Care home residents enjoyed culinary-themed summer shows based on their own life stories

Phakama volunteer Gugu Thaka with Marie Hipwell
Phakama volunteer Gugu Thaka with Marie Hipwell

Residents at three Sanctuary Care homes in London enjoyed celebratory culinary-themed summer shows based on their own life stories and memories, as part of Sanctuary’s two-year creative arts programme Shine!


The performances, which took place at The Manse Residential Care Home in South Norwood, Riverlee Residential and Nursing Home in Greenwich and St John’s House Residential Care Home in Streatham, were the culmination of a series of workshops delivered to the homes’ residents as part of Phakama’s intergenerational Edible Garden Project.


Phakama’s work at the Sanctuary Care homes is part of Shine!, a national two-year arts programme funded by Sanctuary Group, which uses creative arts to shine a light on the talents of residents across the organisation’s 61 homes.


Residents at each home experienced a ‘moving performance’, which saw people walk through different areas within the care home and its gardens in search of the spice of life.


All events were a spectacular of colour and costume and delicious food was served throughout the performances, which were based on residents’ food memories.


Since mid-June volunteers from Phakama, an international youth arts organisation, and local students from NewVIc College (Riverlee), Harris Academy (The Manse) and Woodmansterne School (St John’s House) have been visiting residents at the care homes to engage them in workshops, including singing, percussion and song-writing, movement, dance and storytelling, planting, cooking and visual art.


Shonah Prempeh, Peter Denman and Caroline Jones
Shonah Prempeh, Peter Denman and Caroline Jones

The workshops have brought together together older and younger generations in shared activities to exchange stories, life experiences, dreams and aspirations while growing a vegetable patch in the homes’ gardens.


Veronica McLeary, home manager at The Manse said: “I’m very proud that our residents have taken part in this wonderful project with Phakama. They have enjoyed every minute of it.”


Rebecca Sowle, Riverlee home manager, added: “It’s been a wonderful reminiscence activity for our residents, with many of them sharing memories of food, journeys and experiences from days gone by.”


Corinne Micallef, Phakama’s Artistic Director, said: “Bringing together the residents and students to create art has been extraordinary. It has been truly touching to see the connections made between the generations and to witness the compassion and vibrancy present during their workshops together.”


Phakama is a youth arts organisation which believes that individuals’ stories have the power to move, challenge and inform. Through community initiatives, such as The Edible Garden Project, Phakama creates shared spaces for people to express, grow and perform.


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