Springdene Newsletter November 3rd 2023

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Springdene Newsletter November 3rd 2023

THE LEAVES are turning golden and, as we write this, there’s the rich fragrance of autumn in the air.  And what a lovely Indian summer we have had, where our residents have delighted in getting outside to savour the late sunshine and the sensuousness of the season.

And it’s been especially memorable since Springview’s gardens, nurtured by green-fingered director, Stacey-Louise Balcombe, have triumphed in the annual Enfield in Bloom competition, winning both a gold and silver award.  In the view of the judges, the floral displays have brought great pleasure to our little corner of Enfield.  Stacey-Louise is (left) in the picture with Kathy Dunn, home administrator.

Now the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, our activities are centred in the cosy interiors of our homes.  Spring Grove had a delightful day of poetry, shared with the primary age pupils of Devonshire House School in Hampstead, in which young and old read and wrote poetry together.  “It was such a touching occasion,” observed their teacher.

Halloween was a highlight, with some highly decorative and spooky pumpkins carved across the homes.  Folk are looking forward to Guy Fawkes Day at the weekend.  Soon it will be Christmas, which is always magical in our homes, and the activities teams can’t wait to get folk involved in putting up the decorations.

A veritable repast of Christmas fayre will be prepared under the supervision of Mark Gates, our new group catering manager.  We are delighted to welcome Mark , who will be overseeing the catering services across our three homes henceforth.

Mark will be collaborating closely with catering director Stacey-Louise Balcombe, as he assumes full responsibility for our kitchens.  Mark made the move from Sunderland to London a decade ago and, along with his impressive culinary skills, he brings with him a charming cava-poo named Bubbles, who enjoys a life of luxury.

Mark’s career has primarily been dedicated to the care home industry.  In addition to his extensive background in care homes, Mark has also contributed his culinary expertise to various other settings, including restaurants, sports venues, and hospitals.

Mark’s dedication to serving high-quality food in the care home sector is truly commendable.  With his vast experience and knowledge, he is eager to share best practices he has gathered throughout the years to help improve the dining experience for our residents.

A big welcome to Mark, but sadly we have experienced a great loss from our Springdene family in the demise, aged 93, of Pat Arrowsmith.  One of our “celebrity” residents, Pat was a giant of the peace movement, having been a joint founder of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.  This what the Guardian said in her obituary:

 “Best known for her role in organising the first Aldermaston march against nuclear weapons, at Easter 1958, she put her life and liberty on the line many times.  She was imprisoned a dozen times and twice named a prisoner of conscience of the year by Amnesty International.” 

RIP, Pat – glad you found tranquillity in your final years at Spring Lane

Pat was not the only one of our eminent residents.  Alive and well are Robin Young, the distinguished Times, and Spectator journalist, who resides at Spring Grove.  Jean Soames, also at Spring Grove, was the first woman picture editor of the Sun.  Frank Herrmann, one of the most outstanding photojournalists of the 20th century is ensconced at Spring Lane.

Professor Patricia Jacobs, the world-famous geneticist thrives at Spring Grove, as does Rachel Kidd the distinguished artist and daughter of eminent artists Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.

You don’t have to be famous to be celebrated at Springdene.  Dorothy Quill at Spring Lane had a lovely 103rd birthday the other day, while her namesake Dorothy Adams was 100.  Happy Birthday, both Dorothies: you are our stars!

One further change, we are delighted to announce that Lori Vela, our hard-working Spring Lane manager is having a baby and will shortly be off for maternity leave.  We know that all our residents will be wishing Lori every joy and we look forward to seeing her back with her new charge!

In the meantime, we continue to receive praise and accolades from those who use our services.  We’d like to share this recent example with you from a daughter about her mother:

“The environment at Spring Grove is gentle and soothing but with a range of activities that all residents can join in with.  Recent renovation works earlier this spring (2023) have meant the addition of a lovely terrace overlooked by trees and plants where residents can relax outside, with friends or family.  Staff have been particularly helpful in facilitating phone calls, and keeping us well-informed about any health updates or concerns.  Thank you.”

Finally, with Christmas approaching, we know our families and residents are usually very generous about offering a gift to the staff.  Just to remind you about our policy; Any gifts must be offered to the home manager on behalf of the staff.  Individuals or teams cannot accept gifts, but we place all gifts into a raffle for the benefit of all the staff.

Compliments (in advance) of the season!

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