Warwick retirement village says ‘Elf and safety’ comes first this Christmas
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Despite Warwick being in tier 3 of Coronavirus restrictions, Austin Heath retirement village, which is operated by Inspired Villages, is demonstrating that Christmas doesn’t have to be cancelled as they explore new ways to enjoy the festive season and raise money for charity.
The village team at Austin Heath is working with residents to create a timetable of socially distanced, festive celebrations, including a village Christmas light switch on, wreath making, carol singing performances and mince pies and mulled wine.
To kick off the festive season, the housekeeping team, led by Claire Timms, raised money for the Alzheimer’s Society around National Elf Day on December 4.
Their fundraising efforts included dressing up as elves, doing a sponsored walk, a cake sale, running a lucky dip, leading an ‘elf parade’ around the village, and one team member, Ravinder Virdee, ran 20 miles around Warwick in an elf costume.
In total they raised £1,141.79.
Austin Heath also has plans to host a full Christmas lunch menu but should Warwick still be in tier 3 during Christmas, there will be a back-up plan for meals to be delivered to residents’ homes instead.
Alison Harrison, village manager at Austin Heath, said: “I’m so glad we could still make the most of festive celebrations this year. It’s been fantastic to see colleagues coming together to create some really special activities for residents to enjoy and taking it upon themselves to give back to charity by setting their own challenges too.
“The health and happiness of our residents is always paramount, never more so than during the pandemic that this year has brought.
"We have put measures in place that have ensured that, to date, we haven’t had a single Covid-19 case at Austin Heath.
"These include extra cleaning measures, delivering groceries and cooked meals to residents’ doors, calling them daily for a chat, and hosting exercise classes, to minimise the need for them to leave the safety of the village.
“As such, we wanted to go above and beyond to put a smile on everyone’s faces this season, giving them the opportunity to get involved as safely as possible.”
The team has also contributed engaging content to Inspired Villages’ virtual village centre on Facebook.
"This resource, available to all Inspired Villages residents as well as the wider public, provides home exercise videos, recipes and gardening tips from Inspired Villages’ head of horticulture, and much more, to help over 65s combat isolation.
For more information on Austin Heath go to: https://www.inspiredvillages.co.uk/village/austin-heath