Cooking with Dementia and Colchester MP


On Friday March 1st, in association with FaNs Network and the Alzheimer’s Society, Foxburrow Grange care home hosted #CookingWithDementia.

Les Nicoll, Community Builder at the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, was instrumental in the project. Part of Les’s role includes carrying out safeguarding visits. This involves looking at risks within the home eg; Hoarding, mental health, domestic abuse.
And of course Dementia.

Based near the Army Garrison in Colchester, Essex, Foxburrow Grange provides residential, nursing and dementia services to 69 people with a range of care needs including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, general and specialist nursing, and end of life care.

Les gets several calls from families struggling because their relatives living with dementia insist on cooking. LeColchesters’s role is to facilitate and support families in reducing the risks.

Les said: ‘Cooking With Dementia is for me hopefully, if only for a day, giving back that opportunity to people, allowing those living with dementia a chance once again to cook for their families. It allows husbands, wives and children to take a few hours away from caring to engage in conversation, to look around the care home and to relax, all within sight of their loved one who is engaged, smiling, chatting and laughing with others. It is always a happy and often emotional occasion.’

Les also has a role with the charity FaNs Network which works to get the community into care homes and care home residents into the community.
By running #CookingWithDementia at Foxburrow Grange this ticks every box.

Volunteers gave up their time on Friday to come and help residents cook and serve dinner to their families. Colchester MP, Will Quince, was invited to join in the fun too!

Will said: ‘I was delighted to be invited to the dementia kitchen event at Foxburrow Grange. It is such a brilliant idea. It was lovely to see residents who live at Foxburrow Grange engaging with people who live with dementia in their own homes, talking and sharing stories and getting involved with the cooking. Activities such as these are so important for both residents of the home and the local community as they help reduce the stigma of care homes and dementia. I enjoyed helping out with the apple crumble!’

Residents sat together to prepare fruit and vegetables and cook up the mince and onions whilst their family members enjoyed a chat over tea and coffee and a look around the home.

With assistance from our resident chef, James, residents and volunteers made a delicious cottage pie with vegetables followed by a scrumptious apple crumble and custard. This was enjoyed by everyone who all sat down together to enjoy not only the food but also the special moments this created.

There was a lot of chatting and laughing and the odd tear was shed. The whole day was a complete success, so much so that Foxburrow Grange hopes to make this a regular event.


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