There is much excitement in the air at Larchwood Care Homes across the country thanks to a new online digital wellbeing platform.

We are proud to have partnered with Oomph! The UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults, to roll out their Oomph On Demand platform to all of our care homes in England, Wales and Scotland.

Oomph On Demand is a welcome addition to the well-established activity programmes at each of our homes. All Larchwood Care Homes have at least one dedicated activity coordinator organising a varied and engaging wellbeing calendar of events each week.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, our residents would enjoy regular visits from community groups, entertainers and fitness instructors, as well as enjoying day trips in the local area. During the last year, these have sadly been put on hold. However, our teams have been innovating with technology to ensure that our residents continue to do the things they love most.

From touring the world on virtual cruises to hosting virtual Christmas parties with relatives via Zoom, technology has been hugely important in keeping everyone active and entertained during lockdown periods.

A New Way to Stay Active

Following the first lockdown of 2020 the Oomph! team launched their innovative Oomph On Demand wellbeing platform brimming with digital content to further enhance the mind, body and soul of care home residents.

Thanks to our partnership, Larchwood Care residents and care teams have a wealth of interactive quizzes, musical performers, exercise classes, virtual escapes, and history documentaries at their fingertips 24/7.

While Oomph On Demand will be great to assist with group activities on large smart TVs, it can also be accessed on a one-to-one basis on our homes’ activity tablets or residents’ own devices whenever they wish.

The platform also comes with an abundance of training and resources to assist our Larchwood Care teams with their activity planning.

Encouraging Engagement With Technology

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Larchwood Care, said: “The Oomph On Demand platform is an exciting addition to our extensive activity plans for the homes. Also, it helps us to encourage our residents to engage with technology more effectively.

“At a time when inviting people into our homes such as intergenerational groups, dance teachers or entertainers is not possible, these on-demand activities will help in keeping our residents stimulated and active. Our homes are usually a hive of activity so it is important that we look at every way we can to continue to enrich the lives of our residents at this time.”

Ben Allen, chief executive of Oomph Wellness, said: “I am delighted that Oomph! will be partnering with Larchwood Care on the launch of our new digital wellbeing platform – Oomph! On Demand. Oomph! On Demand provides a wide range of expertly created wellbeing content all in one easy to navigate platform. I am so pleased we can offer this resource to care teams and residents at Larchwood Care Homes, that will enhance meaningful engagement 7 days a week.”

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With Christmas just around the corner, we wanted to take the time to share some news from Larchwood Care Homes across the United Kingdom. 

Following another difficult few months of varying visiting restrictions across all of our homes, we are proud to say that our teams have continued to ensure our residents are well cared for and continue to enjoy fulfilling lives.

Creative Thinking

The creativity of our staff is something that has really shone through during the pandemic. They have worked hard to come up with new things for our residents to enjoy while also adapting old favourites. Summer fundraising events are something we look forward to each year, welcoming relatives and friends into our gardens for fetes and BBQs to raise money for the residents’ fund. While these events have not been able to go ahead this year, our homes have looked to other innovative ways to fundraise. In this newsletter, you’ll read how one home called on some established names from the world of literature and film to help them raise funds.

Remembrance Goes Ahead

Remembrance commemorations are hugely important to many residents in our homes. With the usual remembrance events cancelled across the country this year, Larchwood Care teams put their thinking caps on once again to ensure our residents could continue to mark this occasion in a safe way. From knitting fundraisers to in-home services lead by staff members and stunning handmade memorials, you’ll find out how they ensured remembrance could still go ahead.

Awards and Recognition

We’ve also taken some time to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our Larchwood Care teams with our Staff Recognition Week. A week dedicated to thanking staff for all they have done during this challenging year to keep our residents safe. In this edition, you’ll read how they celebrated and how their hard work has been recognised with a prestigious industry award nomination!

You can download the Autumn/Winter 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.

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As we head towards Autumn, we are delighted to deliver the latest edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter. Despite visiting restrictions, our teams have worked hard to ensure our residents have enjoyed a fun-packed summer.

With plenty of sunny days over the last few months, our residents have been able to make the most of our gardens, with many able to welcome loved ones for Safe Outside Visits.

In this edition of Larchwood Life, you will discover how we have been improving many of our outside spaces, keeping residents in touch with local communities and reminiscing with the silver screen.

The Great Outdoors

We love to see our residents relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors. That is why we have been working hard to improve the gardens at Larchwood Care Homes. Residents have enjoyed getting involved in these projects and getting hands-on with the planting. You’ll learn how we have been ensuring these spaces are accessible for all, with sensory elements to enhance the experience for those with dementia.

Getting Creative

At Larchwood Care, we are incredibly proud of the creativity and determination of our teams. Not only has the coronavirus pandemic presented many challenges around keeping residents in touch with loved ones, but it has also meant that we are not able to invite our residents’ favourite entertainers and activity providers into our homes. It has also put a stop to our much-loved outings. In this edition, you’ll discover some of the inventive ways our teams have been able to ensure our residents continue to enjoy their favourite events and activities.

Movie Premieres

On downloading the newsletter you will also learn how the kindness of the local community has helped residents of two of our homes reminisce about happy times at the pictures. Thanks to some very kind donations, residents have enjoyed movie premieres in their own homes.

You can download the Last Summer 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.


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Welcome to the first digital edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter. With visiting restrictions currently in place at our care homes across the United Kingdom, we believe it is more important than ever to share good news from Larchwood Care’s residents and teams. 

At Larchwood Care, we are working hard to ensure that our residents’ relatives and supporters of our homes can stay in touch with the great things that have been happening to keep life for our residents as normal and fulfilling as possible under difficult circumstances.

In this edition of Larchwood Life, you will discover how technology and social media have become an important part of maintaining contact with loved ones while also combatting loneliness during life in lockdown.

Maintaining High Standards of Care

With routine regulatory inspections on hold due to visiting restrictions, great ratings for Larchwood Care Homes have continued to be reported and celebrated by our teams and residents. In this newsletter, you will be able to read about the fantastic standards achieved in the eyes of the Care Quality Commission and the Care Inspectorate.

This edition also provides an insight into how Larchwood Care has been ensuring the health and safety of our residents and staff by sourcing and distributing appropriate PPE to all of our homes.

Community Kindness

Celebrating the kindness of our communities is another big theme of this publication, demonstrating that the general public’s admiration and appreciation of the social care sector reaches far beyond Thursday evening’s Clap For Our Carers event

On downloading the newsletter you will also discover how events such as VE Day, birthdays, and even a hen do have continued to be made special for our residents thanks to our incredibly caring and creative teams.

You can download the May 2020 edition of the Larchwood Life May 2020 Newsletter by clicking this link.


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There were balloons, ribbons, and a feast fit for a centenarian at Great Horkesley Manor, as one of our residents celebrated their 102nd birthday.

Phyllis Webber, who had previously worked as a nurse at the old Severalls Hospital in Colchester, was joined by friends, family, and fellow residents for an afternoon tea party in the newly refurbished Great Horkesley Manor lounge areas.

Phyllis’ son Peter and her daughter Linda joined the celebrations as she opened a considerable number of presents and cards. In addition, Phyllis also has three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Phyllis’ daughter Linda said: “We had such an enjoyable afternoon. The home planned a great party and there were so many people there to celebrate mum’s birthday.”

Having lived at Great Horkesley Manor for five years, Phyllis is a keen participant in the busy activities programme at the home. Watching wildlife in the beautiful grounds and attending church services are among her favourite pastimes. Every year, the care team organise a huge party for her, which has become a highlight for her fellow residents at the home too.

“I’m Always Up for a Party”

Phyllis said: “I had a lovely time celebrating my birthday with my friends and family at Great Horkesley Manor. Although I’m not getting any younger, I’m always up for a party, it was great fun!”

Lacina Sylla, deputy manager at Great Horkesley Manor, said: “Phyllis is a wonderful member of the Great Horkesley Manor family. She’s a very happy lady who enjoys pottering around in her room or helping others around the home.

“I hope she enjoyed celebrating her birthday with her friends and family at the home as much as we did.”

At Great Horkesley Manor, your friends and family are welcome to visit at any time, particularly on your birthday. Our friendly team are always happy to help organise events to celebrate the occasions that are special to you.


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Great Horkesley Manor Care Home in Great Horkesley, Colchester, has been praised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following its most recent inspection by the independent regulator.

The home on Nayland Road was given an overall rating of ‘Good;’ following the CQC inspection.

The CQC judges care homes on their levels of care, responsiveness, safety, effectiveness and leadership. They also incorporate comments from residents and their relatives into their assessments. Following this, the CQC produces a report of their findings.

The latest report for Great Horkesley Manor highlighted the positive management system and staff commitment which enabled residents to live according to their own preferences.

A Friendly Atmosphere

One resident told the CQC representatives: “There’s a very friendly atmosphere here. I know if I am worried about anything they will help me.”

Another resident added: “There’s a very friendly attitude throughout here. It’s a very pleasant place to live. I could go anywhere here, and they would be friendly to me at all times. The staff are respectful. They know what they’re doing, and I would trust them. I feel wanted here.”

Other comments from the inspectors included:

“The service was consistently managed and well-led”

“People’s needs were met through good organisation and delivery”

“People were supported and treated with dignity and respect; and involved as partners in their care”

“People’s outcomes were consistently good, and their feedback confirmed this”

Continuous Improvement

Alison Day, Home Manager at Great Horkesley Manor, said: “The CQC’s recognition of the quality of care provided at Great Horkesley and its rating of ‘good’ is testament to the hard work, dedication, passion and expertise of the staff.

“We all pride ourselves on delivering individualised and person-centred care to enable our residents to have maximum choice and to live as fulfilling a life as possible.

“While we are delighted to have received such a positive inspection, we won’t be resting on our laurels and are always looking at ways to improve.”

Great Horkesley Manor Care Home has recently undergone significant refurbishment work to the original manor part of the building. This includes a stylish new lounge bar and stunning recreational areas.

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Christmas has officially arrived at Great Horkesley Manor Care Home near Colchester. A huge Christmas tree with twinkling lights greeted visitors to our Christmas Fair on Friday 29th November. Friends, relatives, and local residents joined Great Horkesley Manor’s residents for an evening of festive fun.

The annual event saw a whole host of stalls offering festive food and gifts, while local performers entertained the crowds. Local children also got the chance to meet Santa in his grotto to tell him about their Christmas wishes. The Colchester Branch of The Royal British Legion helped ensure the evening was a merry one, by providing a mulled wine tent.

All together we raised £521 for the residents’ fund, which will help us to organise more exciting events and activities for them to enjoy in 2020.

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Residents at Great Horkesley Manor Care Home near Colchester have enjoyed the first special occasion in their newly refurbished lounge bar. Extensive works to the front rooms of the original manor house have created modern, warm and welcoming spaces for residents to relax, with stunning views of the surrounding grounds.

The first gathering of residents in the new lounge bar was to celebrate Great Horkesley Manor resident Zoe’s 100th birthday. Surrounded by birthday balloons and banners, residents, relatives, and the Great Horkesley team joined Zoe for a birthday tea party. Zoe was presented with a beautiful handmade cake to mark her milestone.

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Residents at Great Horkesley Manor Care Home near Colchester have some lovely new spaces to relax. Two of the feature rooms in the original part of the manor house have been lovingly refurbished.

Work began in the summer in conjunction with HomeSmiths Interior Designs, to create a tea room, sunroom, and new lounge bar with a comfortable contemporary feel. New features for the rooms include bespoke built-in bookshelves and storage spaces, as well as a purpose-built bar.

With light and warming colours, comfortable furnishings, and elegant fireplaces, our residents will be able to enjoy these homely and inviting new spaces while watching winter wildlife in our stunning grounds.

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Residents at Great Horkesley Manor have had another exciting month of events and activities. Cake has certainly been a recurring theme during the start of Autumn at the Manor. With the MacMillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, trips to Fillpots local garden centre, and even a ‘Star Baker’ award at a Care Home Bake Off Competition!

To counteract all of those lovely treats we have also enjoyed a lot of dancing. Residents have been having a good old boogie at our Friday afternoon disco dancing sessions, which are a great way to start the weekend, and also help to promote mobility. Last month also saw the return of firm Great Horkesley Manor favourites Air Raid Jive, with their wartime songs and swing dancing.

Read all about this month’s shenanigans at the Manor by downloading the newsletter below.


Great Horkesley Manor Newsletter October 2019

Click here to find out more about Great Horkesley Manor Care Home

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