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Carnival comes to Surbiton care home

A care home in Surbiton is celebrating its tenth birthday with a Caribbean-themed open day.

The Carnival Open Day will bring the sounds, scents and flavours of the Caribbean to Royal Star & Garter on 22 August, from 2-4pm, and is also open to the public.

Royal Star & Garter provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The charity also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe.

The open day will see the award-winning Home open its doors and showcase the outstanding person-centred care it provides.

Staff opted for a Caribbean theme after asking residents how they would like to celebrate the Home’s 10th anniversary. They spoke of their wish to attend Notting Hill Carnival, which takes place on the streets of West London in August. As residents are too frail to attend Notting Hill, staff decided to bring the Carnival to the Home. The celebrations also tie-in with the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush docking in England in 1948.

The Carnival Open Day will include a procession and Carnival Queen, steelpan drum band entertainment, Caribbean food truck and fruit punch.

The Deputy Mayor of Kingston, the Police, the Fire Brigade service and Air Cadets will also be attending, as will children from a nearby nursery who will be dressed for the Carnival celebration.

Residents, family, staff and volunteers from Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton will also enjoy the event.

Among them will be resident Bet, who turns 100 in October, and will realise a life-long dream of becoming a Carnival Queen. Lesley O’Driscoll, who is part of the Wellbeing Team which is helping organise the day, said: “Bet’s always wanted to be a Carnival Queen and is looking forward to having that wish come true.”

Home Manager Helena Maher said: “We were thinking of ways to celebrate our 10th birthday, and residents said they’d like to attend Notting Hill Carnival. That’s not possible due to their complex care needs, so we decided to bring the Carnival to the Home. We’re all looking forward to it, and to welcoming people from the local community who would like to join us and who are interested in looking around the Home.”

She added:

Royal Star & Garter staff come from diverse backgrounds, and the Surbiton Home recently celebrated the Philippines’ Independence Day and Black History Month. The charity has also organised activities to explore other cultures.

The Carnival Open Day takes place from 2-4pm. Entry is free but spaces are limited and must be booked in advance. To do so, please click here.

Alternatively, email or call 020 8339 5100.

Royal Star & Garter is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to work for the charity, go to

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