Time for a Cuppa as Colten Care brews up for Dementia UK

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With the giant tea pot at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated Linden House dementia care home in Lymington, are Chef Steve Gates and Companionship Team Member Val Greenfield. Seated at the table with them are residents Betty Whitehead, left, and Frances Styles.

The kettles were on, the cakes were tasty and the chat was lively as all 21 Colten Care homes took part in Dementia UK’s biggest annual fundraising drive.

Residents and staff found a host of Covid-safe ways to get together and enjoy Time for a Cuppa, helping families affected by dementia in the process.

The garden summerhouse at The Aldbury, Colten’s dedicated dementia care home in Poole, was specially decorated for an Audrey Hepburn-themed afternoon tea party.

Amid sparking lights and vintage décor, there was a life-size cutout of the star in her trademark black cocktail dress, pearl necklace and slender cigarette holder.

Held on what would have been the screen legend’s 92nd birthday, the fun included a quiz about Hepburn’s life and career which rekindled memories of famous movie moments.

“Most of our residents found it really interesting and got many of the answers right,” said Companionship Team Member Melissa Sait. “It was a lot of fun that gave everyone the opportunity to reminisce.”

On show at Linden House, Colten’s Outstanding-rated dementia care home in Lymington, Hampshire, was a giant papier mache teapot covered in a tea cosy sewn together by residents in arts and crafts sessions.

At Castle View in Dorchester, a springtime celebration tea party was a definite hit with residents including Eileen Weller who said: “The scones were scrummy and I was over the moon with the wonderful party and music.”

At Abbey View in Sherborne, residents tucked into cupcakes specially baked by home chefs in the green and red shades of the Dementia UK logo.

There was also a chance to watch and discuss a documentary about how the charity has been supporting those living with dementia during the Covid pandemic.

Residents at Outstanding-rated Newstone House in Sturminster Newton had a fun time baking and decorating their own cupcakes.

Other Colten homes holding Time for a Cuppa parties included St Catherines View in Winchester, Avon Reach in Mudeford and Outstanding-rated Kingfishers in New Milton.

Funds raised from Time for a Cuppa contribute to the provision of specialist Admiral Nurses who work alongside families in communities across the country.

Dementia UK’s national helpline, which offers practical advice and support from Admiral Nurses, has seen a heightened demand for help during the pandemic.  

Colten Care Admiral Nurse Kay Gibson said: “It continues to be the most challenging and isolating of times for families with loved ones who need dementia care. It’s brilliant that Colten Care residents and staff are doing their bit to help.”

As well as providing an Admiral Nurse service, Colten Care’s own dementia care strategy includes support for Dementia Action Alliances in the communities served by all its 21 homes in Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex and Wiltshire.

Four of these – Linden House, The Aldbury, St Catherines View, and Fernhill in Longham near Bournemouth – are dedicated dementia care homes. Both Fernhill and Linden House are rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission. 

For more information about living with dementia, visit Colten Care’s ‘Ask-an-Admiral Nurse’ website – www.coltencare.co.uk/admiral-nurse.

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Connie Davis, left, and Jean Willis, residents at The Aldbury in Poole, in the home’s summerhouse at Time for a Cuppa.

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