At Hope House care home in Accrington, our friendly team work hard to ensure that our residents are able to enjoy events, activities and celebrations that are special to them.

That is why drinks were toasted at the home in Clayton-le-Moors as newlywed bride surprised her grandfather with a outside visit on her wedding day in July.

John Southcott, a resident at Hope House, was visited by his granddaughter, Laura, before she travelled to her wedding reception. John had been unable to attend the wedding ceremony on the day, but Laura was determined to ensure that he did not miss out on celebrating her big day.

While adhering to social distancing rules and wearing the correct PPE, Laura posed for photos in the home’s garden, letting residents admire the detail on her stunning dress.

A Wedding Day Toast

To top off the celebrations, staff members also served up glasses of champagne as a special treat – a fitting way to mark the wonderful occasion.

John said that he was delighted at being able to take pictures of Laura in her dress and expressed his delight at being involved in her special day, even if he was not able to attend in person.

He said: “It felt incredible to see Laura before she got married; she looked absolutely stunning and I felt so proud. I am so glad I still got to see her on her special day.”

On behalf of everyone at Hope House, we hope you had an amazing day, Laura! We wish you and long and happy marriage, and we are already looking forward to welcoming you back to the home to go through all of your amazing wedding pictures when it safe to do so.


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At Hope House Care Home in Accrington, our staff are always looking for ways to help residents feel connected to their loved ones.

That is why Sheila O’Connor, a resident at Hope House, recently received a heart-warming gift from one of the team members at the home.

Night carer Charmaine Douglas noticed that Sheila likes to keep a picture of her husband close by when she sleeps. Unfortunately, most mornings the picture would be found on the floor. Upon noticing this, Charmaine had the idea to buy her a custom-made photo pillow so she could stay close to her husband and cuddle up to his picture every night.

Charmaine said: “I have a really close relationship with Sheila and spent many a night shift chatting with her about her husband, so I know how much he means to her.  That gave me the idea for the cushion so she could give him a cuddle every day, which she has throughout since the pandemic.”

Further Gifts From Her ‘Secret Admirer’

Sheila first met her husband Tony while making pans at the Burco factory and, despite her initial claims that she tried to avoid Tony, the pair fell in love and decided to get married. They have remained together for over 48 years.

Even after almost half a century together, the pair are still keen to ensure that the romance doesn’t die out. During the recent period of visiting restrictions, Tony has taken to driving by her window at the care home in Accrington each day to see her. He also regularly sends gifts to Sheila addressed from her ‘secret admirer.’

At Larchwood, our friendly homes are constantly looking at ways to help residents stay connected and keep in touch with their loved ones. Our teams work hard to organise events and activities that stimulate residents, as well as bring back happy memories.

You can watch the moment Sheila was presented with her gift in the video below:

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With visiting restrictions in place, our team at Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors were even more determined to go the extra-mile for resident Kathleen Blakeley’s 101st birthday.

Although the restrictions on visiting our homes are designed to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff members, we understand that it is difficult for our residents and families to be apart on special days, such as birthdays.

To mark her incredible milestone, our staff organised a garden party, complete with party food and socially distanced singer. Throughout the day, Kathleen opened her cards, presents and flowers while being serenaded by some of her favourite songs and enjoying some of her favourite snacks.

On her big day, Kathleen was also surprised by staff members and fellow residents as they wore an array of fancy-dress costumes featuring some of the most iconic celebrities and fashion trends from each decade of her life.

A Remarkable Career in Baking

Kathleen was born in Blackburn in 1919 and began her working life as a baker and confectioner when she was only 14 years old. At her work, she specialised in decorating wedding cakes before later getting married herself. During her 33 years of marriage, she had a daughter and a son before the passing of her husband.

Kathleen also worked as a cook at Blackburn College for 20 years before retiring at the age of 65. Since her retirement, Kathleen has devoted her life to her three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She also enjoys reading and knitting and is rarely seen without a book or knitting needles in her hands at the home.

Kathleen has been described as a “wonderful character” by staff at the care home in Clayton-le-Moors, who couldn’t wait to present her with her cards and flowers on her big day.

Kathleen’s daughter, Patricia Worsley, was thrilled with the gesture and thanked the team for all they had done to make her mother’s birthday so special. Patricia said; “Thank you so much to everyone that took time out of their busy schedules to help my mother enjoy and celebrate her birthday. I can’t thank the carers at Hope House enough for all their help over the past year.”

On behalf of everyone here at Larchwood, we hope you had a wonderful day, Kathleen!


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A group of residents from Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors have enjoyed a spot of retail therapy and a leisurely lunch in the market town of Skipton.

The home prides itself on being able to offer residents frequent trips out in the local area. This gives us great flexibility and allows residents to suggest places they would like to visit. Recently, the activities team received a request to organise a shopping trip to Skipton. Hope House residents Kathleen, Pat and Ernie had a lovely day in the town. They enjoyed a traditional pub lunch in the Red Lion, with scampi and chips the order of the day.

Following a nice chat over a round of coffees, the group enjoyed a walk around the shops. Escorted by members of our team, they wandered around the high street stores and found some great local independent shops. While in the town centre, Pat treated herself to a new diary, a cardigan and some liquorice. Meanwhile, Kathleen bought herself a new blouse and a bracelet.

Favourite Places

Offering trips to residents is an important part of what we do at Hope House Care Home. A great number of our residents have lived in the local area for most of their lives, so being able to take them to the places they have always loved to visit offers great comfort. It also shows that moving into a care home does not mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy.

Many of the places we visit hold special memories for our residents, whether they be from their childhood or the places they visited with their own children. Our dedicated team are always happy to listen to suggestions for day trips, and where possible, will organise excursions that are special to you.


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The residents of Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, near Accrington, have been whisked away to a mystical land with a performance of the pantomime Aladdin.

The home, which has use of its own minibus, organises frequent trips for residents. There are many favourite destinations that residents like to visit, but the Hope House team are always happy to listen to new suggestions. During January, quite a few residents said that they would really like to see a pantomime. For many, trips to the theatre have formed a large part of their lives and provided many happy memories. With that in mind, we had to make their wishes come true!

With such a large contingent excited at the thought of watching a performance, we organised two trips to the Muni Theatre in Colne. This year’s pantomime was the classic Aladdin, with a star-studded cast of actors from a host of TV shows. The big star of the show this year was Bruce Jones, or Les Battersby, as fans of Coronation Street will know him. He played a devilishly good villain as Abanazar. Also in the cast this year were Kelsey Beth Crossley (Scarlett Nicholls from Emmerdale), and Sean Smith (from X Factor’s Same Difference).

Free Ice Cream!

The first trip saw residents John, Pat, Brenda, Evelyn, Kathleen, Dorothy and Christina enjoy the spectacle. While the second trip gave Jean, Barbara, Geoff, Kathleen, her husband Gordon, Kevin and Ernie the chance to rekindle their love of the theatre. As an extra surprise, during the interval break, everyone got a complimentary tub of ice cream and a drink.

All of our residents had a wonderful time and have not stopped talking about their trip to the theatre since. We are now regularly checking the theatre listings to plan our next big outing!


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This Christmas, residents from Hope House Care Home in Clayton le Moors were pleased to be invited to have Christmas dinner with a group of local pre-school children. The children and staff at Early Start Nursery in Oswaldtwistle welcomed a group of our residents to join them for their annual Christmas lunch.

Pat, Evelyn, Christina, and Kathleen enjoyed roast turkey with all the trimmings, complete with crackers, Christmas hats, and a good old Christmas sing-along. They loved spending time with the children and hearing about the things they had asked Santa to bring. As the afternoon drew to a close, the nursery presented each of the residents with a box of chocolates.

We believe it is very important for our residents to spend time with the younger generations, with many proven benefits for both parties. Visits like this can help promote wellbeing, social skills, and improve memory skills. This particular afternoon at Easy Start Nursery helped our residents to reminisce about their own childhood memories of Christmas.

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At Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors, we are able to offer our residents regular trips to explore the local area. During December these trips take on a festive feel, helping our residents get into the Christmas spirit.

We are lucky to have many attractions and businesses close-by that really go to town for their Christmas displays. Recently a group of Hope House residents enjoyed a visit to Birkacre Garden Centre in Chorley. John, his wife Linda, Geoff, Brenda, Jim, and Christina asked if we could take them there to see the now infamous festive displays.

During the visit, they got to pose with Santa’s sleigh and penguins, while Christina treated herself to a lovely necklace and some chocolate cherry liqueurs. To round off their visit, the group enjoyed a delicious lunch in the cafe.

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With the season of goodwill upon us, residents and staff at Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors are turning their thoughts to those less fortunate this Christmas. A collection point for the local food bank and the Clayton Baptist Church Food Pantry has been set up in the care home.

With one tub filled with food and clothing already, we are aiming to have another one ready to donate before Christmas. The Hope House team and residents are very keen to put something back into the community to help people that are struggling at this time of year.

If you can help too, please pop in to see us at Rishton Road, Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington. We will be more than happy to pass on your donations.

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A spot of retail therapy is always a firm favourite with the residents of Hope House Care Home. As part of our activities programme, we offer many trips out around Accrington and the surrounding area.

Recently, a group of Hope House residents asked to visit the Gordon Rigg Garden Centre at Todmorden. The garden centre, one of the biggest in the North, boasts a Mill Shop with a huge range of homeware, and at this time of year, a beautifully decorated Christmas Shop.

Our activities team took Kathleen, Edna, and Bill along to look for some new things for their rooms in the Mill Shop and to pick up some new Christmas decorations. Afterwards, they all enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Cotton Weavers Cafe.

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Residents at Hope House Care Home in Clayton-le-Moors love to visit our local garden centres in the run-up to Christmas. A lot of them go to great effort for their impressive Christmas displays, and it has become a Hope House tradition to visit the best.

On our most recent trip, a group of residents and the Hope House team visited Barton Grange in Preston. They loved seeing the displays, browsing the Christmas decorations, and doing a spot of Christmas shopping.

Like all good retail therapy sessions, we finished the trip with lunch in the garden centre restaurant. Although it may seem a bit early, Evelyn, a Hope House resident, couldn’t resist ordering the full turkey dinner!

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