Heffle Court care home has won the ‘Element 1 – Grow Your Own’ category of the NAPA Fine Dining Experience 2015 awards, presented this month.
The home, in Heathfield, East Sussex, was given a certificate and £150 prize at the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA) gala tea ceremony in London on Wednesday 23 September 2015.
As part of the judging process, staff at Heffle Court engaged with residents and the local community to grow and celebrate their own produce.
The judges said of Heffle Court’s entry: “The team at Heffle Court made the most of every aspect of this element. Initial discussions with the residents generated a canvas collage of favourite food and veg which became the wish list refined by the catering team. Reminiscing about past hobbies, watching gardening DVD’s and visiting garden centres ensured maximum involvement of the residents.”
They were also impressed that the local MP visited and donated some of his own home grown plants to the cause. Nearby pre-school children were also involved with helping to pot up seedlings, and community volunteers cleared ground and painted tubs. There was also a plant watering rota for residents and relatives, with seedlings carefully watched and potted on.
They went on to say: “Excitement grew as the plants grew and there was a real sense of responsibility for their welfare emerged. One resident in particular regained a passion for gardening, helping to maintain his independence and offering a shared activity with his family.”
The Heffle Court team are planning a Harvest lunch in October to celebrate their home grown achievements with the local community and their hollowed out pumpkins set to be the stars of the show, with chutney made from the flesh.
Debby Potter, Home Manager at Heffle Court, said: “I am extremely proud of our colleagues and residents for pulling together to achieve this award. We have a wonderful care home and working together to achieve this ‘grow our own’ award has been extremely positive for all involved. Well done everyone!”
Heffle Court has also been short-listed as a finalist for Element 3 of the NAPA Fine Dining Awards, ‘The Chef’s Masterpiece’ with the possibility of a further £150 cash prize and certificate following a masterclass with Mark Sargeant, Restaurant Owner and Knorr Ambassador in Leatherhead, Surrey on 29 October 2015. The Element 3 category required Heffle Court’s kitchen team to create a special fine dining menu following close consultation with residents, including technical elements in the meal.
Heffle Court is a purpose-built care home, providing residential and nursing dementia care for up to 32 people. The home focuses on therapeutic activities based on residents’ own life experiences and has a smallholding called Willow Farm with a teashop. Heffle Court are specialists in providing care for older people with Alzheimer’s disease.