Making friends with Mayplace Primary School

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On Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week, Groveland Park was a hive of activity, as we were visited by children from the local Mayplace Primary School as part of ‘Community Week’.

Kids from Year 6 came to spend some quality time with our residents on all three days, and they also brought in different pieces of artwork and other school projects that they’re proud of to show everyone and to talk about. Our residents thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the children and talking about different things that have changed over the years.

The idea of teaming up with Mayplace was to bring the two different generations together and to show the kids that getting older isn’t such a bad thing, as you have some wonderful memories to share! The children really enjoyed themselves, even asking to return to visit in the holidays – and what really made it all worthwhile was how the kids wrote some special letters to Groveland Park to say just how much they enjoyed their visit. We hope to see them again soon!

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National Care Home Open Day

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On Saturday from midday until 4pm, we opened the doors at Groveland Park as part of the National Care Home Open Day, and we’re pleased to say that this year, it was another great success for us – around 80 people attended, and even the sun was shining!

As an event put on for our residents, their family members, friends and members of the local community, we like to have a lot going on, so this year we decided to celebrate the Best of British! Everyone invited was encouraged to wear red, white and blue fancy dress, and a street party buffet was laid on by the fantastic kitchen staff.

With the weather in our favour, we were pleased to be able to spend the entire afternoon in the garden, with a traditional tombola, along with face painting by Sally. We also had a 1940s show, which was performed by the lovely vintage vocalist Marie – she performed ‘40s-style songs from British artists, along with a couple of patriotic numbers too! Last but most certainly not least, we were lucky enough to have The Great British Sing-off Cabaret Show, which was an absolutely hilarious show for all the family, containing great songs and funny costume changes throughout.

It was a fantastic day for everyone involved – if you missed it this year, keep an eye out for next year’s event!

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The perfect pie at Goddards at Greenwich

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Since 1890, Goddards at Greenwich have been handmaking London’s most traditional meal of pie, mash and liquor to their secret family recipe. As an important part of London’s food history, we decided to take our residents for a fun (and tasty!) day out, so we all hopped in the minibus earlier this week and went on our way.

These pie houses, formerly known as ‘Eel Pie Houses’, have been around since the 1700s and were traditionally filled with eels from the Thames! The eels were spiced and stewed in stock before being popped in a pie, but when this became too expensive, meat became the filling of choice.

These days, you can choose from steak, chicken, lamb, vegetarian or traditional 100% minced beef, all served with mash – and you can add peas and baked beans if you’re really hungry! If you still have room after all that, you can enjoy a handmade fruit crumble or fruit pie with ice cream or custard, or maybe even bread and butter pudding or sponge pudding.

It was a real British trip down memory lane for our residents, who all enjoyed their good traditional pie, mash and liquor, with many washing it down with a cool bottle of ale – and they all took home a cheeky jellied eels takeaway for supper!

If you fancy a proper pie, there’s no better place to go – and all our residents agree.

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Arts & Crafts at Groveland Park

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Eve is a member of the Groveland Park team, but she has a hidden talent as a highly-skilled artist! As our residents enjoy arts and crafts, we decided to start up a new art class last week – and it went down a treat.

With watercolour painting her style of choice, Eve chose this as the theme for the class, and it’s also the ideal type of paint to use if you’re painting in stages, allowing each layer to dry before painting the next. This makes it ideal for our residents, who can paint a few layers in one class then finish off their painting another time.

Eve taught our residents the techniques of using watercolours, giving them guidance on how to create a stunning piece of art. Classes are going to continue every week now, encouraging residents to either start to paint for the first time or to pick up an old hobby that they haven’t had the pleasure of doing for years.

At Groveland Park, we do a lot of arts and crafts and are always thinking of new ways to raise money for our local hospice and other charities, so maybe with a bit more practice and guidance from Eve, our residents’ watercolour masterpieces could be auctioned off!

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Nightingale Dogs - Muzzles & Nuzzles

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Just half an hour down the road in Westerham, you’ll find Nightingale Dogs, which is run by Jenny, Tim and their eight pet pooches: Breeze, Puffin, Xavi, Leafy, Nellie, Normal, Grace and Crowley. Earlier this week, we were lucky enough to welcome Nightingale Dogs into Groveland Park for a session of pet therapy!

Pet therapy is proven to have many benefits and we want our residents to experience these benefits first-hand by spending time with our furry friends. These include lifting residents’ moods and spirits, providing them with sensory stimulation, increasing social interaction and self-esteem, and giving them the opportunity to express affection. Having dogs in the home also contributes to the home-like feel and surroundings, with many residents having had pet dogs in the past.

Our residents enjoyed listening to Jenny and Tim talk about what the dogs have been up to since their last visit, as well as watching them perform different tricks – and they even got to have cuddles with the dogs. It really is a fun, stimulating and interactive activity session, and staff enjoy it as much as the residents!

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Happy 100th Birthday to Tom!

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On Friday, we held a very special celebration to mark a rather significant occasion – Tom, one of our most senior residents, celebrated his 100th birthday! It really was a fantastic, feel-good day for everyone involved.

Tom is a loved character both here at Groveland Park and in the community. He has a wide circle of friends from work colleagues to councillors, and he loves to help around the home, whether he’s pottering around in the greenhouse or delivering the newspapers. Tom has also made a memorial garden for our past residents, which he takes great pride in looking after.

We had a party to celebrate and more than 50 people attended, with Tom’s family and friends here to share his special day with him, along with the Mayor of Bexley and local MPs! As an active member of the community, Tom enjoys the Geddes Palace United Reformed Church lunch club, he sits on the committee of the Belvedere Social Club and attends the Bexley Pensioners’ Forum throughout the year.

As it was an extra-special occasion, we went all out and even had live entertainment with Steve Erickson, our wonderful kitchen team put on a delicious buffet of finger food, complete with Champagne, and a magnificent 100 cake made specially by our chef topped it all off. Better yet, Tom received a birthday card from the Queen and a Buy a Gift voucher from everyone at Groveland Park. Tom has decided to use his voucher to go up The Shard with his family for lunch!

Tom was very proud to show off his home and an amazing time was had by all – it was great to see everyone come together from both in and out of the home and celebrate. From all at Groveland Park, happy birthday to Tom!

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Serenaded by Salvatore de Concilis

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Born in Naples, Italy, Salvatore de Concilis is a London-based pianist-composer and singer-songwriter with big ambition and huge talent. With international experience including in Italy, France, Denmark and Switzerland, we were lucky enough to welcome Salvatore into our home earlier this week, and the residents here at Groveland Park really loved his unique style and versatile repertoire.

This talented Italian pianist and singer wowed our residents with his amazing piano playing skills and fabulous singing voice, covering swing, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and more contemporary records, along with a few of his original instrumental compositions. Salvatore performed all afternoon with great energy and charisma, encouraging great participation by everyone in attendance.

Salvatore plays with such passion and at our residents’ request, he will be coming back to dazzle us with his talent once a month. He has said that Groveland Park is his favourite place to play as the atmosphere and energy is amazing!

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Roaring 20's!

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We had a great time at our event night celebrating the Roaring 20's! 

We're already looking forward to our next one, a Blues and Jazz night on the 6th February!

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