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Larchwood Life Newsletter – Summer 2023

Another Accolade for Mundy House

Continuing its award-winning streak, our Mundy House care home in Basildon has been recognised for its ‘outstanding contribution to care in Essex.’ The home won two awards at the Essex Care Sector Awards – The Prospers – and was highly commended in a further three categories. Mundy House has been recognised for care excellence at these awards every year they have run since the inaugural ceremony in 2016.

It took first place in the Digital Impact and Technology and Sensory categories and was highly commended in Team of the Year and Making a Difference. In addition, Dr Mohammad Aslam, one of the key health professionals working with the Mundy House team was named as an unsung hero.

Last year, Mundy House was awarded a gold medal by NHS England and Improvement – East of England Regional Team for an initiative raising awareness of keeping older people as physically fit as possible. Mundy House manager Josi George said: “I’m so proud of everyone at Mundy House. The whole team works hard every single day to make life full of love and laughter for our residents.

“The support we receive from families, friends and the local community is also important, and these awards are just fantastic. Thank you to everyone who contributes to making life at Mundy House as wonderful as it is.”

Puppies & Pimms – Name a Better Combination

Residents at Diamond House care home, nestled in the heart of Downham Market, experienced a heartwarming BBQ event, filled with joy and laughter as they were joined by some very special visitors – a group of adorable puppies!

In the care home’s serene garden, five charming cockapoo and dachshund puppies mingled with residents and their families, creating a delightful atmosphere that blended the sweetness of companionship with the delicious aroma of a barbeque buffet – and the refreshing clink of Pimm’s glasses.

The rather excitable furry guests managed to bring smiles to the faces of everyone at the home. This heartwarming visit stands as a testament to the diverse range of activities that Diamond House care home offers to residents. The carefully curated activities programme, tailored to individual interests and needs, aims to keep residents engaged, active, and full of life.

As we’ve shown in our newsletters, Larchwood Care is a strong believer in the benefits of pet therapy. This approach involves residents interacting with a variety of animals, including reptiles, birds of prey, Shetland ponies, alpacas – and now, the adorable puppies!

Sarah Hamer, team leader at Diamond House care home, said: “This is probably one of the best days I’ve had at work! Everyone was so excited for the puppies’ arrival and our residents have had a fabulous time. Studies show that bringing animals into care homes can increase social interaction and goes a long way to improve residents’ sense of wellbeing. These visits have really boosted our residents’ spirits!”

One resident said “I love dogs, so this visit has made my day! I’ve had a number of pets throughout my life and today has brought back some fantastic memories from years gone by!

“The home is always putting on these entertaining events for us, I’m already looking forward to whatever the next one may be!”

Appleby’s ‘Hopping Mad’ New Residents

Appleby Care Home in North Shields has some unusual new residents, adorable bunny rabbits Oreo and Snowy.

The introduction of Oreo and Snowy – named for the markings on their coats – is the idea of Appleby’s activities coordinator Elaine Rook. She’d noticed how much excitement was generated when petting zoos and other animals visited the home for pet therapy sessions, and wanted to be able to offer residents animals of their own to care for.

Clare Leonard, Larchwood Care’s home manager for Appleby, said: “Everyone is absolutely thrilled to introduce Oreo and Snowy into the Appleby family.

“Larchwood Care focusses on providing person-centred care that supports the overall well-being of our residents. Our residents wanted a pet, so we’ve listened and moved in Oreo and Snowy!”

“The therapeutic value of animals is amazing. Interacting with them can reduce stress, boost mood, and provide a sense of purpose and routine, which is incredibly important for people living with us.”

George Wood, who lives at Appleby care home, said: “The rabbits are getting big and I like them. They make me smile because I used to have rabbits. Can’t remember how many but there was a lot. Cleaning them out took a while, and my boys Gavin and Anthony watched – good memories!”

110 Years – VIP Visits And A Card From The King

An extraordinary milestone was recently celebrated at Cams Ridge Care Home in Fareham. Annie Samphire, one of the UK’s oldest citizens at 110 years, marked her special day surrounded by loved ones and well-wishers, including the local Mayor and Hampshire’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant, the King’s representative in the area.

Until someone just a few months older moved to the county, Annie held the title of Hampshire’s oldest woman. Her secret to a vibrant life? Simple pleasures and determination. She says that regular walks (she’s never had a driving licence!) and a fondness for sweets and ice cream before bed, have contributed to her impressive age and cheerful outlook.

Joined by family and guests, was a heartwarming affair. A card from King Charles III and Queen Camilla added royal warmth to the occasion. Annie’s story is one of love and resilience. Her life in Hampshire, aside from a brief stint in Australia, was deeply intertwined with her late husband, Harry, a baker. Their enduring love weathered challenges, including wartime hardships.

Annie’s family remains her source of strength. With two daughters, four grandchildren, six greatgrandchildren, and more to come, her legacy thrives. Her journey also underscores changing societal roles, as she faced workplace restrictions for married women having to leave her job at a local bazaar when she tied the knot with Harry. Betty Staley, Annie’s daughter, attributes her mother’s strength to a life well-lived. Transitioning to Cams Ridge Care Home was made easier by the supportive community and engaging activities. Betty, said: “My mum has always been a strong character and it’s no surprise to me or any of the family that she is celebrating her 110th birthday. She shows the power of love, determination, and embracing life’s joys.

“Cams Ridge Care Home has made such a fuss of her birthday and made it one for us all to remember. She was living at home until a year ago and is fiercely independent, but she has really embraced the social aspect of Cams Ridge and gets involved with all of the different activities the team put on.”

Annie said: “I’ve lived a long and happy life, and I have been lucky to have the love of a good husband and family. Everyone keeps asking me how I’ve done it and I tell them that it’s all about staying fit and enjoying yourself. Walk, rather than drive, when you can. And always say yes when offered a biscuit or chocolate bar. Life is for living and enjoying.”

Mrs Joan Ferrer JP DL, representing HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, said: “It was a huge honour to join Mrs. Samphire and her lovely family for her 110th birthday celebrations. She is an amazing lady who is full of fun and energy, and I believe her recipe for life will stand her in good stead for more years to come.”

Marie Toledo, home manager for Larchwood Care at Cams Ridge, spoke fondly of Annie’s incredible milestone. Marie said: “Annie is an extraordinary individual, and we are honoured to have her as part of our care home family as she celebrates her 110th birthday. She might be one of the oldest people in the UK, but don’t let that fool you – she still has a sharp wit and keeps everyone on their toes!”


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