Dementia care home music festival returns with an ABBA theme

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11th July 2022

Residents living with dementia at a Cheltenham nursing home spent an afternoon reliving the 1970s at a music festival held in the gardens of their home.

WentFest, now in its third year, was hosted by Wentworth Court Nursing Home with a topical ABBA theme. The home’s 60 residents, who live with moderate to advanced dementia, enjoyed a BBQ in the sunshine and dancing along to some ‘70s classic tracks.

The event provided a platform to showcase an intergenerational community project led by the home in partnership with Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre and Hester’s Way Primary School.

More than 20 year one children aged five and six from the school, entertained residents with dance routines to ABBA favourites including Money, Money, Money and Waterloo and sang an emotional version of I Have a Dream.

Wellbeing coordinator Suzanne Meadows said, “The children and residents have been working together on silk-painted banners and flags with artists, Susie and Emily over the last few weeks to decorate our gardens for this year’s WentFest and it’s wonderful to see the friendships that have developed between them.

“The festival is one of the highlights of our year, and our wellbeing team has been working hard to create costumes and find props to add to the experience and ensure that everyone has a really fun time.”

Residents and the children were also entertained by the Everyman’s Golden Step dancers who performed pieces from The Lion King and Grease and magician, Colin Dymond.

Francesca Goddard, partnership manager from the Everyman Theatre added, “We are delighted to see the return of WentFest. It’s the culmination of our intergenerational project with Wentworth Court residents and Hester’s Way Primary School children, which has seen the residents and children come together to enjoy a series of workshops and arts activities.

“It’s really clear that both residents and children gain so much from the interaction. It’s been an absolute joy to see these relationships develop.”

The specialist dementia nursing home on Village Road, Cheltenham has enjoyed a partnership with Hester’s Way Primary School for more than five years, involving regular visits and arts activities at the home.

The home is regularly open to the local community, including projects with other local schools, toddler groups and a dementia choir with the Everyman Theatre, as part of the home’s commitment to community engagement.

For more information about Wentworth Court, call 01242 263334

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