We are delighted to be one of four care homes, invited by The Courtyard to take part in a their Next Steps Project.
The Next Steps Project
The Courtyard fund a Next Steps Project each year. This year the theme is Rural Life and Food. It is over 6 weeks and takes place in the run up to Dementia Awareness Week. There is a celebration at The Courtyard on 17th May 2017 with Remember Me day.
Please see the link for more information about Remember Me day
All the sessions have been thoroughly enjoyed by our residents. It is always lovely to hear their special memories from bygone days.
Do these stories stir a sense of nostalgia within you?
Spinning a yarn
We had a wonderful visit from Paula Tucker who brought her spinning wheel and spun wool into yarn.
Our residents were able to work the wool, teasing out a bundle of soft sheep wool with their fingers. For some, to remember that relaxing feeling of working wool was a joy.
It was then spun into yarn on Paula’s traditional spinning wheel. We are now knitting the yarn into squares to make a blanket. It will be such a fabulous group project to complete.
We spent a wonderful afternoon, discussing and recreating recipes from when our residents were young.
Lots of stories were from the Wartime and rationing. The recollections of bartering to get eggs and vegetables and a real sense of community. It was a time when everyone pulled together and looked after eachother through hard times.
We discovered the inventive fake banana sandwiches of bread, smothered in mashed parsnips with banana essence. It might sound revolting, but apparently rather tasty!
There was food enjoyed by loved ones, home on leave from fighting in the war. Macaroni cheese from school dinners. Everyone was in agreement that you ate everything your mother put in front of you, as there was nothing else until tea time.
It was a time of reflection and also for families and staff, a realisation of how fortunate we all are now.
The booklet of all our recipes is available to download here RECIPES REMEMBERED
It was a joy to have a poetry session with Jean Atkins. She is an award winning poet and writer and visited West Eaton to listen to our residents’ reminisce.
To read more about Jean, please visit her website at https://jeanatkin.com/
A group of our residents, Pauline, Zoey, Derry and Doreen had a hoot, chatting about old photographs, childhood toys and holidays. The memories came flooding back.
Jean took their words and wrote 8-10 beautiful poems, which you can read here 30 March 2017 West Eaton Poems & Memories
Making a scene
Our most recent session last week was an art session with Emily Wilkinson. We are delighted to know Emily well at West Eaton. She has given some hugely enjoyable art sessions with our residents.
These are through another of The Courtyard funded projects, called Colour me Purple. This is part of their Creative Ageing Program. For further information, please see Emily’s webpage: https://emilywilkinson.net/portfolio/colour-me-purple/
For The Next Steps Project, Emily and our residents enjoyed making a fabulous mural of the Hereford countryside. This is to be displayed at The Courtyard on Remember Me day on 17th May.
A good old song and dance
On Wednesday, all our friends from the other nursing homes taking part in the Next Steps project, joined us at West Eaton for a Ceilidh.
We had a Ceilidh band and celebrated with lots of dancing, cheese platters and cider.
A fantastic end to our Next Steps sessions.
Remember Me is an opportunity for people with dementia and their families and carers, to come together in a relaxed atmosphere. You will be able to join in with lots of activities on the day.
We go every year. Hope to see you there!
Thank you to The Courtyard for this wonderful opportunity for West Eaton to be part of the Next Steps project.