FAREWELL FOR JOHN SPENCER
It was a holy communion that brought tears to the eyes of the residents and John Spencer as he conducted his last holy communion with the residents last month.
Mr Spencer has been providing Holy Communion to the residents at Holmwood, Little Manor and Kimberly for more than three years and since moving to another church could no longer serve the residents.
“It is always a joy coming to the home and seeing the lovely faces of the residents who are always looking forward to the communion,” he said.
He was so emotional as he received his Thank you present and a card from the residents and was so moved by the many thank you given by the residents.
Pauline said it was sad seeing him go but he has been very faithful with his duty every month.
John said he was so touched by the gesture and would really miss the residents since he has really gotten to know them really well.
He told the residents even though he was over 90 years old, he loved this work because it was always a blessing carrying out the Holy communion.
The residents will be welcome their new Pastor to provide Holy Communion at the end of the month.
SPECIAL BOND AND RELATIONSHIP
With the appointment of the second female Prime Minister in the United Kingdom it has prompted a time to reminisce on the life of the first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and a special relationship forged during her leadership.
Holmwood resident Irene Palmer is an ardent; Conservative political supporter that saw her being a member of the Thornton Heath London Ward where she had the opportunity to meet with the countries new female leader.
“I met Mrs Thatcher when she came over for a visit to our Ward during her extensive countrywide election campaign”.
“She ended up helping us out doing the washing with her rubber gloves and it was nice to see one of the senior members of the party mingling with the rest of the Ward members and supporters”.
She said, Mrs Thatcher was a strong minded woman that saw her take on the top job in the country and as the first female Prime Minister which was a milestone victory for the party.
Irene said she joined the ward as a member of the Conservative party in the 1960s before getting married and continued her party work after getting married.
“My husband was not a political motivated person but he supported what I did and I am always grateful for that”.
“We used to hold dinner parties at our Ward and had senior Conservative party members including Sir John Major who was part of it and we have met on numerous occasions during this time,”
She said even being over 90 years she still keeps herself updated with the political news by watching television and reading her newspaper daily and having another female Prime Minister was just a joy to see.
Irene said it was good to see female politicians taking up top posts in the Government and that was something to be celebrated.
A BIRTHDAY NOT TO BE MISSED
The 90th birthday celebration for the Queen was something the residents from the five homes looked forward to last month
Celebrations started on Friday and the lounges were filled with the residents with their hot cup of coffee, tea and pieces of cake waiting eagerly to catch a glimpse of the Queen at the church service at St Paul”s Cathedral.
Everyone were awed by her lovely yellow ensemble and matching hat that showed she was the celebrated woman of the week.
Holmwood resident Irene said she could only imagine what the city of London looked like with such a pompous occasion.
“ It is always pleasing to see the royal family attending functions and something everyone looked forward to all the time even during our days,” she said.
At Castle View, the residents were treated to a party in the lounge with old songs and flying of the flag and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
It was the same for the residents at Little Manor as they celebrated with cakes and music and every home had their lounges decorated for the occasion.
It was a different atmosphere at Holmwood on Saturday morning with the lounge filled up by the residents who had woken up early in the morning to be part of the Trooping of the Colour celebrations.
Residents Hazel and Rodney made sure they were in the lounge before the live coverage in the morning and it was an anticipated one because they loved to spend their days in their rooms daily.
“This is a very special occasion and is best watched with other residents and I really enjoyed myself chatting and having a cup of tea and cake while watching the procession, very colourful indeed,” said Hazel.
It was three days of admiring the life of a Queen that was of similar age as them but someone they admired and are proud to call their Queen.
TEAM WESSEX ENJOY DAY OUT AT WILTSHIRE COLLEGE
THE Queen birthday celebration for all Salisbury residents hosted by Wiltshire College saw the residents take home two prizes in May.
The college hall was filled with residents, carers, students and teachers from the Social Care department who had hosted the morning tea party.
College staff Helen Clarke welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending since they had come from in and around the Salisbury area.
The residents enjoyed manicure from the Beauty School students and listened to the lovely entertainment while waiting for their tea and cakes to be served at their table.
After the entertainment and enjoying a cup of tea and the delicious spread of cakes and sandwiches, they started the bingo for the residents who were all excited and ready for it.
Little Manor resident Mary took home the second prize for the bingo prizes and it really made her day with a huge smile on her face.
It was the team quiz afterwards that saw what Team Wessex was made of as they grabbed the prize beating the other teams.
Laughter and claps erupted from the residents as they were told the team had won the prize and they really enjoyed it.
Mary said she thoroughly enjoyed herself and looked forward to the next outing.
Holmwood residents Lucy and Christine said it was a nice surprise especially having a bingo and quiz session and they really enjoyed themselves.
Helen thanked everyone for attending the party and allowing the students to spend time with them which made a huge difference especially with the course they were studying.
DAY OUT AT PORTON PETS
The residents from the five homes of Wessex Care had an enjoyable afternoon meeting up and seeing their favourite pets at Porton Pets last month.
It was an afternoon of reminiscing about the various pets that they loved and cared for.
Little Manor resident Mary said she was excited about the trip in the morning and it has been a very enjoyable outing.
“I enjoyed it very much and it was lovely looking at the different pets they have here,” she said.
Holmwood resident Christine said she was looking forward to the trip and had her camera packed the previous evening to take pictures of the pets.
“I have been telling my son about this trip, I have not been to the place before but it really is a beautiful place with all the animals and pets under one roof”, she said.
She said meeting other residents from the other homes was something new but they enjoyed it very much.
Lucy said it was nice to see the turtles and seeing the fish tanks brought back a lot of very good memories.
“I love turtles and the colourful fish in the tank are very beautiful and they have all the varieties here, “she said.
She said it was surprising they also had doves and all different kinds to choose from and it would be hard for buyers to choose since they were all beautiful.
The residents from Kimberly House also had a great time while being shown around.
The group later met at the coffee shop and enjoyed cups of coffee, hot chocolate and cake and tried out the delicious ice cream.
Meeting as a group from the different homes of Wessex Care added to individuals social friendship groups as they will all meet from time to time on other local outings.
CHAMPAGNE BASH FOR MARJORIE”S 102TH BIRTHDAY
Greatly anticipated day for the residents of Holmwood as they filled the lounge to await the 102th birthday celebration of Marjorie Wilkinson last Wednesday.
Marjorie was pampered by the staff, residents and had her family members with their family celebration starting at the home on Monday.
She was up early and had her hair done by the hairdresser and looked beautiful in her pink suit which brightened up the lounge.
By 2pm, all the couches in the lounge ware filled by the residents as they had been primed earlier in the morning that it was Marjorie’s 102 birthday.
Molly said it was amazing to know that she was living with a friend that had reached this amazing milestone age.
“Oh my days, am so happy for her and the beautiful thing about it she looks way younger and still looks very healthy. It must be her genes, how lucky, “she said.
Thea said she would not want to miss the celebration because it was once in a blue moon that a person celebrated their 102th birthday.
Granddaughter Alison had flown from California in the United States to be with her on her special day.
“I was here for her 100th birthday and I missed the one last year but I told her last Christmas I will be here to celebrate her birthday this year.
“I hope to be here for her 104th birthday because she still looks good and we hope she will be here a few more years,” she said.
The party started at 3pm, when her grandchildren arrived at the home, the residents, staff and family members sang happy birthday and she was showered with gifts.
The residents wished her the best of health and they dug into their delicious chocolate cake coupled with Champagne, red wine and sherry.
The family members also had a time to talk to the other residents who were very happy to be part of the celebration.
LARGE SCULPTURE VISIT AT SALISBURY CATHEDRAL
It was an eagerly anticipated day when a few residents from Holmwood took a trip down to the Salisbury Cathedral to see Sue Ryder”s unique sculptures that were on show last month.
Christine said she woke up really early last Thursday to prepare herself for the day since it was a special one.
“I love going to the Salisbury Cathedral because the building is very unique and with the large sculptures inside it I could not wait to go and see them,” she said.
The residents were early to the dining room to have their lunch and the topic was all about the trip because it was also a day out for them.
They were ready with their warm coats when the taxi arrived at the home at 2pm and with the help of volunteer Lynda, they were at the Cathedral by 2.30pm.
Even though the weather was quite chilly, there was excitement and the walk to the main entrance of the Cathedral was never felt.
Tour guide Patricia awaited them at the Cathedral and suggested they tour the inside which had a couple of sculptures and it was also nice and warm compared to the chilly weather outside in the court.
Patricia informed the group that there are a couple of sculptures inside the Cathedral and the most of the smaller ones in the court and on the greens outside.
“I do not really know how long it took her to do the sculptures but they are mainly wired figures of the artist but on heads of animals- it is something really different indeed,” she said.
Lucy was so struck by the large sculptures and said it was the first time she had seen such beautiful work.
“It is very strong and she must have worked for a long time doing all of them and it is very breath taking indeed,” she said.
Christopher said it was interesting seeing the heads of the animals a human figure and it was “ quite smart”.
The sculpture examines the realm of relationships of the artist through her own family and at the same time challenging us to consider how we interact with each other and loved ones.
Her blend of human and animal forms is used as a metaphor to discuss a complex range of human emotions.
The tour ended with a cup of hot chocolate and scones with cream at the Rectory Café and excited discussions of the unique sculptures they just witnessed and admired.
JESSIE”S LETTER FROM THE QUEEN
100 years of life was celebrated being surrounded by family, friends and a special birthday congratulatory letter from the Queen.
Kimberly House Nursing Home resident and former military Sergeant Jessie Bradshaw could never have asked for more last Friday when the lounge was decked with colourful decorations, cakes, presents and the people she loved the most all there to witness this day.
Niece Susie Ambury said it was sweeter after receiving the letter from the Queen and it was very special indeed for the family.
“To read out the letter and have the Queen personally sign it and sent to her for her birthday is just so lovely and she really deserved it because she is a very loving woman,” she said.
The letter read “ I am pleased to know that you are celebrating your hundredth year. I send my congratulations and best wishes on such a special occasion- signed Elizabeth “
She said her aunty had six other siblings and only one sister was still alive in Australia at the age of 96 years.
Mrs Ambury said that Jessie was a very strong woman, always enjoyed her food and was still driving her car and visiting friends at the age of 92 years.
“She then moved to Willowcroft Care Home and stayed there for five years before moving to Kimberly House Nursing Home and has been well looked after and managed to reach this amazing age,” she said.
Long-time friend Elizabeth Poltow said Mrs Bradshaw was a Sergeant in the Women’s Royal Army Corp during World War two.
“She trained as a tailoress before joining the army and it was during that time that she met her husband who was an officer in the army.
“After the war she continued her work as looking after the prisoners of war at Nether Hampton and used her skills of tailoring to make soft toys for the charities, “she said.
She said that after leaving the army she became greatly involved with the community and started the New Forest Wine club and it was her famous bird sap wine that was always sort after while living at Keepers Cottage in No Man”s Land.
Mrs Poltow said she made a lot of lifetime friends who were part of the celebration and managed small chats with her.
The day ended with cutting her birthday cake and opening her many presents and the delicious spread prepared by the homes chef and enjoyed by the family, friends and staff at the home.
IT SURELY TICKLED THEM PINK
Having a live performance with sing along and dances makes a whole lot difference for the residents at the five homes of Wessex Care.
Every month they get to enjoy the different themed entertainment production of the talented, professionally trained Tickled Pink performers in their own home lounges.
Last week, Milford Manor residents filled their lounge and enjoyed songs from the 1940s of a romantic comedy musical theatre titled “We Will Meet Again “of two love birds during the World War and there was plenty of singing and dancing from the residents.
Residents were given hats and flags to use as part of the entertainment and they wore it with pride and so much laughter.
Resident Josephine said she looked forward to the entertainment every month because they are really good.
“ Every month they bring us different musicals and we love the songs that they sing to us, especially sing alongs that always bring back happy memories, “she said
She said they really enjoy themselves every time the group are at the home to entertain them and it is always a full house.
Ted said he looked forward to the performance every month and made sure he was always at the lounge on time.
“ I make sure I am at the lounge half an hour early so I can get the best seat and enjoy their performance,” he said.
He said the entertainers are very good and they have beautiful voices even without using a microphone .Tickled Pink staff Becki said it was always rewarding to entertain at the various care homes.
“ That is the best thing about this job that we do, seeing the smiling faces and the residents singing along with so much enthusiasm makes our day,” she said.
She said their musicals are “more or less a party” because they make sure the residents thoroughly enjoy themselves and dance to the songs that they know.
Tickled Pink have over 10 different ready-made shows that can be with two to five people, the Christmas Panto is a particular favourite.
WELCOMING THE WARM WEATHER
RESIDENTS of Holmwood Residential Home enjoyed the warm afternoon sunshine and fresh air with a cup of tea in the garden last week.
It was two days of relaxation and chatting with the other residents out in the garden and something they hope to look forward to once the weather gets warmer.
Resident Molly said it was a great feeling to have the sun on their face and sitting out in the garden after so long.
“ Just hearing the birds chirping and feeling the cool fresh air is just enough because these are the things that we miss out on a lot due to the British weather,” she said.
She said smelling the flowers brought memories of the lovely summer vacations and afternoons enjoyed with the family.
Christopher said just sitting outside and looking at the blue skies was a joyful experience indeed.
“I would love to do this every afternoon because sitting here in the garden with a cup of tea and having a chat with the other residents is so enjoyable,” he said.
The residents reminisced on their summer days and how they enjoyed going out to the beach or a barbeque and tea party in their gardens.
On Thursday, they enjoyed having their activities out again in the garden with a Quiz on the life of the Queen and some prizes up for grabs.
They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were very knowledgeable of the answers with chocolates and jelly babies.
The day ended on a high with a hot cup of tea and cakes as they enjoyed the sun and the blue skies.
TEACHER CREATURES MEMORABLE PETS
Everyone has a favourite pet that always brings back very memorable and lovely memories and the residents of Kimberly House have always had a soft spot for the varied species of animals brought in by The Teacher Creatures.
This is one of the anticipated activities at the home that the residents get enjoy, in the comfort of their own rooms and there is always a glow on their faces when they are presented with the animals to cuddle or pat.
Kathleen said she loves the fluffy animals especially the Ferret because it brought back very fond memories.
“I look forward to them visiting the home and have patted the Ferret, the Owl is just fascinating,” she said.
She said it was always nice for the staff to bring the pets to their own bedrooms when she didn’t feel like going to the lounge.
Bob said the animals always brought joy for years and they can request for their favourite animal to visit.
“ I love having a fly- down with the owl and today they brought the boa –constrictor which I had the pleasure of having it wrapped around my arm and it is amazing indeed,” he said.
The Teacher Creature staff Lisa said they have been visiting the Wessex Care homes for the past four years and there are a few animals that have become the favourites of the residents.
“The Owl, Farret and Tortoise are some of these favourites and these were normal household pets in the 20s, 30s and 40s, which bring back memories for the residents.
“Sometimes they will be watching TV and when we enter the rooms with the animals their faces light up and they start telling their stories of having these animals as pets in their youth and many more fascinating stories,” she said.
She said they visit the homes every two months and started their business five years ago with only five species, now they have 17 varieties of species.
Lisa said it has always been a joy visiting the Wessex Care homes.
EASTER WITH A MEANING
THE Easter weekend started off with a holy communion by the Pastor from St Martin’s Church and it was also a time of reflection for the residents on Thursday morning.
Being well aware of this very important weekend, Christians in the homes saw it as a time to get together, reflect and strengthen their spiritual being.
Easter hymns were sung and a poem read before the pastor conducted his bible reading and the residents given communion.
Pauline said it was a very enriching service and the hymns brought back many memories of past Easter celebrations.
“This is one of the significant weekends and celebrated days for us and am happy I am here to partake in its communion again this year,” she said.
The residents in the five homes were given their Easter weekend menu on Thursday afternoon and most of them looked forward to the hot cross buns for tea on Friday.
But they mostly enjoyed their gigantic Easter eggs and a card on Sunday morning which had everyone buzzing especially with the delicious dishes they had to tuck into.
Most of the residents loved Easter because they had numerous visitors including their children and families and especially for those that went to their children for Sunday lunch, where they are always treated with more Easter eggs to bring back to the homes.
Pat and Lucy said they enjoyed a mouth-watering lamb roast at their daughter’s homes for Sunday dinner and being around families and friends topped off their weekend.
It was also the same with the residents that were visited by families, friends and neighbours who took time out during the long weekend to visit them.
These visits are always a treasured story that they love to re-tell during the week and it is always told with a smiling face.
GREEN THEME FOR ST PATRICKS DAY
THE build up to the St Patricks celebration at the five homes had the residents buzzing and looking forward to a fun filled day on March 17.
Lounges were decorated with green themed balloons, Irish flags and banners and the mouth-watering Irish meals and the famous Guinness drink was the menu of the day.
The residents were individually given a menu each two days before the celebration to inform them of what they would be expecting on the day.
On Thursday morning the lounges were filled with the residents either donning a green blouse, skirt, coat or t-shirt and pants with conversations reminiscing of their past celebration of this day.
The menu included Irish stew and dumplings, shamrock cakes and the famous Guinness drink that some of the residents thoroughly enjoyed.
Irish resident Lucy said it was a memorable day and exciting one because it always brought back memories of her life in Ireland.
“I woke up really early this morning because after realising it was St Patricks Day, I made sure I was dressed in green and the first in the lounge,” she said.
She felt proud seeing the decoration of Irish flags and banners in the lounge and especially having a tipple at lunch to celebrate the occasion.
During afternoon tea, there was a flow of conversation and cheers to St Patricks as residents enjoyed their shamrock cakes and a glass of Guinness or a tipple while enjoying each other’s company.
Residents also enjoyed coloring St Patricks pictures after lunch.
The day ended with more laughs and reminiscing and looking forward to another celebrated day for the saints .
FIRST OF ITS KIND FOR WILTSHIRE COLLEGE
IT was a much anticipated day for the Holmwood residents last week when they were part of the Wiltshire College Beauty School Open Day.
This was the first time for residents from a residential home to be part of the special day where the students showcased what they had learnt and met with new and loyal customers of their school.
Brenda and Lucy were gushing with excitement last Tuesday morning and kept asking when they should be ready to go to the event.
Upon reaching the school, the teachers and the students were all eager to receive them and show them the different kind of services that are provided at the school.
The residents faces lit up after looking at the array of make up , skin lotions and watching the students doing massages or the nails of their customers on that day.
Brenda said it was something really nice and it brought back memories of her younger days with her sisters and having a pamper session at home.
“Things have really changed now and with new technology and what is being done and taught to the girls in schools now, it is really amazing.
“ I would like a back massage and that would be a nice treat,” said Brenda.
Lucy said she learnt a lot of things and apart from seeing the college girls doing their nails every Friday at the home, they were multi skilled in the beauty industry.
“My daughter would have loved a massage or pampering, I will definitely suggest it to her”, she said.
They said it was nice getting to meet the girls, see their school and going for a day out.
Aspire Salon Manager Nandani Jayasekera said the students were very pleased to see the residents and interact with them.
“ It is the first of its kind for the college to have residents of a home to visit especially meeting and interacting with our customers and relatives of the students who frequent this open day” she said.
She said the weekly Friday manicures at Holmwood were a special one and much looked forward to by the students.
Nan said it teaches the students to respect and be confident with people. It teaches them confidentiality issues in everything they do and some of them have forged good relationship with the residents.
She said it is a very enriching experience for all of them.
The afternoon ended with a cup of lemon and ginger tea with cakes and a chat in the visitors room with some of the customers coming for treatment on that day.
A SPECIAL KIND OF LOVE ON VALENTINES DAY
THE mention of Valentine’s Day brings memories of red roses, flowers, special evenings out and an appreciation of love for that special person.
This is the norm for couples living in the 20th and 21st centuries but wonderful memories of this auspicious occasion are simple and heart-warming for two residents at Holmwood.
Lucinda never celebrated Valentine’s Day because her husband Gerald never believed in this day of love.
“He believed that a woman should be given flowers, appreciated and pampered all the time not only on this day,” she said.
Lucy said they always celebrated their wedding anniversary every year in April and it was always a gift of red carnation flowers which always left her with a very heart-warming feeling.
“The younger generation are doing more on Valentines and this year my daughter was taken by her husband for a beautiful dinner out on Sunday night which is very sweet.
“The day has also been commercialised by the businesses” she said.
Brenda said her Valentine gift always included a bunch of red roses or a box of chocolates with a lovely card and sweet wordings by her husband.
“It is different now, Valentine’s Day celebrations include dining out, receiving expensive gifts and many other things.
“I remember getting my gift of flowers and cooking a roast for the whole family to enjoy during the celebration” she said.
Brenda was excited and looking forward to hearing of how her two daughters had spent their Valentines because they would have been pampered and dined out with their husbands.
She also believed that despite it been commercialised, the warmth of love on this special day still lives on.
EUROPEAN UNION DEBATE
Holmwood Residential Home Edge on Group meeting led by Elizabeth Bartlett every Monday afternoons experienced some very interesting thoughts and opinions by its enthusiastic members on the European Union membership for the United Kingdom last week.
What started as a topic of conversation turned into a debate when Christine strongly voiced her opinion that the best way forward was to keep the UK in the EU.
“I believe we should stay in and there is nothing wrong with the EU,” Christine said.
This was supported by Irene who stated that since the UK was already in the EU a little bit of friendship with other countries would not hurt for the next few years.
Elizabeth explained there was a referendum in place by the Government on the issue especially with the number of asylum seekers from Syria coming into the country.
Molly, Lucy and Pauline applauded the move to opt out of the EU since it was long overdue and the country should also look at the problems we are facing being a member.
“We’re doing alright being on our own and it is about time we come out of it “Molly said.
Elizabeth explained to them the procedure the Government is taking on the issue but for those that want out of the EU they cannot wait for it to happen.
The meeting ended with both parties understanding the importance on what effects the decision the Government makes on this issue.
A cup of tea and a piece of cake after the meeting ended everything on the high because regardless of opinions and ideas their strong bond of friendship remains.
The debate continues…
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Thank you for everybody’s hard work in ensuring we can continue to celebrate such wonderful times within Wessex Care and the wider community. Roll on the Summer season