Alice in Wonderland characters help Winchester care home St Catherines View celebrate tenth anniversary

A decade of community care has been celebrated with an Alice in Wonderland-themed party at a Winchester care home.

Team members at Colten Care’s St Catherines View in Stanmore Lane needed no excuse to put on fancy dress and adopt the characters of Lewis Carroll’s famous fantasy story.

As they mingled, chatted and danced with the Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat and of course Alice herself, residents enjoyed afternoon tea in the garden.

The soundtrack was a mix of pop standards and tunes from the musicals performed live on guitar, saxophone and vocals by musicians and companionship team members Lois Howard-Walsh and Naomi Rides.

The 10th anniversary celebration was themed on Alice in Wonderland following a request from residents.

After a spread of treats and lemonade, home manager Vanda Baker, the Queen of Hearts, cut the anniversary cake, sharing out slices to residents and colleagues.

Vanda said: “Our Hatter’s tea party was a lovely opportunity to celebrate and we all had fun, dancing and singing along to the music.

“The choice of the Alice theme just goes to show how much people, our residents included, love the story of the little girl who follows a rabbit on a great adventure.

“It has an enduring and universal appeal.”

Resident Madge Goodman said: “It was great to have fun and enjoy a party and I loved everyone dressing up.”

St Catherines View was officially opened as a dedicated dementia care home by the then Mayor of Winchester, Barry Lipscomb, in late spring 2012.

Within a year, it won two national accolades.

First, it was named Best Specialist Dementia Facility at the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards.

Then it won gold for Best Memory Garden at the New Homes Gardens Awards for the way its outdoor features stimulate residents’ memories.Michael Blakstad, whose wife lives at the home, said: “All carers are wonderful but at St Catherines View they are particularly wonderful. Colten Care train their staff so well.”

As part of its dementia care strategy and in partnership with Dementia UK, Colten Care has provided Admiral Nurse support to St Catherines View for the past five years.

Admiral Nurse Kay Gibson said: “We and Dementia UK share the same vision that you can indeed live well with dementia if you have the right care in place.

“I work alongside the residents and staff at St Catherines View. My aim is to give residents and their families the one-to-one support, handholding, expert guidance and practical solutions they need.”