Coffee and cakes fundraising at our care home in Dorchester

Published: Thursday 24th September 2020

Residents at our care home in Dorchester haven’t let COVID-19 restrictions stop them from joining in with the Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning 2020.

Although the official date for the Coffee Morning is Friday 25 September, this year Macmillan Cancer Support appealed for people to hold their coffee morning whenever and however it suited them best:

“Small or big, tea or coffee, socially distanced or virtual – Coffee Morning is what you make it.”

Putting the flags out

So the care team at Cheriton, our Dorchester residential care home, decided to put the flags out, literally, on 16 September and raise what they could for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Tea time at Cheriton Care Home

Cheriton holds a Coffee Morning for Macmillan every year, but this year was obviously going to be very different. Usually, family members and friends are invited in to join the fun. And everyone has a very jolly time over lots of cups of tea and coffee, and many, many cakes.

Cheriton’s team of activity coordinators put their heads together to see whether the home could take part in this year’s event. And if so, how.

Andy, one of Cheriton’s activity coordinators, told us:

“We talked about whether to still go ahead this year, seeing as it wouldn’t be the same as normal. But we were all determined that the show must go on! So we sent off to Macmillan for a fundraising pack, which included recipes, bunting, balloons, tablecloths and cake flags. Our creative residents spent an arty couple of days colouring in the bunting to decorate the dining room.”

On the Coffee Morning itself the activities team put the bunting up, alongside the balloons and tablecloths. Then the residents gathered to sample big cakes and little cupcakes created by the fabulous baking team of the Cheriton chef, one of the home’s housekeeping team and one of the care assistants.

Handmade brooches

To add to the party spirit Cheriton’s housekeeper Debbie generously made lots of amazing and colourful flower brooches by hand. The brooches were on sale at the Coffee Morning, with all the proceeds being added to the money raised.

Macmillan Coffee Morning brooches for sale at Cheriton Care Home

Karen Wilson, Cheriton’s registered manager, said:

“We’re a very sociable bunch at Cheriton and the Coffee Morning was a great reason to bring all the residents together. Who doesn’t like a cuppa, some cake and a natter? The team spent the morning reminiscing with residents about previous coffee mornings and their favourite cakes!

“We couldn’t have friends and family to this year’s Coffee Morning. But we have been welcoming them in for individual socially-distanced garden visits. Luckily we have lovely gardens here and we’ve really been making the most of them.

“Our visitors arrive equipped with their own face covering. In return we supply visitor-covering: each of our gazebos keeps a resident and visitor out of the wind, and is tons better than an umbrella if it starts drizzling! We also provide the tea, coffee and biscuits (can you spot a Cheriton theme here?), and each visit lasts up to an hour.

“Socially-distanced visits have proved very popular, on top of our new-found love for FaceTime and WhatsApp. As at all the Agincare residential care homes, in Dorchester we’re determined to keep our residents in touch with their family and friends. Communication and contact, even if it’s virtual, is what makes us human.”

We are encouraging a family member to visit our care homes in Dorchester, Dorset and across the country. Our guidelines include social distancing and face coverings to minimise the risk of infection.

Read more about our approach to family visits at our care homes in Dorchester and elsewhere during the COVID-19 pandemic.