Making Christmas Magical at Abbeyfield House
The festive spirit thrives throughout Abbeyfield House in Kingsbridge, courtesy of Donna and her dedicated team. In a conversation with Donna, we delved into the festive preparations at Abbeyfield House.
We uncover the magic behind the Christmas activities and events, and gain insight into Donna's pivotal role as the House Manager of this welcoming sheltered housing community.
Preparing for the Magic
"The wheels start turning early in the year, around August and September, as we kick off preparations for Christmas. In meetings with residents, we discuss their interests and preferences, setting the stage for the festive season ahead." said Donna, who meticulously researches and plans achievable activities, laying the foundation for months of joy and camaraderie. "The holiday calendar is filled with joyous events" she continued, "from Christmas dinners at Abbeyfield to carol services, quizzes, and bingo nights. The community comes together to celebrate the season in style, enjoying the company of fellow residents and staff
To make the holiday season truly special, events are tailored to residents' requests and preferences. Their input guides the planning, ensuring that each activity resonates with their desires. We want to keep residents occupied and engaged. From carol services to Christmas quizzes, the aim is to foster a sense of community and encourage interaction."
Donna reflects on experiences and events organised for residents, embracing the joy of creating lasting memories. "Some of the activities held included Buckfast Abbey Christmas Carol Service, Thurlestone Hotel Christmas Lunch with Kingsbridge Estuary Rotary Club, Seven Stars evening meal and drinks, our Christmas Coffee morning, Kingsbridge Primary School Children carol singing, Christmas Dinner at Abbeyfield and of course, our Christmas quiz and bingo." Each celebration holds a special place in her heart and those of the residents who joined her.
"At Abbeyfield House, Kingsbridge, the residents share a unique bond, akin to a family. Their caring nature towards each other creates a supportive environment, enriching the lives of everyone in the house."Donna, House Manager
The Role of House Manager at Christmas
The most important part of Donna's role is to take care of residents' well-being, ensuring that they lead rich and fulfilling lives at Abbeyfield. "Family and friends are actively involved in all activities during the festive period, and staff members approach residents with courtesy, kindness, and gentleness. For some residents, the holiday season can be a challenging time, marked by the absence of loved ones. It's important to acknowledge the loneliness that can accompany this period, offering understanding and support. Aside from that, I oversee the house's presentation, upholding high standards in health and safety, supervising staff, managing budgets, and ensuring policies are followed diligently.
"The dedicated team at Abbeyfield House support each other, creating a harmonious work environment. I find motivation in the residents and staff. The understanding and support from management is crucial, and flexibility is granted to accommodate staff requirements, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable Christmas for everyone." As Christmas unfolds, the residents and staff stand as Donna's motivation. Together, they create a festive atmosphere filled with warmth, laughter, and the true spirit of the season.
Christmas is a time when people come together to share the Christmas cheer over a glass of sherry and a mince pie or a full-cooked roast with all the trimmings. We all have our own traditions when it comes to Christmas Day, and we'd love to hear yours. Join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram.