Residents at Halcyon House in Formby are enjoying the use of a newly opened shop, stocked with essentials that they may need in their day-to-day lives.

The residential care and nursing home is home to up to 31 older people, each of whom has an en suite room and full use of three communal loungers, a sun lounge and a beautiful landscaped garden, plus a packed activity schedule to enjoy should they wish to.

Three meals a day are taken together in the dining room, and the home has great links with the local community, with regular visits from volunteers from the local library, visiting entertainers and local schoolchildren.

The residents’ relatives are more than welcome to stop by, and the home provides respite stays for those who require support following post-operative or hospital care, or to give regular carers the opportunity to take a break.

Carer Liam Brown put his creative skills to excellent use to create the shop, following the residents’ expressed wishes to have somewhere where they could buy toiletries, stationery, snacks and anything else they may need in their day-to-day lives.

Liam explained, “We recently had a new storage facility put in, which meant that we had a store room that was unused.

“I built the entire shop, it took over the course of a week, spending about two hours every day on it after my shift finished. I was given a small budget of £150, so I removed the existing door and installed a barn-style door in its place. I also put in a shutter so it can be kept locked when it’s not in use, and added a counter-top and some shelves, which I manage to salvage from around the home.”

The shop is named Stevensons Store in honour of Chris Stevenson, a carer who sadly recently passed away after working at the home for 15 years.

Manager AnnMarie Roberts says, “Our lovely carer Chris is very much missed. She loved a boiled sweet and was always putting her lip balm on, so she would have loved the shop. It symbolises many of the things she loved to do. For example, she enjoyed a good chat with our residents, and they use the shop as a way to catch up with each other as well. It is a lovely way for us all at Halcyon House to reminisce about the happy times we have had with her.”

Photo left to right; Stevensons Store front, collection of images with quote from Chris' family, and resident Margret standing outside the front of store

"It was the little things that Chris always remembered that made her so special and dearly missed."

Mary, Resident at Halcyon House

On the shop opening, Chris’ children said, “It’s so nice to see how well thought of our mum was at Halcyon House. A big thank you from our family to her work family.”

The residents were given the opportunity to propose their thoughts on what the décor of the shop should be. A 1940s-50s theme was chosen and the shop features typical posters from that era on the walls and a vintage till, which it is hoped will help the residents’ reminisce about shopping and shops they use to visit when they were younger.

Liam says, “As well as a trolley service that we provide for residents who are not so mobile, we also encourage those who are able to visit the space, so that they can choose and payi for the items themselves and enjoy the benefits of the 1940s-50s style elements. We stock all the essentials they may need, plus a few sweet treats if they fancy them.

 “We have even had some residents express an interest in helping to run the shop, so we plan to arrange some basic training for them in the near future.”

Open twice a week, the shop has proven popular with the residents since it was announced in the house’s newsletter, bringing the things they need to just a stone’s throw away. Resident Freda Gore said, “Knowing everything in in walking distance for both me and my husband is comforting.”

AnnMarie added, “We are all so grateful for Liam and all his hard work. He is always full of new and interesting ideas and makes a great difference to our residents, who miss him greatly when he is not in. It was a lovely thing to do and helped bring some comfort to us all at Halcyon at a difficult time. Exciting times ahead, as we never know what new feature or activity he will come up with next!”

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