Basildon care home Mundy House recreated the sights and sounds of a 1940’s street party to mark VE Day 2021.

With many residents having a living memory of the celebrations in May 1945, the team at home were keen to put on a fantastic day of activities.

In the week leading up to VE Day residents enjoyed painting Union Jack flags to decorate the home. On the day itself, bunting was placed around Mundy House and Union Jack bowler hats handed out to residents and staff.

Known for its regular sing-alongs, Mundy House was abuzz with renditions of wartime classics such as “The Lambeth Walk” and “Roll Out the Barrel.” Some residents clapped and sang along while others waved their flags and danced to the music.

Although rations were still very much a part of life in 1945, the Mundy House residents enjoyed a Great British afternoon tea as they discussed their memories of this historic day.

Weeks of Street Parties

Pat Horne, who lives at Mundy House, remembers being in London when news of the end of the war in Europe came: “People just went berserk and just ran everywhere. There was everyone under the sun in Buckingham Palace Road. You just couldn’t move! They were all singing.”

In a lovely video interview with Paul Little, activity coordinator at the Basildon care home, Pat remembers how the celebrations continued long after the day itself. “Afterwards there were street parties up the street. One after the other, every week or two, and we were all dressed up in red white and blue. It was wonderful!”

You can watch Pat recounting her memories of the war and of VE Day in London in the video from the Mundy House Facebook page below.

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Larchwood Care, one of the UK’s leading providers of care homes for the elderly, has been shortlisted for the prestigious LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award.

2020 has been a very strange year for everyone, not least for our residents. Our teams have gone to great lengths to keep those in our care safe during the pandemic. In addition, they have done an incredible job in enhancing residents’ wellbeing in the absence of visits from loved ones.

We are delighted that the hard work and dedication of our teams across the country has been recognised with a finalist place for the prestigious LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award! This year, the awards will take place in a virtual format on Thursday 22nd April.

To be shortlisted, entrants must display excellence in residential or nursing care for older people, with a focus on innovation and engagement with service users within a larger organisation.

The key drivers for the nomination were:

  • Larchwood Care’s commitment to supporting staff with training and career progression
  • The use of technology and innovation to ensure the efficient operation of Larchwood Care Homes. With in-house tech products including Care Portal, the IMPaCT Audit system and the HowDidWeDo? feedback app
  • Improvements in regulatory body ratings over the last 4 years. Including CQC scores rising from 41% Good or Outstanding overall to 85% Good or Outstanding

Lynn Fearn, managing director of Larchwood Care, said: “I am very proud that the organisation has been shortlisted for the LaingBuisson Large Residential Care award. This is a very important award and to have been shortlisted as a finalist from the many excellent applicants, is a major achievement in itself.

“As a care provider, we firmly believe that whatever an individual’s means, they deserve to feel safe, be cared for in a dignified and respectful manner and receive that care in as comfortable an environment as possible.

“I look forward to the awards being announced in due course and would like to congratulate everyone at Larchwood Care for getting this far. Without each and every member of staff being as dedicated as they are, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

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Spring has sprung and there is a great deal of optimism in the air at Larchwood Care Homes across the United Kingdom. 

In the months since our last newsletter, there have been some considerable steps forward in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a backdrop of encouraging vaccination rates and emotional reunions with loved ones, our teams have ensured residents remain active, entertained and full of the joys of spring!

Green Shoots of Recovery

In the Spring edition of Larchwood Life, you’ll get a sense of the excitement our residents have for their Covid-19 vaccinations and the step towards normality this has the potential to provide. This excitement was only overshadowed by the introduction of a regular designated visitor for each resident inside our homes in England and Scotland. While our residents in Wales have had to wait a little longer for government guidance, in this issue of the newsletter you’ll get to read about some of our residents’ first emotional reunions.

Sailing into Spring

Our dedicated activity teams have started 2021 with a spring in their step with a wealth of new ways to enhance our residents’ wellbeing. What better way to spend the colder months of the year than seeing the world from the comfort of your own home? From learning Mandarin and experiencing Chinese culture for Chinese New Year to celebrating Australia Day with ‘Bushtucker Trials’ our residents have been reminiscing about their travels and discovering new destinations. The Spring edition of Larchwood Life also shares how one home took its residents on a month-long world cruise without leaving Scotland!

An Exciting New Partnership

While our teams have been working hard to keep residents active and entertained, we appreciate how challenging this can be while unable to welcome our favourite performers, therapy pets, exercise professionals and community groups into our homes. That is why we have partnered with Oomph! the UK’s leading wellbeing business for older adults. The Oomph! on Demand platform allows residents to enjoy exercise classes, entertainers and quizzes at their leisure while providing our activity teams with a wealth of ideas and resources.

Read all of this and more in the Spring 2021 edition of the Larchwood Life Newsletter by clicking here.

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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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The residents and team at Basildon-based care home Mundy House are thrilled to have received their first Covid-19 vaccinations.

The vaccinations were administered at the home off Church Road in a Covid-secure environment.

Home Manager Josi George said: “This is fantastic news for our staff, our residents and their loved ones. The safety of our residents and staff remains paramount at this difficult time and we must do everything we can to ensure that we can continue to provide the best care to our residents. It has been a long road, and there is still a way to go, but we are happy to have reached this wonderful milestone. A huge thank you to everyone that has made this possible.”

The team at the Basildon-based care home have been working hard to keep their residents safe throughout the pandemic, but also to keep them in touch with loved ones through video and phone calls when visiting has not been possible.

A Happy Day

Mundy House resident Christine Summers said: “I am very happy to receive the Covid vaccine. I hope many more people will take up the offer so that we can all get back to a more normal life soon.”

Joyce Roberts, a fellow resident of Mundy House, added: “It is great to have had the first dose. I am thankful to all at Mundy House for arranging for us to have this vaccine here safely.”

Both residents and staff are now awaiting confirmation of their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the coming weeks. In the meantime, our team will ensure that residents remain safe and entertained with their usual in-house programme of activities and sing-along afternoons.

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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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We have started the year as we mean to go on at Mundy House. With a busy programme of activities and entertainment.

With new beginnings very much the theme of the new year and the new decade, residents of our care home in Basildon have been enjoying their brand new cafe experience. This provides an opportunity for friends to gather for a good old chat over coffee and cake in a coffee shop inspired environment.

To launch the Mundy House Cafe, we arranged for some fresh cream cakes and biscuits to be served alongside frothy cappuccinos. Adding to the coffee shop ambience, we had a selection of our residents’ favourite songs playing in the background.

Another January highlight from the Mundy House activities programme was the much-anticipated performance from a Neil Diamond impersonator. Many of our residents are huge fans of Neil Diamond’s songs, so this booking is always a popular one.

It did not take long for the dancing to begin. A great number of the Mundy House team joined in too, and as you might expect, the performance of ‘Sweet Caroline’ was met with a rapturous sing-along.

Music for Memories

Hearing songs from yesteryear can have a great impact on the wellbeing of residents. Music can spark happy memories of time spent with friends and loved ones, as well as special moments in their lives. When heard during a live performance, music can start conversations about the concerts and dances residents used to go to in their younger years. As with this particular performance, residents often enjoy teaching staff how to dance properly!

Live music forms a regular part of our activities programme, and we have formed great relationships with a host of entertainers from around the Basildon area. This means that you can enjoy performances from a wide variety of acts. From wartime songs and choirs, to rock ‘n’ roll and pop, you will find entertainment to suit all tastes at Mundy House.


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A wealth of generations have come together to celebrate a resident’s 101st birthday at Mundy House Care Home in Basildon

Nora English enjoyed a party with fellow residents and members of her family, including her daughter Gill Simmons, who regularly praises Mundy House for the work it does, as well as its fantastic members of staff.

Surrounded by beautiful flowers, a wonderful cake, and an impressive collection of cards, Nora had a lovely time celebrating and sharing many entertaining stories from her life.

Nora was married to her husband Archie, and after he passed away she met Tom, who she was with for ten years. She has had seven children – five daughters, Gill, Beryl, Mandy, Molly and the late Kathleen and two sons, Keith and Roger.

Keeping Active

Nora is a keen participant in Mundy House’s activities. She particularly enjoys being out in the fresh air with nature and around animals. Nora also used to enjoy knitting and gardening.

Nora has been a resident at the care home since 2012 and celebrates birthdays with her friends and family every year. Her family have expressed their thanks to the home for continuing to deliver excellent levels of care and for being instrumental in Nora having a long and healthy life.

Josi George, home manager at Mundy House, said; “Nora is such a lovely member of our home. She’s so friendly and caring and she always brings a smile to my face every time I see her.”

Nora’s daughter, Gill who is 75, said: “We all had a wonderful time at Mum’s 101st birthday party. The home went to a great deal of effort to make sure it was special.

“I can’t fault Mundy House at all. The staff are brilliant and the care they provide is second to none!”


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