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Chawley Care Home 'Uses Its Loaf' to Unite Residents and Families

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“Spending time with loved ones and friends is so important for our residents. ”
Chawley Grove 1

A local care home has launched an online artisan bakery to connect residents with their loved ones this winter. The Well Bread Bakery will see residents, and their loved ones, bake together via video calls, share favourite recipes and take expert classes from local artisan Master Bakers.

Home baking became hugely popular during lockdown earlier this spring and now residents at Chawley Grove Care Home on Cumnor Hill, can get in on the action, alongside their families and friends.

Resident Christine White said it was a wonderful way to keep in touch with close friends and to continue sharing hobbies together – something that has had to stop for many people, not just those living in care homes, due to social restrictions this year.

She said “I met my friend Ruth years ago and we’re really good friends – we often write to each other. Ruth would organise themed events and create all kinds of beautiful dishes, including different types of bread.

“As we’ve kept in touch for so long, she still helps me out and I can’t wait to try out the recipes we’ve shared in the past!”

The bakery sessions will also teach ‘mindful baking’ to help residents relax and learn basic mindfulness techniques, as well as dementia-friendly sessions to stimulate the senses.

It is widely recognised that distinct smells and textures help evoke memories and encourage social interaction, something that people living with dementia often find challenging.

Theresa Whitford, Chawley Grove Home Manager, said The Well Bread Bakery was a wonderful way to help residents and their families and friends socialise together in difficult times.

She said: “Spending time with loved ones and friends is so important for our residents. It’s been a real priority for us to make sure these connections are maintained during this challenging time.

“We have our Covid-secure Family & Friends lounges for visits and now the bakery means they can learn new skills or just share in a fun pastime together.”

Each week the amateur bakers will learn to perfect a new artisan bread recipe, chosen by residents and staff.

So far, the Bakery has started with recipes such as tasty Irish soda bread, brioche with camembert, sultana and walnut loaf and finally rosemary soda bread.

Chawley Grove resident and former chef, Francoise Jarman, 85 years young, grew up in Nantes, in France, and she recommended her traditional recipe for brioche with camembert.

Francoise said: “I was a chef for many years, and I’ve worked in different kitchens but baking bread is that activity that always brings back some of my fondest memories. It reminds me of my childhood, with my mother baking in our family kitchen, together with our family.

“My hands don’t work quite as well as they used to, but baking bread still brings me great happiness and is very relaxing. I hope lots of other residents and their families enjoy baking my brioche recipe.”

Click here for more information about Hamberley Care Homes’ Well Bread Bakery.

Chawley Grove is part of Hamberley Care Homes, a group of luxury homes opening across the UK. With an emphasis on a holistic, personalised service, Hamberley Care Homes are defined by their warm, welcoming ambience, and innovative approach to care.

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