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.

Former Marine Commando awarded Korean Ambassador of Peace medal

Resident and former Royal Marine Commando was left speechless and brimming with pride after receiving the Republic of Korea Ambassador For Peace Medal
Our resident Captain Ronald ‘Ron’ Moyse, 94, was presented with the medal by Major General Royal Marines, Andrew Keeling CB, CBE, in front of his family, our staff, other former veterans and members of the Royal Marines Association.

The esteemed award is given by the Republic of Korea to proclaim that Ron is recognised as an “Ambassador For Peace”.

The proclamation that accompanies the medal and which was read out by Major General Keeling states: “It is a great honour and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving our freedom and democracy.

“We cherish in our hearts the memory of your boundless sacrifices in helping us re-establish our free nation. In grateful recognition of your dedicated contributions, it is our privilege to proclaim you an “Ambassador for Peace”  with every good wish of the people of the Republic of Korea.

“Let each of us reaffirm our mutual respect and friendship that they may endure for generations to come.”

[caption id="attachment_5173" align="alignnone" width="819"] Captain Ronald “Ron” Moyse, Royal Marines (retired) with his Korean War medal award.[/caption]

Ron joined the Royal Marines in 1943 aged just 14 years and nine months, beginning his military career as a junior drummer and bugler.

He served in 41 Commando, a unit attached to the US Marine Corps during the Korean War.

The combined force saw intense action during the Chosin Reservoir campaign, fighting off Chinese forces that outnumbered them four-to-one. Almost half of Ron’s unit were killed, wounded or captured.

Ron was most pleased to have held the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major and among his later roles away from military action was that of physical training instructor.

[caption id="attachment_5174" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ronald Moyse’s grand-daughter, pictured here with him, Catherine Moyse (a nurse at Colten Care), reads the citation to him after the presentation.[/caption]

When he joined, Ron continued a family connection with the Royal Marines going back several generations to 1842. 

His son Rob is also a former Royal Marine with 25 years’ service and his other son Graham is a Royal Navy doctor who also served with the Marines.

In recent years, the South Korean government produced framed certificates of thanks for all surviving members of the war, including Ron.

Vicky Day, our Companion said: “Ron is a lovely, unassuming man of very few words. But it was easy to see he was overwhelmed to receive the medal. He gave a wonderful smile when it was handed to him and afterwards he kept turning it over in his hands and reading the inscription.
“I asked him how he felt to receive it and he said: “I can’t believe it.”
“He has told many of us how honoured he feels to have served and his medal is now taking pride of place in his room.”

Forces’ sweetheart charms our residents with birthday reply

Iconic wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn has surprised and delighted our residents with her personal response to a card they made and sent for her 103rd birthday
As lockdown approached in mid-March, staff and residents decided to cheer themselves up by decorating a birthday card with a heartfelt greeting and a montage of photos showing them holding yellow flowers.

“It was a rather wet and grey afternoon and everyone was naturally apprehensive about lockdown,” recalled our Companionship Team Leader Julie Wathen. “Vera Lynn had just put out a public message, as her birthday was a couple of days later, encouraging everyone in Britain to ‘keep smiling through’, as she’d sung in the lyrics of We’ll Meet Again at the start of the Second World War.
“We decided to create a card for her as a fun activity to cheer us all up. I felt she was a great role model again for these troubled times and one our residents could really relate to. Her message about smiling seemed especially appropriate for us to rally behind.”
The greeting in the card wished Vera a very happy birthday, stating: ‘Here at Canford Chase, you will be pleased to know we are still smiling through.’

Julie researched a contact address in East Sussex for Vera Lynn and posted the card that day, not expecting a reply.

Three months on, all at the home were thrilled to receive a letter from the famous lady herself, typed and sent by a personal assistant, and addressed to ‘all the residents at Canford Chase’.

It read: “Thank you so much for the beautiful handmade birthday card, which took pride of place on my mantelpiece.
“It was very special to see your happy faces and to know that you ‘keep smiling through’.
“In these difficult times, it’s so important to smile and the beautiful yellow flowers in your photos are bright and cheery.

[caption id="attachment_5018" align="alignnone" width="768"] Jean with Vera Lynn’s reply[/caption]

“I send you all my very best wishes and thank you again for taking the trouble to produce such a very special birthday card.”

Resident Doris Storey, who celebrated her 101st birthday in lockdown just after Dame Vera became 103, said: “It was so lovely that we did the card and photoshoot, and that Vera Lynn replied. She would obviously have had lots of cards.”

When Julie reminded Doris that her birthday and Vera’s were around the same time, she laughed and said: “Not bad for a couple of old ones.”

In a TV broadcast for the recent 75th anniversary of VE Day, Vera Lynn said that while people may be apart due to lockdown measures ‘hope remains even in the most difficult of times’.

Birthday bugle call delights ex-Royal Marine Ron, 93

A former commando enjoyed a 93rd birthday surprise thanks to some clever, covert manoeuvres by his family, our staff and the Royal Marines Association
Ron Moyse said he was ‘absolutely flabbergasted’ to witness a ‘mess beating’ performed in his honour by five musicians from the Royal Marines along with a visit from two servicemen he fought alongside in the Korean War 71 years ago.

Ahead of the birthday, close co-operation on keeping the arrangements a secret took place between the Association, Ron’s family and our home.

On the day, Ron said he suspected ‘something was happening’ when his son Rob, himself a former Royal Marine with 25 years’ service, arrived in uniform and there was talk of Ron being invited to go into the garden.

But Ron quickly entered into the spirit of the occasion, asking for his beret and medals, and saying he would be delighted to be taken outside.

Unbeknown to him, five bandsmen had arrived and, temporarily stationed in the home’s summerhouse at the end of the garden, changed into their uniforms until the order came that Ron was in position and it was time to play.

The five then stepped out onto the lawn and in full ceremonial regalia saluted Ron on drums and bugles watched by a gathering crowd of Association members, residents and staff, and other well-wishers.

Among the visitors were former Royal Marines Jack Edmunds and Cyril Blackman who served with Ron in 41 Commando, a unit attached to the US Marine Corps during the Korean War.

The combined force saw intense action during the Chosin Reservoir campaign, fighting off Chinese forces that outnumbered them four-to-one. Almost half of Ron’s unit were killed, wounded or captured.

The unit’s contribution was recently recognised by the South Korean government producing framed certificates of thanks available to all surviving members.

[caption id="attachment_5027" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Ron Moyse celebrated his 93rd birthday with a display from his old marine bigrade.[/caption]

Ron, Jack and Cyril were proud to show off their certificates in Korean script during the birthday visit.

Ron joined the Royal Marines in 1943 aged just 14 years and nine months, beginning his military career as a junior drummer and bugler just like the bandsmen who performed for him on his birthday.

He was most pleased to have held the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major and among his later roles away from military action was that of physical training instructor.

When he joined, Ron continued a family connection with the Royal Marines going back several generations to 1842.
Reflecting on his birthday, Ron said: “It was a complete surprise, I was absolutely flabbergasted to see all my old friends especially those I served with in Korea. I realised something was happening, but I had no idea it was anything on that scale. When I watched the bandsmen play I thought to myself, ‘That was me at 14’. It was such a happy day.”
In a thank-you note to the home, Ron’s son Graham, a Royal Navy doctor who also served with the Marines, said: “It really did cheer up my father, an upstanding man and a gallant Royal Marine.”

Canford Chase Companionship Team Leader Julie Wathen said: “We were privileged and delighted to help Ron and family celebrate his 93rd birthday. It was a truly special day and a great spectacle for everyone to enjoy. We thank the Royal Marines Association, especially their representative Rod Playford, and everyone else who helped make it happen.”