Lantern-making heralds Chinese New Year at New Forest care home

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A lantern-making party with young visitors was the ideal start to Chinese New Year celebrations at a New Forest nursing and residential home.

Residents at Colten Care’s Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst welcomed a group of college students to help with their colourful crafts session.

Together they spent time cutting out paper shapes and turning them into decorative red and white lanterns to hang in the lounge.    

It was one of a weekly series of visits being made this year by students on the Foundation Studies Level 1 Course in Child, Health and Social Care at nearby Brockenhurst College.

Other recent sessions have involved quizzes, clay modelling, sound bingo and making mincemeat tarts.

Brockenhurst College Learning Support Assistant Laura Wheeler said: “It’s just lovely coming to Woodpeckers and seeing the interaction between the generations. Apart from grandparents, some of our students don’t tend to spend much time with older people so they really get a lot out of visiting here. The residents have such fascinating stories to tell about their lives.”

Jane Bunker, Activities Organiser at Woodpeckers, said: “We love having the students along. Our residents really enjoy meeting and talking with them and taking part in shared arts and crafts work. The Chinese theme added an extra focus this time round.”

The lanterns at Woodpeckers include the colour red because in traditional Chinese culture it is said to bring good luck and scare off the mythical monster Nian.

The home’s celebrations – heralding the Year of the Rooster, one of 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle – also included a Chinese-themed lunch.

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