Meet our Activities Coordinator, Karen Grant

I first worked in the care sector in 2010, starting in domiciliary care and progressing to Care Coordinator. I have since gained a wealth of experience in dedicated dementia and residential activities, working as a peripatetic activities coordinator in 16 out of 20 homes within a group, and then in 2018, I was part of a team that commissioned a new luxury care home, where I was an Activities Team Leader.

I enjoy making wishes come true for residents: in February 2015, I organised my first wedding in a care home. The lady resident who was living with dementia was unable to travel to Hertfordshire for her granddaughters wedding, so I brought the wedding to her. I organised a wedding blessing at the home; we had a vicar, a choir, all of the bridal party, the flowers, a buffet, a wedding cake, champagne—the full works.

In 2017, I organised a smaller wedding in the garden, and this was a special wish for a gentleman resident to see his granddaughter married. Organising these special moments gives me a lot of pleasure, knowing I have made them feel special and to give families that happiness and see them smile.

I cannot wait to welcome our residents into their wonderful new home and help to bring smiles, joy and laughter to each day.

Activities are an integral part of life at our care home. We want to ensure that the people we support have as much fun as possible during their time with us, so it’s important that our activities programme is created with the interests of residents in mind. Our skilled Activities Coordinators bring a certain uniqueness to the home that can’t be found anywhere else, and which is reflected in the activities they organise.

Life at Upton Bay Care Home

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Furry Friends

From pedigree pooches to majestic mutts, at Upton Bay, we’ve been fawning over all of the furry friend entries into our virtual dog competition!

Entries came from family, friends, staff members, Caring Canines, and our Poole community — what a Dog Loving Nation we are!

Residents just loved each and every paw-fect dog, including rescues with heart-warming journeys, which made for a very tough job deciding the winners of each category.

We received generous doggie treat donations to gift the precious pups, and our residents hand crafted each rosette and are looking forward to awarding the winners!

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Viva L’Italia

We had the pleasure of celebrating Italian Independence Day at Upton Bay, which marks the official formation of the Republic of Italy after World War II.

We tucked in to an array of authentic Italian dishes from Chef Alain, and were treated to a wonderful display from the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force acrobatic patrol. Nine planes emitted red, green, and white smoke over the Monument to Vittorio Emmanuele II (the first King of unified Italy), creating a beautiful design resembling the Italian flag.

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Finest Fish & Chips

We tucked into authentic homemade fish & chips with a view, to celebrate National Fish and Chip Day — as if we needed a reason to enjoy this British favourite!

We placed our orders and were treated to table-side preparation of our delicious dinners by Sous Chef, Mark, whose crispy battered fish went down a treat.

Our lovely residents experienced ‘Upton Bay’s Fish & Chip Shop’ all across the home, as we brought a taste of the seaside to everyone!

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Blooming Lovely Floristry at Upton Bay

Here at Upton Bay, we were delighted to spend time creating beautiful floral masterpieces to enter the #BloomingBarchester competition in partnership with Blooming Haus - Floral Engineers, following their amazing virtual flower arranging masterclass.  

We had a wonderful time decorating and working on our arrangements and are happy to say we're impressed with our skills in applying all the tips and ideas learnt during the class to make our colourful floral designs!

A big 'Thank You' to Tower Park Community for donating such an excellent selection of flowers for our competition entry!

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A Voyage of Discovery

Here at Upton Bay Care Home, we were pleased to be able to dive into the golden age of ocean travel and enjoy a virtual ‘Ocean Liners: Speed and Style’ talk, provided by V&A Dundee.

We learned about the remarkable stories of the Titanic, Normandie, the Queen Mary and the Canberra, from their engineering and interior design to the stunning fashions worn on board.

Though the golden age of ocean travel has long since passed, the ocean liner still remains a potent symbol of 20th century modernity.

The talk brought a lot of great memories to our residents and triggered interesting conversations about past cruising experiences around the world.

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Delicious tasters from our Chefs for Vegetarian Week

In recognition of National Vegetarian Week, team members and residents at Upton Bay Care Home enjoyed a virtual cooking demonstration, generously provided by Vegetarian for Life, a leading authority on diet and healthy living advice for older vegans and vegetarians. 

The exciting virtual culinary session was hosted by professional chef Alex, who made healthy quick and easy vegetarian dishes, including Borlotti bean and dill pate, Greek fritters with tzatziki, coronation ‘chicken’ and banana bread.

In preparation for the event, the home’s chef prepared the same snacks and refreshments for the residents to enjoy during the demonstration. 

Everyone at the home was delighted to be a part of this lovely virtual session by tasting the vegetarian dishes from the comfort of the home.

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