January Update From The Priory

A very happy New Year to you all and a warm welcome to 2024. I don’t know why but I always appear to comment on the weather when I start these updates. Looking back over the last few months of 2023, it was always wet and dismal, so I am delighted to be able to tell you that it is bright and cold. Long may the dry stay with us – I think we all need it!

December was a busy month – so much happening and The Priory looked fantastic – thank you Rachael. This year, she even created an advent calendar that all the residents could share – so creative. It is always sad when the decorations come down, but it is the sign of the new year and a new start for us all.

It was lovely to see so many families celebrating with the residents at the Christmas Carol Party. As I said on the night, it is one of my favourite events of the year – joy, warmth and happiness with friends and family. It was our first Christmas Party since Covid – 4 years have passed – and we were delighted that Simon and his choir were able to join us. Communal singing is so uplifting, especially when accompanied by a glass or two! Thanks again to Helen and Judith for the wonderful spread they laid out for us and to the families for joining us.

Christmas Day itself was another wonderful occasion. So many residents have thanked us for their best Christmas in ages. Judith and I take no plaudits for the day – our thanks and everyone else’s go to Paula for cooking the Christmas lunch and to the staff and Lynne for making it such a fun event. Everyone wanted to be together in the dining room and we welcomed a number of families as well. I am told there was a lot of fizz and chocolate going round, even before the meal started!

After the excesses, Boxing Day was much quieter for everyone. Families who hadn’t made it on Christmas Day popped in for a visit and a mince pie and the home slowly started settling back to normal. New Year was also a quieter event, with not many residents wanting to stay up and see in 2024. But our intrepid night team were there as always and wished those who were awake a very happy New Year. Thank you.

So, we are now in January with another year ahead. We will start planning our events and outings with residents at our next Residents’ Meeting on Friday 19th January 11:15-12:15, led by Lynne and Natalie. Any new activities, outings or entertainers that anyone can think of, please bring those ideas along with you.

Over the last few months, we have been talking about our new idea of the Resident of the Day program. As with many ideas, they always take a bit longer to make happen than they do to think about. Lynne, Paula and Natalie have been planning this in the background and the aim is to start on 1st Feb 2024 – but who will be our first Resident of the Day?

During the month and in the first few days of January, we have welcomed Leo Adams and June Haines. Tony Crew is staying with us a bit longer and Enid Webb will be joining us later this week. The warmest of welcomes to you and your families.

Sadly we have also had to say goodbye to three wonderful people – Mick Towell, June Gaywood and last week, Madge Curtis. Mick has been with us for almost two years. He arrived with his wife Marion and they were able to spend their time with each other. Sadly, Marion died early last year and Mick, most recently.

June Gaywood had been with us for the last 12 months. Sadly, her health slowly deteriorated during the year and she passed away with her family around her.

Our last farewell is to Madge Curtis, who has lived and been loved at The Priory for more than 9 years. Madge was a special lady whose personality and attitude to life was an example to us all. She was always positive, always loved a joke or a chat and she involved herself in everything that The Priory threw at her. She was on every outing, enjoyed every entertainer and loved every party we held.

It has been an honour for all at The Priory to share our lives with Mick, June and Madge – God bless you all.

Lynne, Judith & Mark.