Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (9th to 15th May), a Hertfordshire care home has taken its popular ‘Gentlemen’s Lunch Club’ on the road to provide space for its male residents to come together and discuss important issues in a comfortable environment – while enjoying a tipple or two.
Attended by eight residents and a staff member at Foxholes Care Home, near Hitchin, the social outing marked the first time since the lunch club was formed over a year ago that male residents were able to open up about their wellbeing during a pub outing – which proved the perfect spot for a few hours of overdue drinking and eating.
Foxholes, a thriving and active care environment that has inclusivity at the forefront of its ethos, is always on the search for initiatives that enhance resident wellbeing, and following the success of last year’s outdoor visitation for family and friends within its gardens, has now officially reintroduced safe outings and day trips for its residents.
Making the short trip over to the home’s local pub, The Highlander, residents got in the spirit of Mental Health Awareness Week by opting to discuss varying topics from their wellbeing to hobbies and interests, as well as shared experiences with fellow male residents over a two-hour lunch.
The group enjoyed fish and chips in the sunshine, with a tipple of beer, wine and cider also enjoyed by all in a bid to tackle the theme of this year’s annual awareness week, loneliness.
Loneliness is considered one of the most detrimental health concerns of today, and its influence on people’s physical and mental health was heightened exponentially throughout the pandemic. A sense of connection to other people and their community is fundamental in protecting someone’s mental health, which is why Foxholes deemed the return of safe outdoor gatherings as the perfect opportunity to address the issue.
Neil Gandencha, Estate Manager at Foxholes, who also attended the club’s much-anticipated relaunch, said: “Loneliness is affecting more and more of us across the UK and has had a huge impact on our physical and mental health, particularly since the pandemic. At Foxholes, we’re always open to new ideas on ways to improve our residents’ quality of life and with several of our male residents openly expressing their desire to host the popular lunch club outdoors in the community for the first time, it seemed like a no-brainer. It was one of the most enjoyable days out in a long time!”