AND BEYOND Amateur astronomers at Belong Crewe have been exploring the wonders of the universe from the comfort of their care village – all thanks to the generosity of local people. The launch of the dementia care specialist's Astronomy Club was made possible aſter the people of Crewe donated a telescope and binoculars to the worthy cause.

The new club aims to ignite Belong residents’ senses and indulge their space exploration ambitions through stargazing, arts and craſts, and virtual tours at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre to visit renowned landmark, The Lovell Telescope. To encourage reminiscence – a proven approach in helping to slow the progression of dementia – residents also enjoy NASA documentaries, topical discussions and sharing personal memories, transporting them back to the space race era.

Jess Butler, Experience Coordinator at Belong Crewe, said: "Engaging our residents in activities that inspire their interests is key to our ethos at Belong. When we found out a number of them were keen astronomy enthusiasts, we set to work planning an Astronomy Club and asked the people of Crewe for their help."

To raise funds for the project, last year, residents at the CQC outstanding-rated care village posed as real-life models to recreate some of the world's most iconic portraits for a calendar, including works by Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Van

Gogh. When news of their efforts spread, Belong colleagues and residents were overjoyed as a high-spec telescope and binoculars were donated by members of the public, launching the project to success.

Expressing her appreciation, Kathryn Farmer, General Manager at Belong Crewe, added: "Our Astronomy Club has got off to a great start and it’s down to the generosity of our community that our residents have the tools to enjoy learning about outer space. For that, we are grateful to everyone who donated – their kindness is truly out of this world.”


MICHELIN-STAR INSPIRED MENUS Oakland Care has launched a new set of signature-style menus in collaboration with Michelin-starred chef Tim Allen. The new menus are being rolled out across each of their six care homes in the south of England.

Tim has worked closely with Spiros Ragavelas, Oakland Care’s Executive Chef, to develop a set of menus unique to the care home provider. The new dishes make use of fresh produce and fine-dining techniques normally reserved for Michelin-starred restaurants to provide exceptional dishes for the residents at Oakland Care’s care homes.

Once the menus had been curated, Allen joined Spiros and Oakland Care’s chefs at a training session where they were walked through the menus and given instructions on how to prepare them. The session at Lambwood Heights care home was well received by the chefs, who were able to develop their own skills under the coaching of Tim.

Speaking of the new menus, Tim Allen said: “Working with Oakland Care has been a new and rewarding experience for me. With no prior knowledge of what care home dining teams

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can deliver, I didn’t know what to expect when I started this journey with Spiros and his team. However, I was thrilled to see the dedication and ability displayed by Oakland Care’s chefs, who have shown that anything is possible if you have the right attitude.

Joanne Balmer, CEO of Oakland Care, said: “We’re grateful to Tim for bringing his expertise and creativity into our care home’s and I know that our residents will be delighted by our new and improved dining offering across all of our care homes.”

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