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War of Words as Residents From Four Care Homes Dabble in Scrabble

Dedicated Scrabble fans from four care homes in the South were quick to mind their Ps and Qs as they enjoyed a friendly battle of words in multiple encounters.

Players at the Colten Care homes in Dorset and Hampshire pitted their wits against each other to search for the ultimate word score using giant Scrabble boards.

While Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst welcomed friends from Kingfishers in New Milton, there was similar gentle rivalry as Amberwood House in Ferndown took on visitors from Bourne View in Poole.

The inter-home fun, inspired by National Scrabble Day, lasted several hours and featured a sweepstake so non-players could feel involved by guessing the number of words the teams achieved in each game.

At Amberwood House, staff reflected the theme of word play by dressing up as something beginning with the first letter of their name.

Companionship Team Leader Kirsty Richmond-Cole was a Kite, Clinical Lead Hanna Rehbein was a Hot Dog, Home Manager Diane Nicholls was a Dragon, Nurse Anika McQuirk was Alice in Wonderland, and Maintenance Manager Christian Blanch was Clark Kent, unveiling a Superman top from under his shirt.

Kirsty said: “We decided to dress up so residents could have a good laugh and join in with the celebrations even if they had decided not to play. We did have some strange looks and one or two belly laughs. Resident Don Cussen asked us if we had lost our marbles!”

The Bourne View team – Harold Faircloth, Wendy Barnes and Peter Prior – arrived at Amberwood House just before lunch, taking a stroll around the garden and enjoying fish and chips before sitting down for the competition.

In the end, Amberwood House put up three teams itself, with residents Marjorie Hutchings, Rita Bryant and Noreen Hewitt having a closely fought match with Harold, Wendy and Peter.

Kirsty said: “There were some clever moves and a few challenges on words and Marjorie, Rita and Noreen jumped into the lead. But Harold, Wendy and Peter refused to give in and made a word score of 41 which enabled them to go in front. As it went on and with a final push from Marjorie, Rita, and Noreen, Amberwood House cheered with joy as they cleared their rack with a fantastic move and won the game.”

Companionship Team member Sian Harris said: “Over an hour and a half of playing and 75 words later, Jo’s team were the clear winners with 307 points against 239. Jo also won a prize for the longest word. This prompted a lot of laughter as her word was ‘headstones’.  One resident said, “you have to laugh at these things, even if it’s dark humour!”

There was also National Scrabble Day fun with games between residents living at Colten Care’s Avon Cliff home in Bournemouth.

National Scrabble Day is celebrated annually in honour of the game’s creator, an American architect called Alfred Mosher Butts who was born in April 1899 and came up with his invention in 1938.


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