Opening of new Dementia Caravan at Birchwood Grange
We recently invited our local community to the official opening of our Mini Gym and our unique Dementia Caravan. Guests included Avery Ambassador, Sherrie Hewson, the Mayor of Brent, Arshad Mahmood, children from Preston Manor School, Therapaws Animal Rescue Centre, St Luke’s Hospice, our student and local community volunteers, students from Norway, plus Vicar Olwen Field from the Ascension Church and his father Anthony. The Reception and Garden Tea Room were decorated in the theme of a fantasy garden, to fit in with the rest of Birchwood Grange’s themed gardens, which bring smiles to residents and visitors faces alike.
As Sherrie arrived, she was serenaded by our entertainer Riccardo and met by Manager Mark Bird and deputy Linda Simpson, as well as residents and staff. She spoke to Terry and Beryl, who were previous resident’s family members, but now volunteer for the home and had a cuddle with our TheraPaws dog ‘Toffee’, as she is a real animal lover who understands how therapeutic animals can be to our residents. Another resident, James Pattison, also spoke to her about their previous encounter, when James was a taxi driver and took Sherrie to see her sister!
Sherrie, The Mayor and guests were then treated to some Bollywood dancing, followed by a Bollywood workout, which is part of our fitness programme for our residents. Vicar Olwen gave a prayer about the health and care of our residents and the hard work of the staff at the home. He gave thanks for the Gym and the Caravan and the contribution they will make to the well-being of the residents.
The guests then cut the ribbon to open the Gym, with another brief exercise session with Sherrie on the pedal bike and the Mayor on the dumb bell weights. The second ribbon was then cut to open the new Dementia Caravan in the Dementia Garden, where Home Manager Mark told guests about purchasing the dishevelled caravan for £200, before renovating it to bring back those nostalgic sensations of holidays by the sea for the residents.
The entertainment continued with regular singer Morris, and in the Bluebell lounge there was entertainment from Preston Manor pupils Michael and Aurora, where they presented a musical production and then a poem written and performed by Aliya. Chirag, our Asian singer, also sang and St Luke’s Hospice spoke about the link and support between the hospice and Birchwood Grange.
Lunch was served in the Garden Room with an amazing buffet to represent the cultures of our home, all made and served by our own catering team. The food contained vegetarian cuisine, fresh homemade cakes and traditional Asian food, all with fresh ingredients from our locally sourced suppliers.
More entertainment followed lunch with flute and ukulele solos by Elisa, our COPD Singing For Breathing teacher, then a duet of Riccardo and Elisa accompanied robustly by Sherrie and our Manager Mark Bird. Some very impressive dancing followed with Sherrie and Riccardo doing ‘La Bamba,’ plus Lisa Soper, our Operations Manager, showing some talented dancing moves to Bollywood sounds; residents and staff filled the dance floor too and great fun was had by all.
In-between dances, Sherrie enjoyed talking to the residents, plus staff from catering, housekeeping, carers and nurses. They all spoke about how she made special efforts to speak to them all and to have photos taken with her. We had lovely comments from everyone and it will be a day to be remembered and treasured at Birchwood Grange. We are grateful to Sherrie and the Mayor and all our guests for taking the time to come to our special event!