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Christmas Comes To Barchester

Live streaming events to take place throughout December

The Christmas elves at Barchester Healthcare have been working hard behind the scenes to secure a whole host of exciting and innovative live streamed events to surprise and delight care home residents this Christmas. When it became clear that live entertainment and trips out would still not be possible at Christmas, Barchester’s Resident Experience team swung into action contacting all kinds of different organisations for their help in giving residents a variety of different Christmas treats.

The team at Barchester were bowled over by the kindness of the offers they received. Residents are set to enjoy interactive talks and performances from organisations and attractions as diverse as English National Ballet, Blenheim Palace, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the British Army.

English National Ballet will be hosting three separate virtual sessions for care home residents based on different aspects of Nutcracker.  The first session will be a dance workshop lead by Dance Artist, Laura Harvey with First Soloist, James Streeter, who plays the Mouse King.  In the second session, Music Director, Gavin Sutherland, will lead musicians from English National Ballet Philharmonic in a performance of excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score from Nutcracker.  In the third session, Laura Harvey will talk to costume department manager, Gerry Tiernan, about the beautiful outfits the dancers wear and how they are created.  Each session will include an opportunity for residents to meet the cast members and ask questions.

Fleur Derbyshire-Fox, English National Ballet’s Director of Engagement said: “We are delighted to be bringing some Nutcracker magic to Barchester care homes this Christmas. We hope these unique sessions provide an uplifting experience and connect residents with the joy of dance and live music.”

Antonia Keaney, Blenheim Palace’s social historian, joined by special guests including TV historian Dan Snow and actress Ruth Madoc, is hosting a series of four interactive tours and talks in the run-up to Christmas, looking at different aspects of the Palace’s history.  Antonia will cover a broad range of fascinating topics from Christmases through the ages to fashions worn at the Palace over 300 years, and from life below stairs to the starring role the Palace has played in films including James Bond, Mission Impossible, Harry Potter and Cinderella.

“I was delighted to get involved.  It has been a tough year for all of us, but my heart really goes out to everyone involved with the care industry and the prospect of being able to offer a little bit of festive cheer was too good to miss,” said Antonia.

The world-famous Yorkshire Sculpture Park is set over 500 acres of stunning scenery in West and South Yorkshire and is home to over 90 pieces of art all displayed in its gallery without walls. Helen Pheby will host a virtual tour of all the major exhibits in the park including breath-taking pieces by artists as diverse as Damien Hirst and Joan Miró.  Residents will be transported to the beautiful countryside surrounding the park to find out about the many artistic treasures that can be found there in the fields, hills, lakes and woodland.

Helen Pheby comments: “It was wonderful to be able to share some of the brilliant artworks and sculptures that we have at YSP with the Barchester staff and residents, that’s what we’re all about – making art accessible for all.  During lockdown we’ve been hosting virtual tours so that people can still enjoy YSP even when they can’t physically visit.  It was a pleasure to show the residents some of the highlights the Park has to offer.”

Many of our residents have been in the military and know what it is like to be away from home at Christmas.  Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry and his team from the British Army Engagement Group will host a talk about serving overseas and being away from loved ones at this time of year, looking at the differences for military personnel serving now and those who have served in years gone by.  Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and find out how technology has helped military personnel stay connected.

Lieutenant Colonel Barrie Terry said: “The Army Engagement Group is a small team based out of the Royal Military Academy in Surrey.  It is our role to go out into the wider community and explain the role of the Army to promote understanding of how we operate.  We were delighted to speak to the residents today and compare experiences part and present.”





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