Norwich care home, Hillcrest, formed a guard of honour to mark one of their residents’ 100th birthday in style.

The team at the care home on Thorpe Road lined up in front of colourful balloons outside the home as resident Ruby Baker began a day of double celebrations.

As well as marking her centenary, the occasion also involved Ruby’s first trip out of the home with her family since lockdown.

Following the latest government guidance, the team at the home helped to plan a special trip out for Ruby. This meant she could spend time with close family at a small tea party. On her way out of the home, Ruby was greeted by the guard of honour and a chorus of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday to Ya’.

Ruby has led an exciting life and was lucky enough to be married to her beloved husband Chris for more than 60 years. They lived together at Hillcrest care home for many years until he sadly passed in 2013, on Ruby’s birthday.

She and Chris share four children, son Stephen and daughters Susan, Elizabeth and Julie. Her wider family includes four granddaughters and eight grandsons.

A Career History Filled With Talents

Ruby was a talented tailor for many years. She also worked in a boat factory, clothing factory and as a cleaner.

Ruby said: “I had a wonderful time celebrating my birthday with my family. It was so lovely to be greeted by the staff forming a guard of honour as I left.

“My secret to a long and healthy life is self-discipline, self-will, determination and faith in myself!”

Amy Parker, home manager of the Norwich-based care home, said: “Ruby has a great personality and is very kind to others. She is known as the ‘Queen of Hillcrest’! Ruby will always join in with any activity and will never let her age get in the way.

“We are delighted to have been able to celebrate such a special day with Ruby. We look forward to celebrating future birthdays with her here at Hillcrest care home.”

Click here to find out more about Hillcrest Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Care home residents in Rochford have a new giant interactive table to further enrich their lives and engage them in fun digital experiences.

Stambridge Meadows Care Home, set in beautiful countryside off Stambridge Road, has recently taken delivery of a giant interactive table that is designed to keep residents’ minds active and combat social isolation.

With a wide range of apps and games, ranging from puzzles to sensory experiences, the device offers something for everyone.

Stambridge Meadows has also utilised the interactive table during reduced visiting throughout the last few months of the pandemic. Thanks to its 40-inch screen, it makes video calls with families a much more enjoyable experience. The table has also enabled the home to enhance its virtual live entertainment programme and interactive activities offering.

The device has many features and even gives residents access to Oomph! On Demand, our digital activities platform, with interactive quizzes, exercise classes and a wealth of historical content.

Enhancing Wellbeing with Virtual Experiences

Many residents have used the interactive table to view the streets they were born on and track how they have changed during the years. Some residents have even chosen to visit favourite holiday destinations, or visit places they may never have been able to see in person.

The Stambridge Meadows residents are also able to engage in multi-player games and activities which helps to bring a sense of camaraderie and of course, healthy competition!

Patsy Munyard, manager of the home, which is on Stambridge Road, Great Stambridge, said: “We continually are looking at ways we can expand and enhance activities and experiences for our residents.

“We saw this interactive table on social media and thought it would be a fantastic addition to the home’s amenities.

“It is proving great for stimulating the residents’ minds and encouraging social interaction with one another as well as their friends and families with improved video calls.”

Resident Joan Winsor said: “I am loving the interactive table. It is so much fun and much better than a standard-sized tablet. It is brilliant and my favourite activities are the puzzles and bowling game.”

Click here to find out more about Stambridge Meadows Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

With warmer summer days upon us, residents at Larchwood Care Homes across the country have been making the most of their beautiful outside spaces.

In the summer edition of Larchwood Life, you’ll learn how our residents have been enjoying garden parties, fundraisers and seasonal colour in the great outdoors!

Fluffy New Residents

While a great number of our homes boast revamped garden areas full of summer blooms, the Avonbridge family in Hamilton have welcomed some new feathered friends to their courtyard. In the summer newsletter, you’ll discover the residents’ joy of hatching chicks and watching them grow. Nurturing the hatchlings proved to be incredibly soothing for many of the Avonbridge residents, bringing back fond memories of chicken coops and fresh eggs for many.

A Good Old Knees Up For VE Day

Following the nationwide celebrations of last year’s 75th anniversary of VE Day, the teams at our homes were keen to create another memorable day for our residents this year. Once again, the 8th of May saw our homes decked out with Union Jack flags, banners, and hats, as the sounds of Vera Lynn and Glen Miller filled the air. In this newsletter, you’ll read how we took time to reflect on those who lost their lives during the Second World War but also recreated the street party atmosphere of 1945.

Raising Dementia Awareness

With many Larchwood Care homes specialising in dementia care, raising awareness and supporting vital research into dementia are very close to our hearts. Earlier this summer, our homes held many events for Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Week and Cupcake Day. In addition, some of our residents and team members took on challenges of their own. Download the Larchwood Life Summer Newsletter below to learn more about Sam’s cycle challenge and a sponsored walk that brought residents and loved ones safely back together.

You can view the Larchwood Life Summer Newsletter here.

Click here to search for Larchwood Care Homes in your area


The daughter of a resident at Taunton care home Oake Meadows has completed a skydive for a second time to raise money for residents of the home.

Oake Meadows, based on Wyvern Road, takes care of Cheryl Clavey’s dad Cedrick Lewis, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s around eight years ago.

In honour of her father, last year Cheryl completed her first-ever skydive in aid of Dementia UK.

Though Cheryl is incredibly scared of heights, she decided to take on the 15,000 ft skydive again, but this time to raise money for the home that cares for her father. Her aim was to raise at least £200, with her father at the forefront of her mind during the terrifying challenge.

Raising Awareness of Dementia

Cheryl said: “I wanted to highlight dementia as a worthy cause to as many people as possible, as it’s affected our lives so much. This time I am not raising money for any organisation as I have paid privately – but anything I raise will go to Oake Meadows Care Home.

“This jump is all about my dad as a focus. His health has deteriorated, and I want to show him a picture of me jumping for him to see on a DVD or in pictures. Oake Meadows Care Home has gone above and beyond for my dad with his complex dementia.

“I would love to see a picture of my dad enjoying live music like he always did! He loved socialising with live music and ran the Watchet music festival bar for years; It’s still named after him!”

A Fantastic Achievement

Katrina Ball, home manager at the Taunton care home, said: “Last year we supported Cheryl with her incredible fundraising skydive for dementia. Inspired by her dad, this was a fantastic achievement!

“We’re honoured that Cheryl has thought of our residents with her latest challenge and would encourage people to please support her fundraising adventure if you can!”

The Skydive took place on Saturday 26th June and so far Cheryl has raised £505, beating her original target. You can still donate via Cheryl’s GoFundMe by clicking here.

Click here to find out more about Oake Meadows Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Colchester care home chef Peter Bartholomew has raised £595 for Breast Cancer UK by growing his hair for six months.

Peter, who works at Great Horkesley Manor care home, usually keeps a close-cropped hairstyle. However, he rose to the challenge of letting his hair grow from January 2021 to June 2021. At the end of the challenge, Peter decided to dye his long locks pink in honour of the charity.

Throughout the challenge, Peter was sponsored by his friends and family. Residents of the Colchester care home and their family members were also keen to chip in, helping Peter smash his £500 target.

After growing his hair for six months, Peter decided to shave his hair again, as long and pink hair just wasn’t his style!

Charity fundraising activity is widely encouraged by our homes, as supporting our local communities and those who live in them is very important to us.

A Fun Yet Humbling Challenge

Commenting on the fundraising challenge, Peter said: “Breast Cancer UK is an incredible charity. I really wanted to do something special to raise vital funds for them.

“I normally have a shaved head but I thought, why not grow my hair and see how long it can get in six months? To top it off, I dyed it pink in honour of Breast Cancer UK.

“The challenge was a lot of fun, but it was also very humbling. Knowing the money raised will make a huge difference to the people the charity supports is wonderful.”

Alison Day, home manager at Great Horkesley Manor, said: “It was fantastic to see Peter’s hair growing throughout the six-month challenge. He has raised a fantastic amount of money for Breast Cancer UK and we are extremely proud of him.

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has sponsored Peter. Your kindness will not be forgotten!”

Click here to find out more about Great Horkesley Manor

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Our Basildon care home residents are keen gardeners and have thoroughly enjoyed transforming their outdoor space with help from the staff and some kind family members.

To make the Mundy House garden more accessible to residents in wheelchairs, a new pathway was installed to ensure that everyone could manoeuvre around the grounds safely.

Garden gates were added as a fantastic new feature, then everyone set to work to bring a new lease of life to the garden.

Gardening has many proven benefits for the elderly, and light gardening duties can also reduce the risk of dementia. This is because it requires cognition and engagement by the resident, to complete even the smallest of planting tasks.

Some of the other outdoor activity and gardening benefits can be mental and physical. Outdoor activities engage residents in communal tasks, as well as provide a calming environment.

A Blossoming Friendship

Two residents of the Basildon care home who have really enjoyed taking part in the garden transformation are friends, 80-year-old Joyce Roberts and 85-year-old Eileen Knock. When they’re not digging in new plants or pruning branches, they can regularly be seen enjoying a little bit of sunshine in their straw hats.

Joyce said: “It is still not finished, there is still so much to do, but we are getting there!”

Eileen, who is collecting special items she has found in the garden, said: “I love gardening.”

Josi George, Mundy House care home manager, said: “This has been a lovely project for the residents who have been able to get involved, as it not only promotes positive mental wellbeing but gives them a little bit of gentle exercise. Joyce and Eileen have really been amazing – even digging and cutting things down. They have really made the garden look amazing.”

“The residents love being out in the new garden, and it helps them to get a little bit of sunshine when the weather is fair and is also very calming and relaxing.

“With the new pathway we have installed, more of the residents are able to enjoy our outdoor space safely, which is of great benefit to them.”

Click here to find out more about Mundy House Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Tears of joy flowed when twin sisters were reunited at a Glasgow care home after being separated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Twin sisters Janette Millar and Margaret Kerr are together once again after Janette moved into Broomfield Court Care Home. The pair had an emotional reunion after not being able to see each other properly for more than a year.

The 81-year-olds could only see each other from either side of a window while indoor visits were stopped to protect residents from the spread of the virus.

Margaret and Janette were born 13 hours apart on June 4 1939. They grew up in the family home in Rutherglen and attended local schools – MacDonald Primary and then Gallowflat Secondary.

A Bond Lasting A Lifetime

When the ladies left school, they started their careers as typists. They then both moved to Richmond Park Laundry, where they worked for a while. They decided they wanted to continue their careers working together, and moved to Wilson Boilers, where Margaret worked until she married in 1963.

A few years later, Janette, who never married, was made redundant, so she moved to an insurance company where she worked until she retired in 1999.  She remained active in the community, volunteering as a Victim Support helper in the High Court in Glasgow.

Margaret, who celebrated her golden wedding with late husband Alistair in 2013, has two children, Jim and Alan.  She lived in Bishopbriggs, in the same house for 55 years, before moving to the Glasgow care home in early 2020.

Janette lived for 68 years in the same house in Burnside with her sister Anne before she moved to the care home.

Margaret said: “I was so happy when Janette came to join me at Broomfield Court.  We are so close and used to see each other regularly so it is fantastic to be able to see each other every day.”

Janette said: “I really missed being able to see Margaret properly. I am so pleased that I have moved into Broomfield Court and have been reunited with my sister. It is a lovely home and we both are being well looked after by the staff, who are kind and caring.”

Click here to find out more about Broomfield Court Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Thetford care home Alexander Court is celebrating after picking up a prestigious award for its service to the local community. 

The team and residents at the home were delighted to be nominated in the “Long-standing Business” category of the Thetford Business Awards 2020.

Launched in 2019, the Thetford Business Awards celebrate the achievements of local businesses and their commitment to supporting the local economy. The 2020 awards sought to reflect on a difficult year for businesses in the local area. Following the coronavirus pandemic, the organisers were keen to acknowledge the challenges many have had to overcome.

The nominees were put to a local public vote, with the winners announced at the awards gala. Moved from their original date due to Covid-19 restrictions, the delayed ceremony took on a virtual form. The event streamed live on Monday 17th May 2021 and was hosted by magician and entertainer Paul Martin.

Some of the Alexander Court team dressed to impress to attend the awards virtually via a computer at the home. Meanwhile, other members of staff watched the ceremony from the comfort of their own homes.

A Proud Moment

After applauding the other winners of the night, the team were excited to hear that they had won their category!

Amanda Skinner, manager of the Thetford care home said: “We are so proud of all the team here at Alexander Court! To win an award that has been voted for by the local community proves what a dedicated team we have. For the general public to take time out of their busy lives to vote for us gives us a great sense of achievement.

“It’s been a challenging year, but everyone has worked so hard to keep all of the residents safe. Winning this award is the perfect acknowledgement of everyone’s commitment to providing the best care for our residents here at Alexander court.”

Both the residents and staff are looking forward to receiving their crystal trophy which will have pride of place in the home.

Click here to find out more about Alexander Court Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Rochford care home Stambridge Meadows has opened a new dementia-friendly garden for its residents to enjoy.

Now that the weather is improving, the home’s residents are keen to spend more and more time in the garden, enjoying some fresh air and appreciating the great outdoors.

Just in time for the warmer spring days, Stambridge Meadows has opened a revamped garden area. The new-look outdoor space is more accessible for residents, particularly those with reduced mobility.

The home, on Stambridge Road, has sweeping countryside views to the rear and staff wanted to ensure more of the home’s residents were able to enjoy the scenery.

To make sure residents with reduced mobility could access the garden more easily, a safe, flowing surface has been created by laying a smooth, resin top that is level with the home’s living areas.

Staff and residents at Stambridge Meadows helped to plan the garden’s design, with sensory elements heavily featuring throughout. Fragrant trees and shrubs, as well as flowering plants are key sensory features. There is also a water feature to add a calming element for those sat enjoying the countryside views.

A Perfect Space to Spot Wildlife

Barbara Lewindon, 87, a resident at the Rochford care home, said: “The garden looks wonderful and we are looking forward to sitting outside when the weather warms up and enjoy a cup of tea while watching the wildlife.”

Patsy Munyard, home manager at Stambridge Meadows, said: “We wanted our residents to enjoy the full impact of the five acres of land we live on and for them to enjoy the panoramic views of the countryside.

“We have lots of wildlife that live around the grounds that visit on a daily basis, so we wanted to make the garden more accessible so our residents could enjoy spotting different animals and creatures.

“I love how the garden has turned out, it is an ongoing project that in the future we would love to be extended with different pathways to different areas of the land. The water feature is lovely and makes it a relaxing atmosphere for our residents to enjoy.”

Click here to find out more about Stambridge Meadows Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area

Our Atherton care home held a high-flying celebration for its residents this VE Day.

To mark 76 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe, the day began with a replay of Sir Winston Churchill’s victory speech. Enjoying VE Day themed cakes while watching, the speech brought back memories of the day in 1945 for many of the home’s residents.

Surrounded by paper chains, bunting and flags made during craft sessions in the days before, residents were given toy glider versions of iconic wartime planes. These conjured childhood memories of both the toys themselves and of seeing the aircraft they represent in the sky.

As well as having fun with the gliders, residents also enjoyed completing VE Day activity booklets and a reading special edition newspaper from the home’s Oomph On Demand digital activity platform.

As the soundtrack to 1940’s Britain filled the lounges, residents clapped, danced and sang along to some of their favourite wartime tunes.

Sharing Wartime Stories

The sights and sounds of the day led to a wonderful afternoon of sharing stories from the homefront and those who served. Midge, a resident of the Atherton care home said: “I can still remember everyone cheering when the news came that it was all over.”

Marjorie, who also lives at the Chanters, added: “I remember tucking into jam butties at the street party on our road!”

Following the afternoon of celebrations, the residents chose the perfect tea to finish off the day. In true 1940’s style, they opted for a fish and chip supper. Many of those who lived through the war remembered that fish and chips were one of the few foods not to be rationed. They recalled that this was because the government believed that safeguarding this comfort meal was a key way to keep morale up during a difficult time.

Click here to find out more about The Chanters Care Home

Or click here to search for care homes in your area