11th July 2019
Is this the first festival to be held in a nursing home?
Wentworth Court, Cheltenham’s nursing home, exclusively for residents living with dementia, hosted a midsummer festival called WentFest, with a ‘60s theme for its residents, their families and friends.
The team at the home on Village Road in Cheltenham, worked for many weeks on a dementia-friendly project called the Summer of Love in partnership with Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, culminating in a showcase event at the festival.
The latest venture with the theatre saw residents affected by dementia connecting with children from Hester’s Way Primary School through a series of creative workshops, including art, dance and singing. Each week, Everyman practitioners delivered an arts activity for a group of 20 residents and 26 children from the school.
Residents and their loved ones came together at WentFest, in the home’s beautiful gardens, to savour the results and enjoy an evening BBQ, dancing and singing. The residents and children were joined by the theatre’s over 60s dancers, Golden Step and knitting group, Casting On.
The team was also delighted to welcome back Cheltenham MP, Alex Chalk, who opened the home back in May 2015.
Suzanne Meadows, who co-ordinated the project on behalf of Wentworth Court said:
“Many of our residents are in their 70s and 80s, so the 1960s was their heyday. The Summer of Love project has enabled us to offer truly meaningful experiences for all participants.
“We had an amazing evening and it’s been been wonderful to see the interactions between the different generations as they come together to have fun and form friendships.”
Camille Cowe, Community Arts Manager at the Everyman Theatre added:
“This project between Wentworth Court residents and Hester’s Way Primary School children has been a joy to be involved with. I have seen a back-and-forth reciprocity between all generations and observed everyone focusing not only on the ‘doing’ of the activities the Everyman has provided, but also on the power of just ‘being together’ in the moment.
Wentworth Court opened in May 2015 and is home to more than 60 residents living with dementia, who receive individualised care. The home received a ‘good’ rating in all categories from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in September 2017.
For more information please call 01242 263334 or visit www.wentworthct.com