Special Day

One of the really special days we celebrated in May was of course VE Day. Wartime memorabilia was on show throughout Shipston Lodge as we commemorated that momentous day 75 years ago when peace returned to Europe. We decorated our hallway with Union Jack bunting and created a museum-style feel. We had a WWII uniform and a few 1940s-style dresses. We also printed out World War Two pictures of the places where all of our residents lived and other images showing bomb-damaged sites such as the Bournville factory. Then we laminated the pictures and stuck them on the picture frames so our residents and staff could walk along and look at the displays. We covered our piano and garden lounge entrance with camouflage material, aeroplanes and bombs. Residents helped to make ration books by copying an original version and to add authenticity we stained them with coffee! Then inside the books we printed what rations adults would have had per day. Also included was the menu for our BBQ. Chef prepared homemade burgers, sausages and chicken skewers. He also created homemade coleslaw and fresh salad. We also had a treat for dessert with homemade trifle and rainbow cake. We sat out in the garden then proceeded to the dining area for our lunch, which was decorated with more Union Jack bunting, flags, paper napkins, plates and cups. We also organised a big board setting out all of the fascinating stories from our residents of the periods before and during the war. Because of the lockdown we couldn’t invite any entertainers in; undaunted, members of the Shipston Lodge team stepped up performed and then led sing-a-longs to wartime favourites. Some staff even dressed as Land girls and members of a bomber crew. Throughout the day we had the chance to look through two albums showing photos and stories of our residents’ wartime experience. It was a truly wonderful day. Among the many lovely comments from residents was one from Eileen who said it was ‘such a wonderful day with singing,’ and Selina said: “It was excellent, it was organised well.” For Pam, ‘it brought back great memories,’ and Johnny said, “It was great, I loved it.” And Alan was so kind: “It was such a wonderful day. What you have all put in as planned for the day was a merit to you all. I wanted to salute all of you for making this day brilliant for us.”

Keeping Busy

With all this lovely weather recently it only seemed appropriate to have a very welcome visit from an ice cream van. Both residents and staff were very grateful when Mr Whippi popped by! For those who love a sing-a-long we hosted one in our very own pub, The Lamb Inn. The chef dropped in to demonstrate how to make refreshing elderflower cordial, which was then used the following day to wash down the amazing Waldorf salad chef had created with leaves and herbs from our residents’ garden. We’ve had lots of fun with photos recently, from rockstar glasses pictured in inflatable frames to silly phone apps. Great fun! We always keep busy here at Shipston Lodge, and recently residents helped decorate tables for afternoon tea and quiz, we watched movies, took part in wonderful chair exercises and had a sing-a-long with Tina Turner on karaoke. While there was a more sedate pace in the salon with vinyl records playing golden oldies as the ladies enjoyed a little pampering. Lovely. As Easter approached there was plenty of arts and crafts on show with residents creating beautiful embroidered felt bunnies and chicks. We thought it would be great fun to ask residents, staff, family and friends to take part in an Easter bonnet making competition. Wow! We were amazed by the outstanding quality. And the parade was quite special too. And the staff were very grateful to receive a lovely big Easter hamper from Johnny. Thank you so much x Making the best of the lovely weather in the garden by planting some flowers in the raised beds. And gardening too: courgettes, chillies, runner beans, herbs and tomatoes. We’ve been very creative making pom poms, transforming our shoes in the process. While some preferred them as earrings! Technology such as Skype has really helped us keep in touch with loved ones at the moment. Great fun was had all playing life-size Hungry Hippos with some members of staff showing a surprising level of competitiveness! We are always touched by the messages of love and support from friends and family, and we were especially moved in early April when we received letters from local school children. In one letter, young Josh said how he was enjoying springtime watching the baby lambs in the fields and the flowers growing in his garden. He also hoped the picture of a rainbow he painted would make the residents smile. It certainly did Josh, thank you. And six-year-old Jensen wrote a lovely letter asking us about how we spent our days and telling us about how he was spending his time on a trampoline and a swing when not doing schoolwork at home. We also have Bonnie and Vinnie writing from the New Forest about the freedom ponies have to roam about there. When the weather is this good why not celebrate with a little singing and dancing! And a regular favourite… Hair and Nails Day!

Lovely residents, great team

Maintaining a safe, loving environment while ensuring fun and happiness continues during such a challenging time comes down to one thing says Michelle Rogers, manager of Shipston Lodge: people. “The staff work so hard,” says Michelle. “They pull together as a team, they support the residents, and smile throughout this difficult time because they love their job and because they actually work for the residents.” Michelle stresses the importance of this ethos. “The residents aren’t living in our workplace we are working in their home.”

While Shipston Lodge has a real family feel, like all families each member is an individual and so residents are no different. “We are all about person-centred care,” says Michelle. “It is all about what that individual person wants, and if they don’t want to get involved then that’s fine, and if they want to get involved we will see what their interests are.” The member of the team responsible for finding out those interests has enlisted the format of a TV favourite from a few decades ago to help out in an entertaining way. Queenie Goudie creates a version of This Is Your Life when residents first arrive with their families. “I make it a fun event,” explains Queenie. “I say to the resident, ‘this is about you, what is it you want, what makes you happy.’”

A This Is Your Life-style book is then created and updated with the details and photos of the activities the resident takes part in, ‘then that book stays in their rooms so family and staff can have a look and reminisce with the resident,’ says Queenie. As an activity coordinator, Queenie enjoys a very hands-on role. “I am involved with all the aspects of choosing, planning and carrying out activities and events for residents on a daily basis at least seven days a week and on an eight hours a day basis,” she says. “I try to make these activities a safe and enjoyable experience for the residents and staff, from gardening to games including hungry hippo and Scrabble, and from fine dining to themed events such as the recent VE Day commemoration,” says Queenie.

“It is so rewarding when the residents join in and thank you for a wonderful time.” Michelle agrees that marking historic events as important as the Second World War allows younger generations to honour those who lived through it. “Our residents mean so much to us,” she says. “If it wasn’t for our residents none of us would be here. And what they went through in their lives we will never experience.” Surprisingly perhaps, Queenie’s route to the job she loves so much was by chance. While working as a student liaison officer in a college she organised a care agency manager visit to talk to Health and Social Care students. “The care manager said to me ‘you should be doing care with your personality and your organisational skills and experience as an event organiser’.

So I undertook the role as a senior carer/office scheduler in the care agency, working in private homes for over six years and went on to hospital (Horton Hospital) as Nursing Assistant for over two years. “But I really did miss the closeness of being near residents and wanted something different from care agency or hospital work; and my colleagues, my family and friends did say to me with my experience and knowledge and my personality I should be looking at being either a care manager or activities coordinator, so I started looking for a vacancy as activities coordinator,” says Queenie. “And have never looked back!” And Michelle is delighted to have her at Shipston Lodge.

“Queenie brings many things to the job: a person people can trust, and she builds that trust,” says Michelle. “Residents open up to her, which is great and proves she gives them time and supports them, to feel comfortable. All the staff at the home, including management, mirror Queenie’s hands-on approach. “Queenie’s enthusiasm gets the rest of the staff on board,” says Michelle, “and myself and Clive [Edward, deputy manager] and the managers get involved as well. I’ll happily help wash hair and other duties; just because I’m a manager doesn’t mean I can’t do that.” Michelle insists breaking down hierarchical barriers and supporting each other works well for the team at Shipston Lodge. “We have cross-boundary work here,” she says. “The chef came down at the weekend and made elderflower cordial with the residents. “Chef gets very passionate about food and also created a big union jack for the VE Day cake, and was more than happy to research what they would have eaten at that time.”

Finding ourselves in another challenging period of our history, Michelle says making sure morale is kept high is important for all in the home. “We’ve been fortunate that we’ve had no residents poorly, no staff poorly and we’ve done a great job with cleaning and with infection control,” says Michelle. “We’ve had no problems with PPE, and our directors have been fabulous – if we’ve needed it we’ve got it. “But since lockdown, maintaining high morale is very important as our residents need us to be that smiley, happy person.” If staff members feel they need to discuss concerns about issues outside of Shipston Lodge, Queenie has organised a space for regular drop-in sessions. “When Michelle arrived here she said we have a lot of space, we should utilise it. So we have an in-house pub, the Lamb Inn – but there’s no beer! – a place where staff can meet up once a week to offload about things if they want,” Queenie says. “We’re all friends here. It’s really nice.” Ensuring colleagues as well as residents feel loved and cared for is everyday reality for Queenie, and her manager is one of her many fans. “I think Queenie is amazing,” says Michelle. “I always say that her last employer’s loss is my gain.”

A fabulous February full of flowers

For those who are green-fingered and even those who aren’t, flower arranging can be rather enjoyable and therapeutic! And in addition to being a fun activity, the arrangements can bring joy for days or even weeks thereafter – especially if you remember to water them…

That’s why we have started flower arranging every other Wednesday right here at Shipston Lodge!

Our first few sessions have been a great hit with the ladies living here, and they have made some stunning arrangements so far. Everyone’s bedrooms are looking and smelling beautiful, with floral displays dotted around the home. What a wonderful thing they must be to wake up to!

In fact, flowers aren’t just a benefit to us for their aesthetic appeal – they’re actually known to help reduce stress and promote wellbeing, boosting your mood whenever you catch a glimpse of gypsophila or spot alluring alstroemeria across the room. Lavender is, of course, linked with enjoying a good night’s sleep, with its essence captured for aromatherapy oils and various other health-related products. It has even been said that with flowers being so fragrant and these smells are so strongly linked with memory, flowers actually have the potential to stir specific memories! And that provides us with all the motivation we need to ensure our flower-arranging sessions continue taking place every other Wednesday.

At each floristry session, we will be encouraging everyone to try different projects with a variety of themes, and we’ll even try working on some larger collaborative projects too that we can display around the home.

Keep an eye out for our residents’ fantastic displays next time you visit our home! They most definitely make everyone around here feel happy and bright, even with this chilly wintry weather. If you’d like to find out more about the range of activities we hold here at Shipston Lodge, please do get in touch.

A trip ‘Down Memory Lane’ at Shipston Lodge

When’s the last time you went on a trip down memory lane? Here at Shipston Lodge, we’re lucky enough to enjoy a trip every single month. That’s because our home is now the main venue for a fabulous local singing group called ‘Down Memory Lane’!

The group, based within the Shipston-on-Stour area, needed a last-minute venue as a result of unforeseen circumstances just before Christmas – and we willingly stepped in. They were so delighted with us and our kind hospitality that they are now using Shipston Lodge as their main venue! We’re absolutely delighted by this and it’s our pleasure to host ‘Down Memory Lane’.

Once a month, the ‘Down Memory Lane’ singing group gets together here in our home to sing a wide range of songs, offering a wonderful opportunity for those living with dementia and their carers to enjoy singing along with each other. The group very kindly invited everyone living here at Shipston Lodge to join in whenever they’d like to, and we provide refreshments as a thank you.

There is a great atmosphere here at Shipston Lodge whenever the singing group is here, and everyone has a wonderful time. Even staff members have been getting involved! It’s an event we all look forward to and everyone has a smile on their face after the monthly get-together.

Where choirs are concerned, the more, the merrier, as voices are stronger together and it means even more people can have fun. If you would like to join the singing group, then please do get in touch with the team here at Shipston Lodge and we can let you know when the next session is being held here in our home.

Making music with Kiddleydivey

As 2020 is our first full year as a nursing home, we’ve been working hard to get our events and activities up and running for our residents to enjoy. We are about to hold our first Kiddleydivey session, and we’d love for you to join us!

Tomorrow (Thursday 16th January) at 11am, Kiddleydivey is coming to Shipston Lodge Nursing Home to hold a fun-filled music session – we hope to see everyone getting stuck in and thoroughly enjoying the session.

We’re sure this won’t be difficult, as Kiddleydivey is a fantastic organisation working with care homes across the Cotswolds and they believe in the restorative and therapeutic benefits of music, movement and laughter. No matter how people vary in age or ability, background or life experiences, music brings everyone together, and that’s what we’re hoping to do at Shipston Lodge.

Each music session is based on a theme, so you’ll have to come along tomorrow to find out what this month’s theme is – it could be songs from the 1920s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s or ’60s so come along and join in the fun, and get ready to sing along, get moving in your seat or maybe you’ll even get up and dance!

We’re so sure that the Kiddleydivey session will be a success, we’ll be welcoming Kiddleydivey into our home once a month from now on! Please do join us tomorrow at 11am for what’s sure to be a great morning here at Shipston Lodge.

Shipston Lodge is a Pinders Award Finalist!


We are delighted to announce that Shipston Lodge Nursing Home has been selected as a finalist at the 2020 Pinders Healthcare Design Awards.

Shipston Lodge is a purpose-built nursing home that only opened in 2019, and its unique horseshoe design lends itself ideally to care, providing a haven for all those who call it home.

When Shipston Lodge was announced as a finalist, it was said that:

"The standard of entries has continued to rise, and we have been faced with the very difficult task of choosing three finalists in each category from a selection of outstanding designs”.

We are incredibly proud to have been recognised as one of the top three homes in the Best New Care Home (lower development budget) category.

In early 2020, a team of judges from the Healthcare Design Awards will be visiting Shipston Lodge to look around our home. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 11th March at The Royal Lancaster London Hotel.

The judges are looking for style with substance, innovation and attention to detail inside, and great design of external spaces – including gardens, terraces and balconies – and how these are made readily available to those living in the home.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Shipston Lodge so far and made it the wonderful home we see today. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and keep checking our news page to find out how we get on in March!

In the meantime, if you’d like to find out a little more about Shipston Lodge Nursing Home and the expert nursing, long-term and respite care we provide, please do get in touch. Simply call 01608 698 836, email info@shipstonlodge.co.uk or just pop in next time you’re passing by – you’ll find us just off Tilemans Lane. We’d love to meet you and show you around our home and gardens.

Shipston-on-Stour's museum has a new home!

Since the 1970s, Shipston-on-Stour has had its very own museum right in the centre of town, founded by Mike Ashley and Dick Burge. The museum is run by the Shipston-on-Stour and District Local History Society and is packed full of memorabilia centred on the town’s rich history, with interesting artefacts, antiquities and curios in abundance.

In addition to photographs, the museum also houses documents, household goods, tools, coins, machinery and books, remains of the horse-drawn tramway, items relating to Shipston-on-Stour’s wool heritage and even objects from WWI and WWII.

Earlier this year, it was thought that Shipston Museum may have to close its doors following the sad passing of Mike Ashley, but town councillors have stepped in to save it, offering a new permanent home for the attraction at Old Clark House on West Street.

Bekki Hillman, from the History Society, said: “This is great news, there’s a lot of excitement locally about it and it’s opened up a lot of interest in the museum. It’s great that the Town Council have stepped in to help and hopefully we can get the mayor there for our grand reopening.”

Cllr Shelagh Saunders said: “The museum has been housed in Mike’s home so now it does have to be moved. It is currently opening on a part-time basis at Old Clark House on a Thursday and Friday 1-4pm and on Saturdays 11am-4pm. After Christmas it will close for redecoration before a grand reopening at Easter. It’s a great setting and it’s accessible. The museum will house a large collection of farming and veterinary equipment displays about Shipston’s wool industry and the Royal British Legion will also be showing some of their items.”

Here at Shipston Lodge, we’re delighted to hear that the museum has found new premises and we can’t wait to take our residents from Shipston Lodge along for a look around. With so many old photos in the museum, it wouldn’t be surprising if somebody spotted a relative or two!

If you’d like to stay in the loop with all our goings-on here at Shipston Lodge Nursing Home in Shipston-on-Stour, be sure to follow us on Facebook! To find out more about our all-inclusive nursing, long-term and respite care, contact the team or pop in next time you’re passing by. We hope to see you very soon.

Festive Open Day at Shipston Lodge | Saturday 14th December from 10am – 3pm

Christmas is just around the corner and will be here before we know it! That’s why we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you and your family along to our Festive Open Day on Saturday 14th December.

Our doors will be open to all from 10am until 3pm for you to come and have a look around our beautiful new home, meet Father Christmas in his Grotto and enjoy some delicious complimentary refreshments and snacks in the true spirit of Christmas. It’s also the ideal time to meet our wonderful team and those who already call Shipston Lodge their home.

Take the chance to have a mooch around our fantastic facilities while you’re here, including our cinema room, library, café, activities room, pub, fine dining room, lovely lounges, glorious gardens (if the sun is shining!) and luxurious en-suite bedrooms. We’d be more than happy to show you around and help you to get a real feel for this brand-new, luxury, all-inclusive nursing home.

Please do join us for our festive open day here at Shipston Lodge – we’re sure you’ll like what you see as soon as you walk through our doors. Let’s spread a little Christmas cheer at Shipston Lodge.

You’ll find our family-run home on Tilemans Lane, just opposite Shipston Primary School, only a short walk from Shipston-on-Stour town centre. Please do get in touch if you require any further information. We hope to see you on 14th!

The Shipston Lodge Dementia Café

Dementia is an incredibly cruel disease and living with it – or watching a friend or family member live with it – can be very difficult. That’s why we’re holding a Dementia Café here at Shipston Lodge twice a month, to give those living near our home in Shipston-on-Stour a safe place where dementia’s welcomed with open arms.

Every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 2pm – 4pm, the Dementia Café takes place here at Shipston Lodge, and it’s completely free of charge to all those living with dementia, along with their carers.

After opening our doors in September, we didn’t hang about and started our Dementia Café in October. The first few meet-ups have been a huge success, taking place on Wednesday 9th October, Wednesday 23rd October and Wednesday 6th November, and our next session is taking place on Wednesday 20th November from 2pm – 4pm.

If you can’t make it, the following session will take place on Wednesday 4th December. You’re always welcome whenever you’d like to come along and we really hope you can join us in the near future at our Dementia Café. We have created the café to act as a source of comfort and support to all those whose lives are affected by dementia, somewhere to freely discuss experiences and concerns, to make new friends and most importantly, to know that you’re not alone.

If you’d like to learn more about our Dementia Café before joining us, please do get in touch by email or telephone, or feel free to pop in next time you’re passing Shipston Lodge on Tilemans Lane.