School children bring joy to our residents with a special carol service


Our residents were serenaded by school children from Abbotsholme School in Uttoxeter and enjoyed classic carols and Christmas songs whilst they kept cosy and warm indoors.

The special performance took place at the grounds of our home and as the children gathered around the lit-up Christmas tree in our large garden, the residents watched and waved from the windows with the Barrowhill Hall team.

Amongst those who enjoyed being serenaded was resident Kenneth Staley, 79, “It was lovely,” he said, whilst resident Gladys Poree, 88, described the concert as “beautiful”.

Our lifestyle coordinator, Sally-Ann Davis, could see how much the residents loved the concert but also the positive impact the children’s singing had on them.

“Being a dementia specialist home, a lot of our residents have limited communication,” she explained, “but some of them became noticeably chattier during the children’s visit. Our residents enjoyed it so much and we could see that just from the looks of joy on their faces.

“Everyone was very attentive, and they were smiling, nodding, waving and singing along, they just loved it. It was a cold night, so we decided to keep everyone warm and watch from the windows and it felt very festive.”

Maintaining strong community links is one way our dedicated team help to ensure our residents live lives full of meaning and purpose. Previously the students from Abbotsholme School have visited to read to the residents and we were delighted to welcome them back for the Christmas concert.

Resident Alfred Hudson, 87, enjoyed the carols and said they were, “brilliant and heart-warming.” For him, the concert brought back special memories of his favourite Christmases. “I remember Christmas with my two boys”, he said, “this reminds me of when they were young.”

The children sang classic carols such as ‘Away in a Manger’ and ‘Little Donkey’, alongside their Headmistress, Mrs Helen Wilkinson, who was beaming with pride.

“The children had a fantastic time,” she said. “They were singing their hearts out for the residents and representing everything our school stands for.

“We were so proud of them for volunteering and for all their efforts in making the residents smile. It seems we enjoyed it as much as they did.”

The residents’ family members, friends and loved ones were invited to the evening, which was a big hit with Sally-Ann’s grandson, four-year-old Jehsiah Smith.

“He is fascinated by choirs,” Sally-Ann said. “He’s forever singing Jingle Bells and he hadn’t seen such a big choir before so he couldn’t take his eyes off them from the window.

“He’s a bit nervous and he loves being at the home because our residents love to see him. They always have time for him and love to chat with him.

“He’s coming here on Boxing Day and he’s really looking forward to it. The residents give him confidence and really bring him out of his shell.”

The Christmas concert is one of several activities we put on over the festive season. Other events included a Christmas evening with a live singer, complete with mulled wine and mince pies, a talented vocalist performing a war-themed Christmas show called ‘Putting on the Blitz’, and a Christmas fair with Santa Claus meeting residents in the home’s lounge and visiting nursing residents in their rooms.

Our care home manager, Dania Meadows said, “For us these events are about coming together as an extended family at Christmas time – the residents, their loved ones and the Barrowhill Hall team.

“It was a very special evening having the children come to our home and we could see how much it meant to the residents. The team have been going above and beyond to make sure Christmas is special and magical for the residents and this performance from Abbotsholme School was no exception.

“It really gave us all that warm Christmassy feeling and it was the perfect way to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.”

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