV presenter Dr Hilary Jones.[/caption]
Colten Care Chief Executive Mark Aitchison said: “Colten Champions celebrates the pride and passion our amazing team shows every single day, caring for our residents and their families.

“It is an immense privilege to lead a team full of superstars, always prepared to go above and beyond.

“We thank everyone who put in a Colten Champions nomination and congratulate all the winners, finalists and nominees.”
Mark’s comments were echoed by Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer Elaine Farrer, who added: “There are so many shining examples of our team supporting and caring for residents, embodying our values and consistently putting the resident at the very heart of all they do.”

After the ceremony, Dr Hilary said: “Colten Champions truly reflects the importance of quality care delivered by a team working together for the benefit of residents. It’s a great initiative and the awards evening is always such a happy occasion.”

As well as the Champions awards themselves, special congratulations were given on stage to Elena Barna, Home Manager at Abbey View in Sherborne, for the home’s recent Outstanding rating from sector regulator the Care Quality Commission.

It means that seven of Colten Care’s 21 homes in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and West Sussex are officially rated Outstanding, with all the rest rated Good.