Sheffield nursing home proves that fun has no age limit

There is no age limit to having fun - as a nursing home in Sheffield has proven with a series of monthly events.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Thursday, 20 June, 2019, 09:34
Ben Gallagher, team member and Simon Howard, general manager, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-5

Twelve Trees Care Home, in Nether Edge, organises Memories of Friends which encourages people to put on their dancing shoes and mingle, regardless of their age, as a way to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

For just £7, attendees get a satisfying two-course lunch – fish and chips and bread pudding was the most recent menu – while enjoying popular musical oldies like ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, ‘Que Sera Sera’ and ‘Green Green Grass of Home’.

And it’s effective – last week’s event at The Ball in Crookes attracted plenty of non-residents.

Jane Jackson of Stannington, who frequents the pub, is a fan – despite being confined to a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis, the 55-year-old still tapped her feet and sang along.

“I like old people, I adore them,” she said. “I think the event is fantastic. I’ve only known a few pubs and this is the one that I enjoy the most.

“I make sure I come here every time because I know it’s going to be good. I have a good laugh, a good joke, I’m enjoying it.”

back l-r Kathy Markwick, Independent Community Services Consultant, Emma Kennedy, care supervisor, Dawn Cowan, attendee and Russ Elliott, entertainer. Front l-r Len Hopkins, Janice Jones and Jane Jackson, attendees. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-1

Meanwhile, 86-year-old Twelve Trees resident Patrick Hart demonstrated he was young at heart by heading to the dance floor.

“I like going here and I love dancing,” he said, smiling. “It is lovely and the food is nice too, but a bit too hard for me to chew.”

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Entertainer Russ Elliott said the events were an important way of combating isolation.

“People say once they go to a care home, that’s the end of it,” Russ said. “It isn’t because it’s just a new part of their lives and they need things like everybody else does. People just need to get out and communicate with each other.”

Entertainer Russ Elliott, pictured with attendee Patrick Hart. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-2

Twelve Trees supervisor Emma Kennedy said the next event at The Ball will be held on July 17 and encouraged young people to join in the fun.

“We hold it every third Wednesday of the month,” she said. “Even young people can come just to have a couple of hours out of the house and talk to people.”

And The Ball’s general manager Simon Howard said he was more than happy to play the host.

“This is my third time hosting the event and it is absolutely cracking to do it here for the community. I hope this can get local people to see others they don’t usually meet. I thought that’d be great.”

Attendees to the Twelve Trees Memories of friends event at the Ball. pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-3
Entertainer Russ Elliott, pictured with attendee Patrick Hart. Picture: Marie Caley NSST-19-06-19-MemoriesOfFriends-4