We’ve had a fine February in the Home, which began with Chinese New Year on 1st February when we turned the café into our very own Chinese Restaurant and residents enjoyed an authentic, home cooked Chinese meal.   We made the most of this special week of ‘Spring Festival’ celebrations, venturing out to an old-fashioned grocers to buy loose tea for an afternoon’s ‘Tea Tasting’, and spending time practicing the eastern art of exercise with a gentle session of armchair yoga (which is more strenuous than it sounds!).

There have been a variety of visitors throughout the month, including the weekly visits from Therapet dogs Reuben and Skye who are accompanied by their lovely owners, Jo and Tom.  Therapets provide an invaluable service as the volunteers engage residents in conversation whilst the dogs enjoy cuddles and a bit of fussing.  The benefits for the residents are easy to see as the room bursts into ‘ahhs’ and ‘awwws’ wherever the dogs go! It is not just the well documented stress lowering, wellbeing enhancing effects of close contact with animals which benefits the residents, but also the befriending aspect of the volunteer’s role and we all look forward to our ‘2pm Tuesday Friends’ visiting!

We walked on the wild side with a visit from The Creature Teacher and her super snakes!  We met Mickey the seven-year-old Royal Python who was the father of one year old Cherry.   Residents learned about breeding, raising and handling young reptiles and what it’s like to look after exotic pets.  It was a fascinating afternoon which was enjoyed by residents and staff alike!

For the Monthly Music Concert in February, we welcomed back an old friend, the sublime singer Diane Fields who has performed for us many times over the years.  It was rather fitting for a 14th February ‘Celebration of Friendship’ concert!  The musical theme continued when the Resident’s ‘Music Club ‘hosted a Karaoke Party, providing an opportunity for some of our beautiful singers share their talents and for those of us who are not so musically talented, to belt out the ballads! 

The Saturday Social Club evenings are ever popular and this month we have enjoyed a mix of musical entertainment from the amazing acoustic ‘Sean and Chantelle’ and country greats with ‘Pete Sneddon’.  These performances were interspersed with Comedy Club DVD evening, a James Bond Film Night and two of WS’s favourites, Prize Bingo and Quiz Night!

But it’s not all being about activities within the Home, the wild winter weather in late February brought some unexpected challenges for many.  Thanks to the careful winter planning and timely action of the Estate Team, the inconvenience to the home was minimised and we enjoyed some winter fun!  Whilst it was wet outside, the interior decoration continued apace as bedrooms and communal living rooms enjoyed a touch up with the colours of the residents’ choice.  Now we’re ready for spring!