Category Archives: Castle Farm

Castle Farm, Newcastle upon Tyne: Celebrating 25 happy years

It’s been 25 years since Abbeyfield Castle Farm opened its doors in the heart of Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne.  We couldn’t let this important milestone go by without celebration. We were therefore delighted to invite guests to join us in toasting our silver anniversary with a reception and garden party on Saturday 8th September 2018.  It was a time to remember so many who have and continue to be part of making Castle Farm the wonderful place that it is.  It was an opportunity to say a huge thank you to our gardener Simon for all his wonderful work on the garden both over the years and in the run up to the event. 

Lord Mayor Newcastle visits Castle FarmWe were delighted to be joined by the Lord Mayor or Newcastle upon Tyne Councillor David Down and Lady Mayoress Mrs. Barbara Down.  They were greeted at the door by our Chief Executive John, Katie from our House Committee and our current eldest resident Elizabeth (still a youngster at 103!).  The Lord Mayor also unveiled our commemorative collage made by Sharon from our staff team.  Our hairdresser Jan – who has herself been here for 25 years! – formerly opened the buffet by cutting the wonderful cake made by Emma, one of our volunteers.  There was decorations and commemorative bookmarks made by volunteer Lynda and the residents craft group.  Entertainment wad provided by the wonderful St. John’s Singers.  And a great time was had by all.

Here’s to the next 25 years of Castle Farm. Cheers!

Volunteer Annabel’s Story

Annabel had been volunteering for us at Castle Farm for the last few months.  She started by helping to run the monthly Beetle Drive sessions, and she also now comes in to visit two of our residents one evening a week.

Annabel enjoys just having a chat and getting to know the residents better: “It’s a really nice thing to do because people can get lonely sometimes so it’s nice to have a visitor.”

Volunteering at Abbeyfield has helped Annabel improve her confidence; “ It’s is a really good opportunity to increase my confidence as I can be quite shy sometimes.  It’s quite interesting having the opportunity to talk to people that I would not normally have the opportunity to talk to. It’s very interesting talking to older people.”

Annabel would definitely recommend volunteering to other young people: “I would say definitely sign up to volunteering as it is really benefits you, even if it’s just for a small amount of time, you can make a really big difference too.”

“Everyone at Abbeyfield is really warm and welcoming and it’s a really nice place.  And the residents are very nice too!”


Spanning the generations

castle farm residents with grand children

Residents at our Castle Farm Care Home heard the patter of tiny feet recently when they welcomed a visit from a local toddler group.

Trinity Tots, the mother (and father) toddler group usually meet at Holy Trinity Church in Jesmond, not far from our home, on Fridays. The visit was arranged by Rosemary Rowe, a Castle Farm House Committee member and also a member of the church, who thought it would be nice to get the different generations together. Ten tots arrived with their parents to enjoy an afternoon of fun and games with our residents. The afternoon was a great success with one resident commenting that it had been years since she held a baby on her knee.

Chris Major, house manager, said ‘we plan to repeat the visit in the spring when hopefully the children can enjoy spending time with our residents in our lovely garden’.

A Trip to the Weeping Window at Woodhorn

A group of residents from our Castle Farm and Grove houses enjoyed a trip to see the Weeping Window at Woodhorn Museum.

The Grove residents at Woodhorn

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.




A Former Chemist Dispenser Shares Her Tonic for a Long Life


A great grandmother who recently celebrated her 100th birthday prescribes a daily dose of singing as the secret to her long life.

Friends and relatives gathered for a party at Abbeyfield Castle Farm, South Gosforth to toast Mrs Dora Brown who has been a resident at the home for the past seven years.

Dora, who has always loved singing, enjoyed a day filled with music and song at the home, together with her welcomed telegram from the palace.

Mrs Brown who was born in Plymouth on 6th June  1915 grew up in the city and worked as a dispenser at Boots the Chemist after leaving school.

She is mum to four children, all of whom have inherited their mum’s love of singing and are now part of an amateur singing group who regularly entertains our residents at Abbeyfield.

Mrs Brown credits her love of singing, good diet and a happy disposition for her 100 years.

She said: “I’ve been lucky to have enjoyed a long and happy life and contrary to popular belief about life in a care home, the last seven years spent at Abbeyfield have been thoroughly enjoyable; I’ve joined in lots of different activities and had the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends.

“I don’t have any great plans for the coming year although I am looking forward to making the most of the lovely gardens and taking a trip into Paddy Freemans’ Park which is next door to the home.”