On Wednesday of this week, almost 30 of us – residents, families and staff descended upon The Red Lion in Lacock for our first outing for more than 2 years. It was so good to be out, living normal lives, with normal people, doing normal things. Everybody was in great spirit and the pub looked after us really well, providing us with our own area. We had all forgotten how long it takes to load everyone safely onto the minibus, but once parked in front of the pub, the residents all piled out quick enough! The food and atmosphere was wonderful, so a big thank you to the families and staff who joined us to make this a special event.

For Judith and myself, it was lovely to meet so many family members and to see you all without masks – at least we can now see who you are and of course vice versa. We said to everyone how important we thought this event and the tea parties to follow are for The Priory. Before the pandemic, we were a family focussed home, everyone knowing everyone else and when families visited their residents, they got to know the other families as well. This was reinforced by the events and outings and open invitations to the summer fete, fireworks party and of course, our Christmas carol concert. We may not be fully back to normal, but we are well on our way!

As a reminder, we hope that you and your wider family are able to join us at one or both of our tea parties – we are all very keen to welcome you back. We have organised some musical entertainment and of course, will provide tea and cakes for everyone and some ice creams for any children who may like to come along. It will be a very informal event, so residents, families and staff can get to know each other.

Wednesday 20th July – Family Tea Party – 2.30-4.30pm.

Saturday 20th August – Family Tea Party – 2.30-4.30pm.

As we are unsure of the weather and numbers for each party, could we ask that a maximum of 2 family members per resident book initially. Once we have a better handle on the weather and can be certain that we can use the garden as well, we will offer additional spaces. You are invited to one or both, but please can you let Lynne know approximate numbers so we don’t run out of cake!

Our next outing will be tenpin bowling in Bristol on Wednesday 21st September, at 2pm. This is another resident favourite and we even have a cup for our champion. Not quite Wimbledon, but still worth winning, even if only for the photo! The bowling is easily accessible as the alleys are wheelchair and frame friendly and there is a bowling frame that we use so everyone can be on target. We will put up a notice nearer the time so that families can join as well.

A short reminder for our newer families is that we do make a small charge to incidentals to cover transport hire and some outing costs.

We also restarted our residents’ meetings on 17th June, held outside in the sun, shaded by the umbrellas. The aim of these meetings is for residents to chat informally with Lynne about the running of the home, our plans and our upcoming events and activities. This allows everyone to help shape how the home runs and to discuss any new ideas or thoughts. The minutes of the meeting are posted around the home, so I won’t repeat everything here, suffice to say, apart from some curtains needing to be sorted, everyone was happy. The next meeting is on Friday 12th August.

Finally, next week we will be asking residents and families to help us with our quality survey. It is a simple document that gives us an idea of how we are doing in supporting residents and families and to ask for any suggestions on what else we could do or improvements you would like to suggest. Once returned, we will do an analysis of your comments and thoughts and give everyone a short feedback report on our plans and intentions. The questionnaire will be next to the signing in book in the entrance hall on Wednesday 6th July – please do help yourselves.

We hope to see as many of you as possible later in July.