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Residents Party with Mayor as Care Home Celebrates 30th Anniversary

A Dorset care home has continued a summer of 30th anniversary celebrations with a cocktail party and auction in aid of its local foodbank.

Colten Care’s coastal-themed Avon Reach in Mudeford welcomed around 80 guests for a sparkling evening of fun in its lounge and ‘Captain’s Table’ restaurant.

They included residents, families, staff, neighbours and members of Christchurch Chamber of Commerce, All Saints Church and the local Rotary Club.

An auction of items donated by residents, community friends and businesses raised nearly £900 on the night for the home’s chosen charity, Christchurch Food Bank+.

Guest of honour was the Mayor of Christchurch, Councillor Paul Hilliard. While wearing his formal gold chain of office, he showed he was happy to share in the party mood by also sporting a bright blue and white Hawaiian shirt.

Addressing the guests, Paul said: “Over the past 30 years, Avon Reach has become fully part of the community. It is more than just a nursing home, it does a great deal of outreach, making life enjoyable for so many people. It is so engaged with the community.”

The drinks choice at the party featured a signature gin-based cocktail for the home called Avon Breeze specially created by residents at an earlier tasting afternoon.

A range of businesses and organisations donated items such as afternoon tea experiences, paddleboard lessons, a round of golf for four, cinema tickets, a hanging basket, a cheese board and a painting by local artist Paul Dolman.

Auctioneers for the evening were Colten Care Operations Manager Peter Doyle and Avon Reach Companionship Team Member Pauline Lawrence.

Among the guests watching the auction progress were foodbank managers Tracy Blick and Sara Veal who expressed delight when the amount raised reached a total of £895.

Home Manager Ruth Wildman said: “The party was a great opportunity for people who have been, and continue to be, key to the success of the home to join together and have fun.

“There are so many ways Avon Reach engages with the community, from hosting business breakfasts, coffee clubs and Tea & Togetherness events to charity fundraising.”

Avon Reach was the first Colten Care home to be purpose-built by sister company Colten Developments.

A plaque on the wall records that the home was officially opened by Councillor Edward Coope, the Mayor of Christchurch in its commissioning year of 1994.