Santa arrived at a Norwich care home for their annual lights switch on celebration as residents and the team got into the Christmas spirit.
Residents were joined by their loved ones and the team at Brooklands Care Home, on Costessey Lane, for the event. They welcomed Santa and his reindeer, along with Mayor Cllr Caroline Karimi-Ghovanlou, who officially pressed the button.
The event brought back wonderful memories of Christmases gone by for residents at the home and the special moments they have shared with their families, as well as being a great opportunity to create new memories with their loved ones.
“It took me back to my youth and how it was always such a special family atmosphere,” resident Iain Scarborough, 88, recalled.
Another resident, Joy Baxter, 92 added: “We never had lights like this when I was a child, it’s just amazing.”
Resident Nancy Wooden, 94, was at the event with her family and said: “The mince pies were lovely, and being able to see the switch on with my family made them taste even better!”
Santa set up his grotto to meet residents and to give gifts to children from the local community, which included the nursery children from the Montessori Cherubs.
They are regular visitors to the 64-bed home, which provides high quality residential, nursing and dementia care and were Regional Finalists for the ‘Care Team Award’ at the Great British Care Awards 2023.
Festive food and drinks were served and Christmas carols were sung by the Heartstrings duo, while reindeer, Almo and Sven, stole the hearts of revellers.
“We love to bring joy to the residents and to see that on their faces means everything to us,” said lifestyle coordinator, Jamie Willimott.
“It was also very special to be able to invite our residents’ loved ones and friends to the evening as they are a big part of our home’s extended family.
“Almo and Sven were the stars of the show, they were really calm and well behaved. Everyone loved stroking them and getting a picture with them.”
Cllr Caroline Karimi-Ghovanlou also gave a speech about the importance of community and the spirit of Christmas.
She added: “I feel honoured to have been invited to share this special moment with all these wonderful people.”
Care home manager, Karen Willimott, said: “It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, and to see the smiles and hear the laughter from our residents and their families, makes it all worthwhile.
“To be able to hold events like this for our residents is so special as it brings everyone at Brooklands together.
“We were delighted to welcome the Mayor to our home and it was lovely to see how much time she gave to our residents. Everyone has gone above and beyond to make it a special evening for them.”