The Old Rectory (TOR) Care Home, located in Old Tiverton Road, Exeter, has recreated an authentic German-style Christmas Market within its newly created beer garden, as part of its ongoing programme of ‘bringing the outside’ in for residents and visitors alike, officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Lord Mayor of Exeter.
Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Ms Lesley Robson said: “It’s a delight being invited to officially open this joyful and jovial Christmas Festival at The Old Rectory. Having been a Member Champion for Older Persons, this type of matter is one I am most passionate about. Coming here today it’s clear to see the care and dedication that the staff have for the residents who reside here.” She adds: “I am very impressed by the work that has gone into making this authentic German-style Christmas market and it’s a perfect way to bring residents and visitors together to enjoy the festivities this Christmas season has to offer, with the care home which feels safe and familiar.”
Part of the multi-award-winning independent care provider Southern Healthcare, with four care homes in Devon, TOR has had an outstanding year of achievements and awards. Earlier this year it received the coveted ‘Overall Outstanding’ rating by Care Quality Commission (CQC), in four domains; effective responsive, caring and well-led. The 2017 care award-season continued when TOR’s housekeeper Andy Cowling reached the final of the National Dementia Care Awards 2017 as ‘Best Activities Co-ordinator’. This was followed recently by TOR winning ‘The Care Team Award’ for South West Care Awards 2017.
In the true spirit of the Yuletide season, the Exeter-based care home brought festive cheer to residents and visitors alike by holding their very own ‘Rocking Winter Wonderland’ Christmas Festival, complete with Santa’s Grotto and German-Style Market – officially opened by Lord Mayor of Exeter. Each of the authentic wooden chalets dressed in twinkling lights, garlands and festive ornaments, offered a replicated and authentic Christmas Market - hot food, steaming mulled wine, crafts & gifts and even a confectionary stall complete with an indulgent chocolate fountain.
Throughout the day, residents, together with family and guests, enjoyed festive activities, taking part in an elves workshop making keepsake trinkets and Christmas ornaments; making contributions to the crafts and gifts stall. Children visiting the home enjoyed face painting and a special visit from Father Christmas, with each child receiving a token gift.
In keeping with the theme staff wore festive fancy-dress costumes and performed a medley of Christmas classics from Nat king Cole to Wham! and much more, on a purpose-built stage within the German-style Market. The addition of a snow machine, helped to make it a truly magical Christmas.
Paul Courtney, Operations Manager of Southern Healthcare and Home Manager of TOR comments: “Recreating authentic experiences contributes greatly to our ethos of bringing the outside in for our residents. We are absolutely delighted that the hard-work and innovation of the care team at The Old Rectory has been recognised by CQC as well as prestigious regional and national awards throughout the year. This week-long festival is just a continuation of everything that we do on a daily basis to help make our residents feel at home and comfortable.”
Geoffrey Cox, Managing Director of Southern Healthcare concludes – “We keep doing these fantastic events as often as we can to bring the outside in, do something really different and create magical memories for residents and their families. It excites people and gives them something to look forward to and reflect on. All the focus is on what fun life has to offer, which is not something you traditionally see in a care home.”
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