North East Connected

Harvest Festival celebrations at Pelton care home

HARVEST Festival celebrations have been taking place at a County Durham care home – as elderly residents got involved in a food collection, intergenerational activities, and an autumnal artwork.

The residents at Pelton Grange Care Home, on Front Street, Pelton, have received visitors from Pelton Community Primary School as part of the seasonal celebration.

During the pupils’ visit, they chatted and danced with those living at the home, as well as made Halloween masks together.

The school then extended an invitation to residents to attend their Harvest Festival assembly, with Ernest Guy, 85, Christina Storer, 77, and Jennifer Gwynn, 73, going along to enjoy the songs and readings.

Residents, staff, and visitors to the care home have also been donating food items for a collection for a nearby food bank, in Chester-le-Street, which was picked up by delighted volunteers.

There has also been autumnal arts and crafts, which has seen residents collecting different coloured leaves and creating a “leafy lane” scene to be displayed for visitors.

The activities have brought back many memories for residents, some of whom live with dementia.

Hazel Copeland, 85, said: “Every harvest my mum would make lots of soup from the vegetables in the garden. We would then donate it to the church to help feed the hungry.

“It’s funny how every time I smell vegetables cooking, that particular memory comes flooding back.”

Ernest Guy, 85, said: “I remember collecting fresh fruit and vegetables from the neighbours and taking them to the chapel.

“By the time the Harvest Festival came around, the floor was awash with food, up the steps and onto the pulpit. It was like a food carpet.

“It never ceases to amaze me every year just how generous people can be.”

Suzanne Pratt, activities coordinator at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “It was wonderful for the residents to take part in the school’s Harvest Festival. They really enjoyed listening to the hymns. They all loved it when the children came to the home to help make Halloween decorations as well.

“When we were making our autumnal leafy lane scene, residents shared their memories of the season, and we all sang our own rendition of “We plough the fields and scatter”.

“We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the food bank collection and to Pelton Community Primary School for visiting us and including residents in their Harvest Festival.

“It’s amazing and wonderous just how many people are willing to help, even though they are struggling themselves. They have the mentality that there is always someone who has less than you, so you can spare it.”

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