Care home marks Chinese New Year

The Oaks Care Home resident Ann Lillico and maintenance man Chris Sogorski.

The Orient came to Northumberland as a care home held celebrations for Chinese New Year and The Year of the Dog.

Residents, staff and visitors at The Oaks Care Home in Blyth joined more than a billion Chinese people worldwide in observing the annual festival.

One of the residents, Bennett Townsend, also used the occasion to celebrate being born in The Year of The Dog – which comes around every 12 years.

Both Bennett’s birth year, 1946, and this year, 2018, share the same Chinese zodiac sign.

The care home was decorated in Chinese bunting, lanterns and ornaments and residents were treated to a banquet of Chinese food.

Entertainer Michael Stevens performed classic songs from the fifties, sixties and seventies during the celebrations.

Dennis Allen, who has recently moved to The Oaks Care Home, on Durban Street, said: “I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it, but I’m glad I came along as it was a lovely evening.

“The singer Michael was brilliant. It was nice to see everyone having a good time.”

Fellow resident Loretta Storey added: “It has been a lovely night getting together with everyone and having a tipple and some nibbles.

“I’ve also met some new people that I haven’t seen before, which was nice.”

Ann Mielnik, home manager at The Oaks Care Home, said: “We hold weekly residents’ meetings at the home and they all said they wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year.

“The staff decorated the home, put on a feast of Chinese food, brought in a local entertainer and had a wonderful party for the residents and visitors.

“Everyone had a great time learning about the traditions of a different culture and tasting new foods.

“I’m sure we’ll be marking the occasion again next year.”

Regular provision by the activities co-ordinator at The Oaks Care Home includes one-to-one pamper sessions, reminiscence activities and games.

Residents also attend dementia-friendly lunches arranged by local charity Mind Active and go on outings to the seaside and to local beauty spots.

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