The 22nd May 2018 was a red-letter day for Anne Smith who is a member of our Grove House Committee. Anne received an invitation to celebrate Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales’s, 70th Birthday at Buckingham Palace. Along with members of other organisations of which he is a patron, Anne spent an unforgettable afternoon attending a Royal Garden Party. To make it even more of an occasion, it was Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex’s, first official engagement since her marriage to Prince Harry. ‘It was such a surprise and honour to be invited’ says Anne, who has volunteered with Abbeyfield since Oct 2000.
As well as sitting on The Grove House Committee, Anne is a regular visitor to the home, spending time with our residents whether joining in activities or, just as importantly, having a cup of tea and a chat.
Burns night was celebrated in style at our Castle Farm and Grove care homes yesterday.
The haggis was ceremoniously piped in and paraded around the room for all to see. At Castle Farm, resident John Forrest made the address and duly stabbed the haggis with his dagger (actually a kitchen knife!)it was then toasted with a wee dram of whisky.The address at The Grove was performed by our CEO, John Connelly followed by Edinburgh-born Grove resident, Donald Allan, who recited some Rabbie Burns.
The piper then took requests and residents enjoyed both traditional Scottish and not so traditional popular songs. The day ended with the singing of Auld Lang Syne and maybe another wee dram!
As we approach Remembrance Day our thoughts turn to those who sacrificed their lives so we can live in freedom.
All of our residents lived through the Second World War, a few served in our forces, but all experienced that tumultuous time when families and communities were torn apart. Everyone has experienced personal loss and loved ones are missed throughout the year, but at this time it is also an opportunity to thank those who served and survived.
The selling and wearing of poppies is a small way we can thank and support our armed forces. …..we shall remember.
The Christmas festivities at Abbeyfield Newcastle began with a welcome return of our young friends from Newcastle School for Boys to our Grove care home. The boys entertained residents, friends and family alike with a wonderful range of seasonal and traditional carols and folk songs. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the boys’ visit, merrily joining in with the singing. With the concert over the boys took time to join our residents for a drink and a chat.
A high point of the day was the surprise arrival of Santa and his elf helper who distributed presents to our residents, who had all been very good all year! With duties complete Santa left to return to the North Pole. The afternoon was rounded off with a delicious buffet of sweet and saviour treats prepared by our talented kitchen staff who excelled themselves as usual! A great time was had by all.
Manager Kath Brown said “Our residents always enjoy visits from the boys and it was so nice to have them back to sing for us”.
A group of residents from our Castle Farm and Grove houses enjoyed a trip to see the Weeping Window at Woodhorn Museum.
The iconic sculpture of red, ceramic poppies which were first seen at the Tower of London last year to mark the centenary since the outbreak of WWI is now on a UK tour. When we heard they were coming to Northumberland we jumped at the chance of taking our residents to see them.
By far one of our most popular outings to date, 15 residents signed up to come with us and not even the wet weather could dampen the breath-taking beauty of the sculptures.
For some, it provided a chance to remember people they had known who had been involved in the great wars and for others an opportunity to see something first hand that had captivated audiences form around the world.
We also went to see the permanent exhibition which depicts life amongst the mining community in Ashington in the mid 20th Century, which evoked lots of memories amongst some of our residents and certainly gave way to some good discussion.
Needless to say, we found time to visit the café…… no trip out would be complete without a nice cup of tea!
The poppies will be at Woodhorn until the 1st November 2015 before heading off to another location before finally being gifted to the Imperial War Museum.
Residents, friends and family from our three houses got together for our annual summer party and, although breezy, thankfully the weather was on our side.
It was a great opportunity for old friends to catch up over a refreshing fruit punch and for the important people in our residents’ lives to get together and celebrate the Abbeyfield way of life.
The musical entertainment was provided by the Attic Band in our lounge whilst everyone enjoyed the lovely cocktails followed by a delicious afternoon tea baked by our talented chefs.
As part of our afternoon celebration John Connelly our CEO, together with Vee Wilkinson one of our volunteer Executive Committee members, presented a Long Service Award to Kath Brown. As many of you know Kath is the manager of our Grove house but you may not know she has been with us for 30 years – doesn’t time fly Kath!
We are so fortunate at Abbeyfield Newcastle for having such a committed team of staff and volunteers who go the extra mile to make a real difference to the lives of our residents.