Residents living with dementia at care homes in Somerset and Devon are enjoying a first taste of spring thanks to Ilminster ice cream van operator Darren Harley doing the rounds of the Camelot Care Group’s homes in Somerset and Devon.
The ice cream van tour was the brainchild of Richard Dempslake, activities co-ordinator for Camelot House and Lodge, who had arranged for Darren to visit the home where he works in Wellington over the Easter weekend.
“Our residents were so excited to hear the music that meant the van was coming,” said Richard, “And their faces when it pulled up outside were a picture.
“They crowded over to the lounge windows so they could see the ice cream concoctions being put together, and were absolutely delighted with Darren’s delicious freshly-made ice cream.
“They especially loved being able to choose their own toppings.
“Every single resident received an ice cream of their choice, which was a big task but it worth it for all the smiles.”
After ice cream man Darren had finished serving everyone at Camelot House and Lodge, Richard Dempslake put to him the idea of visiting Camelot Care’s other homes, and sharing the same pleasure among all the people living with dementia who they support. Seeing how much pleasure his ice creams had brought to the residents, Darren was happy to agree.
His second visit was to Butterfly Lodge in Plymouth on 12 April, where the van’s arrival created every bit as much excitement as in Wellington, and his trip to Avalon Nursing Home in Bridgwater is scheduled for May.