Cote Charity News – March-April 2020

The staff and residents of Katherine House and Griffiths House continue to inspire us all with their zest for life and contagious enthusiasm. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 lockdown, residents have been engaging in a wide variety of fun and stimulating activities over the past few weeks, planned and coordinated by the energetic Wellbeing Team who bring positive energy to the homes every day. You can follow the latest activities at Katherine House and Griffiths House on Twitter and Instagram at @cotecharity1.

Holi Festival
Staff members Sudesh & Raj led our celebration of the Holi Festival in early March. They brought in traditional sparkling outfits and made a delicious authentic meal which we all thoroughly enjoyed. After supper we listened to Indian music and enjoyed some traditional Indian dancing. Our residents embraced the opportunity to make mandalas out of petals inspired by lotus flowers, discussing the symbolism of each colour. What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Indian culture.

Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is always a very special occasion at Katherine House and Griffiths House when we take time to reflect on the important women who have influenced our lives. We all enjoyed sharing stories about our own mothers and our roles as mothers while we made beautiful flower arrangements to display in the homes for all to enjoy.

During another creative activity, residents were invited to design a Mother’s Day Matisse. Inspired by the artist’s techniques, our talented residents created a portrait of the person sitting opposite them and we all felt incredibly proud of the fantastic pieces of artwork.

St David’s Day
Our Welsh residents enjoyed listening to the Male Voice Choirs on St David’s Day, discussing Welsh traditions and preparing a vase of daffodils to decorate every room!

Celebrations continued into the evening with a Welsh-themed Social Club event for everyone to enjoy. Our Welsh residents felt extremely patriotic and proud when we played Wales’ national anthem. We all learnt some Welsh words and phrases and were very pleased to accept help from our Welsh attendees when it came to the pronunciation! We all sang and danced to music from Welsh legends Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Katherine Jenkins and we waved our arms to music by the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins.

Shared Reading
We feel very lucky to have several volunteers from the organisation The Reader, who read aloud to residents on a regular basis. Since the social distancing rules have come into effect, we have been able to carry on this initiative remotely. This is a global ‘Shared Reading’ movement that seeks to bring communities together through literature. During the sessions at Katherine House and Griffiths House residents listen to a short novel or a poem and are then encouraged to share their thoughts and memories provoked by the reading.

Due to popular demand, the in-house Wellbeing Team is now running additional Shared Reading groups for residents.

Knit & Natter
Residents always look forward to our group knitting sessions where they enjoy this relaxing activity, pick up new skills and make new friends.

Sunny Weather
We’ve all been enjoying the beautiful weather, soaking up the sunshine outside and going for walks around the grounds, ensuring that we follow the important social distancing rules with anyone who doesn’t live with us.

Time for a Cuppa
‘Time for a Cuppa’ is an annual event where people across the UK raise money for Dementia UK. This special charity is close to all of our hearts and we were thrilled to host a tea party, with the money raised going to such a worthwhile cause. Thank you to everyone who brought in cakes and donated money on the day.

International Women’s Day
Celebrating the achievements of women all over the world, residents were invited to look at inspirational women in history and the impact they have had on our lives. This was a very special afternoon spent discussing the incredible women who have helped to shape us into the people we are today.

St Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day proved a popular theme in our well-attended Social Club. Residents enjoyed dressing up and sampling Guinness. We listened to Irish music, learnt about Ireland’s fascinating history, read poetry and joined in with a lively sing-along to Irish songs including Molly Malone, Danny Boy, Whiskey in the Jar and the Wild Rover.

News Round
Our regular ‘News Round’ sessions have become focused on uplifting, positive news around the world. We all agree that in a time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to celebrate inspiring people and remember that there are still happy events occurring all over the world, all the time.

Wellbeing Day
Staff and residents were invited to take part in a special day to relax and promote all aspects of their wellbeing. Starting the day with a peaceful Yoga session, we all felt calm and refreshed. The Wellbeing Team continued the theme throughout the day with aromatherapy alongside mindfulness and meditation exercises. We discussed how mindfulness can help us to relax and live in the moment.

Vera Lynn’s Birthday Party
To celebrate Vera Lynn’s 103rd birthday, we held a party fit for a Dame! Residents wore homemade party hats and made bunting to wish ‘the Force’s sweetheart’ a very happy birthday. We raised a glass to Vera, sang her classic songs and reminisced about the wartime with some memorabilia.

Spring Equinox
Welcoming the arrival of spring in Social Club, we celebrated the changing seasons by passing around flowers from the gardens and listening to Celtic music. Everyone is looking forward to sunnier days and peaceful walks outside, following the social distancing rules of course so that we all stay safe and well.