Meet our Activities Coordinator, Natalie Popa
I began working for Barchester in 2015 as a Carer at Orchard House in Newport. It was a very exciting and enjoyable experience.
In September 2016, I moved to Bromley and learned that there was an activities vacancy at Thackeray House in Croydon, so I requested to be transferred to this home. I began my new job in January 2017 and love working here and making a difference to residents' lives.
Activities at Thackeray House
Our Activities Coordinators are dedicated to enhancing residents' quality of life by providing regular social and psychological stimulation. The activities can be undertaken in groups or ‘one-to-one’ and are based on individual preferences. We have a varied programme, with the goal of appealing to the interests and capabilities of all residents as best as possible. For example, there's pottery, baking, Scrabble, art classes, exercise sessions and much more. The Activities Coordinators also organise visits from entertainers, local groups, including school choirs, religious services and outings on the minibus.
Life at our home
Residents and staff at Thackeray House had a wonderful afternoon of joyous live music thanks to the amazing group of volunteers from Croydon Guitar Club.
The group played a range of songs from the early '40s to the late '90s, engaging both residents and staff.
The musical interlude created a cheerful atmosphere on an otherwise dreary day due to the wet weather.
We look forward to another musical afternoon!
Aromatherapy and Meditation
Residents and staff at Thackeray House got to relax with music in a cosy environment with sensory essential oils a perfect tonic, a guided meditation session.
The guided meditation session started off with breathing exercises and slow movements until all slowed down then the journey to a relaxed day unfolded.
We ensured the setting and mood were relaxing, the room had therapeutic essential oils, relaxing music with nature sounds like rainfall, ocean waves, birds’ sounds etc.
The Aromatherapy and Meditation session is very popular at Thackeray House and residents and staff who have taken part have said they often have a very good night’s sleep after a session.
Vintage Tap Dance Show
Residents and staff at Thackeray House had a very interactive cabaret vintage tap dance show with sing along from the 1950s and popular musicals.
Katie, a professional vintage Broadway dancer, with the “Tap about Town" show brought a virtual theatre and musical atmosphere to Thackeray House.
Residents were singing and tapping to the rhythm along with Katie and to music that some residents said brought back memories of when they were younger.
It was a very enjoyable afternoon for all.
Route 66 Musical
The residents at Thackeray House enjoyed an afternoon of American adventures on Route 66 stopping off at Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, Brazil, Carolina, California and many more – musically of course!
Jamie Steen brought the residents along on a musical reminiscent journey to America at the comfort of their lounge and the company of fellow residents, staff and the clergy!
Each stop along the way brought a change of outfit to reflect the city and era the song was about, residents, guests and staff sang, tapped or got up and danced to the music.
It was a lovely way to spend the last of the lovely summer days taking a virtual trip to America.
The History of the Button
The Thackeray House residents enjoyed a day of history lessons about the simple “button”. We had the pleasure of having Susie Gray, talking to our residents the history of the button.
It was very fascinating to hear more about the beginning of the simple button and Susie brought it all to life by showing us costumes in correlation to the historical events.
The residents enjoyed this very animated walk down memory lane and also the staff learnt something new about the British history!
Our residents got to explore various buttons from all over the world each with its own story to tell and a place in history.
Postcards of Kindness
Residents at Thackeray House are now part of a global initiative to combat loneliness, isolation and give them the opportunity to communicate with people all over the world.
Residents can share and make new memories with people from all over the globe, which is done by way of postcards, and in some cases, the origin of the postcards are a place where our residents have visited in the past, or have family based there.
'Postcards of Kindness' was started on Facebook, and we have joined this initiative so that those we support can have their own postcard pen pals.
We are making a collage of all postcards received, and we've also been playing a 'guess where the next postcard is sent from?' game, with a special prize for the winner.
The Postcards of Kindness are not only from abroad, but from domestic residents too. This will open up new friendships locally, and residents have the chance to interact with like-minded people who also live in the area.
Residents look forward to receiving a new postcard, and we can’t wait to see how many we will have for our collage by the end of the year!