Local care home brings the beach to its Dartford residents.
( August 2022) Residents at Gardenia House enjoyed a day at the seaside this week, without having to leave the care home, thanks to a ‘Home Stay Beach Day’ organised by the care staff team.
Run by national charity, Ambient Support, Gardenia House’s garden was turned into a traditional British seaside resort with sand for building sandcastles, a real donkey for patting, hook-a-duck games and a seaside entertainer. Residents enjoyed ice-cream floats, sticks of rock and traditional fish and chips for refreshments- not to mention a visit from the local ice-cream van so residents could select their own ice-creams.
Dartford Mayor, Councillor Paul Cutler, and his wife, the Mayoress, joined the celebrations and took the opportunity to plant a tree at the home for ‘The Queen’s Green Canopy’ initiative to mark her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
Cllr Paul Cutler, Dartford Mayor, says: “I am absolutely delighted to be part of this wonderful event and honoured to plant a tree in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. Ambient Support provide an invaluable service to the local people in our community, giving older people a home from home and their families the confidence and reassurance that their loved-ones are given excellent care and support. It’s very clear to see that the residents are having a marvellous time.”
Three of Gardenia House’s centenarians were at the event– Anne 101, Joyce 100 and Dora 100. Dora, says: “It’s been a most wonderful afternoon and I feel like a child again, relieving many wonderful days out with my family by the seaside.”
There was also time to thank The Dartford Oddfellows, the local branch of the National Charity which has made many generous donations and contributions to Gardenia House over the last few years, all of which have been greatly received and appreciated by the residents. Thanks was also given to the Dartford Lions Club for commissioning and presenting reminiscence boxes to every resident which provide an opportunity for residents, relatives and staff to recall and reflect on their past lives, hobbies and pastimes.
Nigel Odd, Manager at Gardenia House, says: “The Pandemic definitely impacted on our residents’ mental wellbeing over the last two years- some struggle with their confidence and have found it difficult to venture out in our mini-bus for organised trips.
“We therefore wanted to bring the beach to our residents so they could experience the joys of the traditional British seaside without having to leave the care home. I am extremely proud of my team and I would like to thank all staff involved in going above and beyond to make the day such a wonderful success- it means so much to our residents.
“And as a small token of our appreciation, we were delighted to present Gardenia plants to all our visitors to say thank you for their support- we hope they will remember the day with fondness.”
Gardenia House is a community based residential care home, run by national charity, Ambient Support, in Dartford which provides care and support to 25 residents. Offering a home from home environment with regular and varied activities, outings and organised events. It has two small tranquil gardens in its grounds, which are fully wheelchair accessible for residents and visitors alike.
For more details on Ambient services at Gardenia House, visit www.ambient.org.uk