Golden shot for Colten Care residents raising a cuppa for Macmillan

Colten Care homes have hosted a series of Macmillan Coffee Mornings with an added Willy Wonka-style twist.
Residents, staff and visitors raising a mug at the annual charity get togethers were served freshly prepared homemade cakes and pastries in the traditional way.

But at each of Colten Care’s 21 homes, chefs baked one of the tasty treats as a ‘Golden Cup Cake’, containing a hidden layer of edible gold leaf through the middle only to be revealed when the cake was bitten into.

The lucky recipient won a bottle of bubbly, chocolates and a donation to Macmillan on their behalf.
“I couldn’t quite believe it was the golden one,” said a smiling Pamela Kately, the winner at Canford Chase in Poole.
More than 100 cup cakes were baked by Chef Izzy Turczyn-Kuzma at The Aldbury in Poole, with housekeeping colleague Michael Sheppard receiving the golden prize.

And at Brook View in West Moors, the cup cake winner was visitor Hannah Kirby who had only just arrived to visit her grandfather Harry.

Moments after making her coffee morning donation along with partner Leigh, Hannah bit into the cake and saw the gold, prompting cheers all round.

Hannah, who was then presented with her bottle of bubbly, said: “I didn’t realise what it was at first and wondered what I had found in the middle. It was a lovely surprise.”

As well as the Golden Cup Cake search, this year’s coffee mornings at Colten Care featured plenty of conversation and other fun. There were mufti days for staff, guess-the-weight-of-the-cake games, cake sales, singalongs and dances.

At The Aldbury, two musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, violinist Jennifer Curiel and pianist and French horn player Kevin Pritchard, performed popular classical pieces and childhood songs such as Run Rabbit Run. Among the residents singing and dancing along were Mary Cooper, Elizabeth Kay and Win Clowerly.

Fellow resident at The Aldbury, Abdu ‘Hobi’ Sabih, did his bit to collect donations. He helped Companion Melissa Siat Caparros to push the fundraising cake trolley around the home, chatting with residents, staff and visitors.
Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We always support the Macmillan Coffee Morning with all 21 of our homes taking part. It’s a fantastic community initiative. We invite families, friends and local contacts to come and join us for a coffee social and enjoy the fun. The prospect of winning a golden cupcake adds even more interest.”
The first Macmillan Coffee Morning took place in 1990 with the simple idea of encouraging people to donate the cost of their cuppa to Macmillan Cancer Support to help the charity’s work for people with cancer. Since then, more than £300 million has been raised.

According to Macmillan, one in two of us will face cancer. The charity’s aim is to help everyone with cancer to live life as fully as they can.

For more information and to donate, visit

Colten Care homes open gardens for charity

Two of our beautiful care home gardens are opening to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS), raising money for nursing and health charities
Our gardens at Brook View, and Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, will welcome visitors on the weekends of the 20th and 21st of August and the 3rd and 4th of September respectively.

In preparation, residents at both homes have been busy contributing to gentle gardening activities under the guidance of Colten Care team members including care companions and gardeners.

Colten Care’s Head Gardener Charles Hubberstey said: “Our residents, staff and volunteers take great pride in their gardens.
“Many of our residents have enjoyed gardening throughout their lives and we want them to continue to find pleasure in it for as long as they can.

“The beauty that visitors on the NGS days will see on display is a testament to the love of gardening cherished by our residents.
“We have active gardening clubs at both Brook View and Woodpeckers as well as our other 19 homes in the South.

“It’s our residents and gardeners who decide together on garden activities and priorities season by season.

“The Brook View garden features a fountain surrounded by mixed borders brightened with plants grown in the greenhouse.

“There is also a fruit and vegetable garden, much used by the kitchen.

“At Woodpeckers, residents have been involved in the planning of a wheelchair-friendly woodland walk amid wild flowers and bulbs.

[caption id="attachment_5110" align="alignnone" width="705"] Enjoying an NGS open day at Colten Care’s Brook View in West Moors, Dorset.[/caption]

“It leads to a beautiful oak gazebo and a courtyard garden under a pair of cream flowered cherry trees.”

Both Woodpeckers, which is officially rated Outstanding by the CQC, and Brook View also opened for NGS days last year.
Brook View resident Rosa Leicester said at the time: “Opening the gardens is a lovely idea. The more people who think and talk about our garden the better. It is lovely for people to see how we live here. This is my home and I am very proud of both my home and my garden.”
The NGS gives visitors access to more than 3,500 private gardens in the UK, raising funds for nursing and health charities through admissions and the sales of afternoon teas.

Teas and homemade cakes and scones will be on offer to visitors at both Brook View and Woodpeckers, payable by donation.

For more information on both homes’ NGS weekends, including opening times and entry fees, visit

Our care homes mark Remembrance with poppy making and wreath laying

Residents of our care homes have been playing their part in Remembrance season
From knitting poppies to attending community events, Colten Care residents – many of whom served in the armed forces or otherwise have wartime memories – have taken time to reflect on the poignant themes of sacrifice and service.

Here at Brook View, team members accompanied residents Ken Vivian and Jack Morey to the Dorset village’s official community commemoration on Remembrance Sunday.

Watched in respectful silence by dozens of onlookers from various community groups who gathered for the event, Ken, 95, laid a wreath as a traditional symbol of remembrance for the fallen.
Ken said: “I felt very proud and honoured to be representing Brook View by laying the wreath on the memorial.”
It was also a moment for Jack to reflect. He was a Private in the army during the Second World War and took part in the Normandy landings on D-Day in June 1944 before travelling through France to Nazi Germany as Allied forces sought to liberate Western Europe.

The pair were accompanied to Sunday’s service by our Companionship team member Jo Vardy and our administrator Tundé Zsiko.

Jo said: “It was a privilege to accompany Ken and Jack and together honour all those servicemen and women who lost their lives contributing to the cause of freedom.”

As well as attending community events, Colten Care residents have been involved in making displays of poppies.

Residents at Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown spent eight weeks ‘crafting for Remembrance’.

Companionship Team leader Kirsty Richmond Cole said: “Our ladies started a knitting and crocheting club which quickly branched out to include the use of foam and felt to create a large quantity of poppies.

“It started with just our residents and before we knew it staff and families were involved too. Our final count was 150 poppies.
“We were able to create two displays, one inside our home and the other at our outside entrance sign for our community to see.”
In the New Forest, homes such as Outstanding-rated Kingfishers commemorated Remembrance Day with prayers, craft making, poetry readings and attendance at parades and church services.

After Kingfishers resident Terry Vass laid a wreath during a service in the lounge of the New Milton home, staff invited residents to share their wartime stories.

Rose Arcellana, Companionship Team leader, said: “Each story was touching and reminded us all of the rawness of war but also the beauty of humanity. Not all the stories were sad, we also heard uplifting ones of survival and kindness. Our service was an ideal way to commemorate all the brave soldiers who lost their lives.”

Crafty residents do their bit for Dorset youth group

Creative residents ran their own craft stall at a church bazaar, raising funds to help young people
Seven of our lovely ladies who live  spent weeks preparing for the event at the village’s St Mary’s Church.

They knitted, felted and crocheted an array of seasonal gifts such as sock snowmen and penguins.

On the day,  resident Pamela Clark and young helper Meadow, the daughter of our Companionship Team member Rebecca Grimsey, ran the stall and chatted to the public.
Pamela said: “We explained to people that we were raising money for our chosen charity The West Moors Youth Group. It was lovely to integrate with the public while raising money for a local cause that we knew had suffered during the pandemic, as so many did.”
Jo Vardy, another of our Companionship Team, said: “Many visitors at the bazaar commented on how Christmassy, colourful and beautiful the stall looked.

[caption id="attachment_5078" align="alignnone" width="806"] Brook View resident Ellen with a sock penguin she made to sell in aid of The West Moors Youth Group.[/caption]

“The most popular item, the first to sell out, were our woollen robins, but all the gifts were lovingly made by the residents, albeit with a little help from the team.

“On our return home we set up a table in reception and displayed our remaining items which were snapped up before the display was even finished.

“Nurses Anneka McQuirk and Sarah Ingram purchased the last of our snowmen and penguins along with other items.

“Sarah laughed when we explained she now owned a ‘waddle’, the collective name for a group of penguins on dry land. A great day was had by all.”

While total funds raised remain to be counted, residents were pleased with their immediate tally of £70 on the day.

Vicar Andy Muckle said: “We thank all the residents at Brook View who participated in this year’s bazaar.”

A Valentine’s Day full of love, laughter and happy memories

Residents spent Valentine’s Day reminiscing over their wedding day
Here at Brook View, team members decorated the in-home café with red and pink balloon hearts and table-top roses, enabling resident couple Audrey and David Vincent to enjoy a romantic lunch. It gave them the opportunity to reminisce about their 51 years of marriage.

They met while attending ballroom dance classes together when David was 37 and Audrey 39.

“It was love at first dance,” said Audrey, a former teacher. “He was quite a dancer and he continues to lead the way, even if I do ‘wear the trousers’ sometimes!”

[caption id="attachment_5050" align="alignnone" width="768"] Brook View residents and married couple Audrey and David Vincent enjoy their romantic lunch on Valentine’s Day[/caption]

Among other Colten homes, Fernhill in Longham, Dorset, staged a Valentine’s Day ball complete with live music, buffet and fizz.