opportunity to reminisce about their service to the country and share anecdotes and experiences from the past.

Alison Day, Home Manager at Great Horkesley Manor, said: “The residents love their regular lunches with the British Legion. They have fantastic chats, followed by swapping stories over a game of pool or dominoes, and of course enjoy a tipple in our bar area.”


RESIDENTS Residents at Great Horkesley Manor care home have been taken back to the mess hall with a visit from the Colchester Royal British Legion.

As part of its extensive activities programme, Great Horkesley Manor arranges frequent lunches for its armed forces veteran residents to share with the British Legion. It gives residents an

There are four ex-servicemen and women currently residing at Great Horkesley Manor. The home is committed to celebrating the achievements and contributions made by its residents, some of whom served during international conflicts.

Resident Gordon Pitchers said: “It’s a very good idea, it puts people together and we enjoy sharing stories.”

Barry Took, from the British Legion, said: “We enjoy coming to the Manor and chatting with the residents, also the fish and chips are good too.”

Great Horkesley Manor forms part of Larchwood Care and is managed by Healthcare Management Solutions.

Charlie said: “To me, hip hop is an obvious choice to teach to older people.

“It’s a dance style that’s very accessible as it encourages individuality and embraces difference.

“Entertainment for older people is oſten about reminiscence and the past and, while that has great benefits, there’s nothing to stop them trying something new. It also gives them a lot to talk about with their grandchildren!”

A key part of the class is trading cyphers – moves each dancer shows off to the rest of the group.

Commenting on the benefits the classes have had on the residents, Home Manager Hazel McGwyne said: “It’s great to see how their confidence has grown over the weeks they’ve been attending these classes.


HIP HOP DANCE MOVES The sounds of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley have been replaced by old school hip hop at an Essex care home.

On Saturday mornings, residents at Woodland Grove in Loughton practice arm and foot patterns and trade cyphers in a class that sees them nodding their heads to emerging hip hop artists from Essex, as well as the likes of 2Pac and Nas. Woodland Grove offers residential, nursing, memory and respite care for up to 72 people.

The seated dance class, which sits alongside more traditional activities in the home’s daily programme, is taught by 24-year- old Charlie Blair from Walthamstow, a hip-hop instructor and part-time agency care worker.

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“We could see how shy they were to start with, they felt quite exposed having to perform in front of each other, but now they are teaching Charlie some moves from their own dance backgrounds!

“We always aim to give people a choice of stimulating activities here and this class has so many benefits – it keeps them moving physically and challenged mentally because it’s something they’ve never done before and the music is new to them.”

Charlie, who is a qualified carer as well as a dance instructor with her own business, The Blair Academy, one day hopes to create an older people’s hip hop dance group.

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