December 9, 2022
by Persuasion PR

Students support care home’s big Christmas countdown


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Photo: (L-R) Residents Sylvia Kell and Nicki Bowden; Durham University student, Alfie French, Registered Manager, Tanya Porthouse; College Chaplain, Andrew Tinkler and Durham University student Kiko Keighery.

Festive cheer is not in short supply at Sherburn House in the run up to Christmas this year, due to a full advent calendar of daily events.

Residents at Beddell House Care Home have already enjoyed a week full of activities, including putting up the Christmas tree, decorating the home, making Christmas cards and watching Christmas films. They were also joined by students form Durham University as part of an ongoing, inter-generational befriending project.

Christmas carols were sung, mince pies enjoyed and young and old spent an afternoon together at this special time of the year.

The project, organised with the University Colleges of George Stephenson and John Snow – by College Chaplain, Andrew Tinkler began – in earnest in October. It was developed with a view to reach out to the local community and to build bonds. On recent visits, students have spent time talking with residents, playing games and learning more about each other’s lives and experiences.

Pauline Bishop, Chief Executive of Sherburn House Charity, said: We have a full month’s worth of daily Christmas activities planned in this December but the students visit and carol service was a real treat and our residents had a fabulous time. We’d like to thank the University for taking the time to reach out to us and our residents and I’d also like to thank our Registered Manager, Tanya Porthouse for her fabulous work organising so many great activities this year.”

Andrew Tinkler said: “The project is going really well and it is heart-warming seeing students and residents at Sherburn House chatting with one another and establishing friendships. We thoroughly enjoyed putting on the Christmas Carol Service, which gave our students a chance to perform – and the residents a chance to enjoy some shared festive cheer. We look forward to more events in the New Year and are really pleased to have been able to work in partnership with Sherburn House to get this project off the ground.”

In the run up to Christmas, further events planned by staff at Beddell House include: a Christmas fair, Christmas party, reminiscing session and the Salvation Army Band are coming to perform on Christmas Eve.

Beddell House is part of The Sherburn House estate and recently underwent a multi-million pound renovation. Six phases of internal and external refurbishments were completed to create a mix of one- and two -bedroom apartments with bathroom and living room, communal areas, a dining area, and a new catering kitchen.

The finished result is a high-end modern and luxurious living space for the residents which includes a communal cinema room, bar, lounge, salon, and orangery. A new energy efficient heating system was also installed alongside historically appropriate double-glazed windows, which considered the building’s listed status.

Sherburn House Charity was founded by Bishop of Durham Hugh Pudsey in around 1181. Its original purpose was as a leper hospital run by monks and nuns.

The charity, which is headquartered at Sherburn House, just outside Sherburn Village, now operates a £1.4 million annual budget which it uses to provide care and accommodation for up to 55 older people in a residential home, as well providing 24 dwellings for sheltered housing and homes for private rent. It also awards grants to alleviate hardship for more vulnerable members of the community.

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