Baby chicks bring back egg-cellent memories for Barton Lodge resident

Baby chicks bring back egg-cellent memories for Barton Lodge resident

Barton Lodge recently brought back treasured memories for one of its residents, a former chicken farmer, by hatching a brood of chicks.

Kathy took over her farm in 1998 where she looked after around 700 chickens, ducks, sheep, and cows.

When our activities team at Barton Lodge discovered more about Kathy’s background in farming they decided to organise eggs for Kathy and the other residents to hatch.

Kathy said: “I was extremely excited to see the chicks. Working on the farm was very hard but lots of fun.

“My greatest love was always incubating the eggs and watching the chicks hatch. This experience has brought back such lovely memories of my time on the farm.”

Kathy’s farm also had a large poly tunnel where they grew fresh produce to sell to local businesses and she even helped to set-up the Sway Farmers Market.

As she got older, Kathy cut back her involvement in the farm before moving to Barton Lodge in 2019.

The eggs were donated by a local farm and staff lovingly incubated the eggs over a three-week period before seven beautiful chicks finally hatched.

Barton Lodge Manager, Amanda Cooper, said: “Raising these chicks has been a wonderful experience for all our residents and we’re so grateful to our staff for organising this wonderful initiative.

“For Kathy it brought back some amazing memories of her time on the farm and this kind of reminiscence is so important.

“It’s been wonderful to see her smiling when they finally hatched.

“The chicks will eventually return to a local free-range farm, but we all wish we could keep them here with us!”

To find out more about activities at Barton Lodge, follow our Facebook page here.


Barton Lodge residents take a trip down under to celebrate Australia Day

Barton Lodge residents take a trip down under to celebrate Australia Day

On 26th January, also known as Australia Day, Barton Lodge residents fully embraced Aussie culture, to celebrate the international holiday which honours the first European settlement in Australia.

To make the day extra special, the staff transformed Barton Lodge with Australian themed decorations, including Australian flag bunting and placemats, kangaroo and shark table decorations, plus a wonderful display showcasing Australia’s indigenous animals.

Jenny, Barton Lodge’s Activities Co-ordinator said; “None of the residents had been to Australia before, so this was the perfect opportunity to experience Australia and learn new things.”

Throughout the day the residents enjoyed learning about Australian animals, Australian music and Australian TV, before having a good old Australian sing song!

The residents were treated to a special Australian Day menu for lunch, which consisted of: ‘Pie Floater’, a very tasty meat pie, which was served on a bed of pea soup and topped with tomato sauce; ‘Barbequed snags’, a big crowd pleaser of sausages served in barbeque sauce, which was finished with a delicious pavlova for dessert.

Barbara, Activities Co-ordinator added; “All of the residents and staff had a fantastic time learning about Australia and sampling the food! We’re now thinking of ideas for our next country visit.”

The residents are already looking forward to visiting the next country! To find out more about the special activities held at Barton Lodge, please click here.

Barbados comes to Barton Lodge

Sitting on a beach with golden sand and watching the waves and tide flow in and out whilst enjoying delicious food sounds like a dream for many people.
This dream came true for Jo, one of our residents, as she enjoyed a ‘Caribbean surprise’ recently.

Bon voyage! Residents set sail on their ‘world cruise’

Bon voyage! Residents set sail on their ‘world cruise’

While most of us have been mourning cancelled holidays this year due to COVID-19, our residents at Barton Lodge have been setting sail to dreamy destinations (via their armchairs) on their luxury cruise liner, ‘Barton at Sea’.

First stop on their world cruise this year was China, just in time to celebrate Chinese New Year. Residents made their very own Chinese lanterns out of paper and tucked into a delicious stir fry.

Our residents then sailed back to Europe and took a trip to beautiful Spain, where they enjoyed a Spanish lunch consisting of paella, omelette and milk pudding. Everyone agreed that the cuisine was delicious! The lovely Rita and Maddie even put on their dancing shoes and entertained the crowds with their Spanish moves. It was the best Flamenco we’ve seen!

After a fantastic trip to Spain, it was time for our residents to get back onboard ‘Barton at Sea’ and brush up on their Italian, ready for their stop in sunny Naples. On their trip to southern Italy, residents made pizza and enjoyed some spaghetti!

Where do you think we should sail to next?

To find out more about the fun and engaging activities at Barton Lodge, contact our team here.

The benefits of gardening for older people

The benefits of gardening for older people

With spring now in full swing, our residents at Barton Lodge and Woodley Grange have been making full use of our beautiful, landscaped grounds. From potting, digging and pruning, to helping water the plants, our residents love to give a helping hand. Not only is this a fun activity for all abilities to enjoy, it’s great for their health too. Here are just some of the reasons why:


Gardens are sensory places where the scenery is constantly changing. The herbs and flowers in summer and crisp golden leaves in autumn can be very stimulating for residents, which is why both our Homes have their very own sensory gardens. These are home to colourful flowers, aromatic herbs and feeding stations for visiting birds to help stimulate senses through touch, sight, scent, taste and hearing.

Encourages physical movement

As we get older it becomes more important than ever to make sure that physical movement is a part of life. Gardening works all of the major muscle groups. This makes it a good way for older people to continue with the aerobic and strength building exercises they need to stay mobile, helping prevent falls.

Improves mental health

While gardening has many physical benefits, it can also positively impact your mental health. After all, science has proven that people are happier in nature. Those who experience depression, which is more common as we age, can improve their mood when they come into contact with soil. When people inhale a certain bacteria that lives in the soil, it increases serotonin levels and reduces anxiety.

Gardening also allows our residents to focus on something that will give them a feeling of true achievement. There’s nothing more rewarding than watching something you have planted grow and blossom into something beautiful.

Vitamin D exposure

Vitamin D is a crucial component of healthy aging. Gardening outside in the sun exposes older people to a natural source of vitamin D. While this is good news, it’s also important to ensure that protective measures are taken to avoid the dangers of exposure to sunlight and problems with dehydration.

To find out more about the activities at Barton Lodge and Woodley Grange, contact our team here.

Jo becomes Barton Lodge’s very own Mary Berry for the day

Jo becomes Barton Lodge’s very own Mary Berry for the day

Before joining us at Barton Lodge, our talented resident Jo used to make and decorate cakes for her friends and family.

From Christmas to weddings, Jo’s cakes were a must-have for all special occasions. So, when our activities team asked Jo what her wish would be for our Wish Maker campaign, she naturally turned to her passion for all things cake!

For her wish, Jo asked to share her skills with Barton Lodge by giving everyone a demonstration on how to decorate a cake. Jo’s wish was granted and she became our very own Mary Berry for the day.

Jo wanted to stick to a more traditional way of decorating, so chose to use butter icing, grated chocolate and fresh fruit to create her scrumptious masterpiece.

After the demonstration, Jo made sure the cake made its way onto the tea trolley for all the residents to enjoy.

Commenting on her wish, Barton Lodge’s activities team said; “Jo has lots of very happy memories of her cakes and how thrilled people were to receive them from her. Although she thought she had become “a little rusty”, she thoroughly enjoyed this experience (especially not having to wash up afterwards!).”

Valerie enjoys her ‘evening out’ at Barton Lodge

Valerie enjoys her ‘evening out’ at Barton Lodge

As part of our ‘Wish Makers’ initiative, our fantastic activities team at Barton Lodge pulled out all the stops to take Valerie and her guest to a very special ‘restaurant’.

Valerie’s wish was to enjoy a three-course meal in a restaurant. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, this wasn’t possible. However, this obstacle didn’t stand in the way of Jenny and Barbara from our activities team. With the help of our talented chef, Justin, they transformed the beautiful Turret Room at Barton Lodge into Valerie’s very own private dining experience.

Valerie and her special guest, Joan, tucked into some of Valerie’s favourites – prawn cocktail, gammon & chips, followed by apple pie and a selection of cheeses.

Commenting on Valerie’s wish, Jenny and Barbara from Barton Lodge’s activities team said; “It was lovely to see Valerie’s wish come true. Valerie and Joan thoroughly enjoyed their ‘evening out’ and thanked Justin for the wonderful food. We love being able to grant residents’ wishes and this is a perfect example of the thoughtful touches that make experiences extra special for those who live with us at Barton Lodge.”

Stay tuned for our next wish!

Helping residents living with dementia make their own choices

Helping residents living with dementia make their own choices

Choice is very important in the daily lives of all of us. However, for those living with dementia, having their preferences heard can be more challenging.

As someone’s dementia progresses, their cognitive (mental) abilities will decline, which will impact their ability to make their own decisions. As a result, they will require tailored support to help them keep a sense of self and maintain their quality of life.

Our approach:

Prior to joining our Homes, we speak to our residents’ loved ones to find out as much as possible about their tastes and interests, which can help shape the person-centred care they receive. However, we all know that our preferences can change over time, so it’s also important to find ways to engage and communicate with residents to give them as much choice as possible.  Here are some of the ways we achieve this:

  • By observing what our residents do rather than what they say, we can gain a clearer idea of their likes and dislikes. For example, to find out what a resident would like to wear, two outfits are presented together for the resident to choose. If the person is unable to speak, physical behaviours such as reaching, touching, picking up the item and smiling are watched to find out the item they prefer.
  • Our team try to explain things in a way that is easy to understand and use pictures to help residents choose the meals they would like to eat.
  • We give residents the time to make decisions. We don’t rush them.
  • We get to know our residents and when the best time of day to speak to them is. For example, many people living with dementia find it harder to concentrate later in the day.
  • We give residents the space to make their own decisions with activities that foster creativity and individual decision making, such as artwork, cooking, gardening and interacting with our large display screens. Some residents even want to get involved with household chores such as cleaning, which we encourage in a safe way.
  • We try to remove barriers to decision making by removing sources of potential frustration and introduce clear signage, wayfinding and the use of large clocks, which help orientate residents to a place and time.











How can families help:

Families can play a big part in helping us get to know residents by sharing their hobbies, favourite memories, photos and life achievements. It’s also important for families to have those early discussions with residents on their Alzheimer’s journey, helping them make their own advance decisions.

To find out more about our approach and how we can help a loved one living with dementia, contact our team here.


Manucourt marks National Day of Reflection

Manucourt marks National Day of Reflection

This week, Woodley Grange and Barton Lodge both took part in the National Day of Reflection, which marks a year since the start of the first lockdown.

Whilst the last twelve months have been a time of immense sadness for so many of us, what we’ve seen from the residents we support, our team and the community has been truly amazing. Everyone has worked exceptionally hard in the toughest of circumstances, so we wanted to mark this with some special activities for both our residents and our amazing team.

Planting roses in our sensory garden

As well as reflecting on the grief of the past year, the National Day of Reflection is also about hoping for a brighter future. We wanted to create something that would be lasting and meaningful, so our residents spent time planting beautiful roses in our sensory gardens for everyone to enjoy. We can’t wait to watch them grow and bloom.

A moment of silence

In a very moving minute’s silence, we all paused at midday to remember those impacted by COVID-19.

Coming together for a special afternoon tea

To say a big thank you to our incredible team, our residents hosted a wonderful afternoon tea, full of delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones. This was the perfect opportunity for everyone to come together and connect.

Take a look at some lovely photos of the day below. Thank you to our amazing activities team who helped make this lovely day happen.



Manucourt win Service Excellence award

Manucourt win Service Excellence award

We are thrilled to announce that Manucourt has won the Service Excellence award at the South Coast Business awards.

The Service Excellence award by the Daily Echo is in recognition of companies in Hampshire and across the Isle of Wight with a genuine focus on customer service – something we believe passionately about here at Manucourt.

The Service Excellence award marks the success of the whole team at Woodley Grange and Barton Lodge. It has been a challenging time for everyone, but our team have continued to show absolute dedication and commitment to providing outstanding care. We know this award means a lot to them and we are delighted to see their efforts rewarded.

Here are a few words from our Managing Director – Shabbir Walji

The trophies for the Daily Echo’s awards are normally handed out during a ceremony at St Mary’s Stadium. However, due to Covid-19, this year’s winners were revealed in a video on the Daily Echo website and in print. Click here to read more.