Birthday celebrations at Holybourne Day Centre

Clients and staff at Holybourne Day Centre in Roehampton came together for a special party to mark the 91st birthday of their longest attending member.

Ken Roberts has been a familiar face at Holybourne, which specialises in dementia care, for the past 12 years, in recent times coming to the centre seven days a week from his home in Putney.

The former painter and decorator enjoys getting involved with tasks around the centre, at one point painting the shed and routinely helping staff to keep the garden neat and tidy.

Brian Speirs, a professional Care Support and Therapeutic Musical Entertainer, has been playing for Holybourne for over 30 years. He led the celebrations, and clients and staff were full of smiles as they danced and sang along before presenting Ken with two large cakes specially prepared by centre staff.

Deputy Manager Jacqui Hammond said:

“Our day centre provides Ken with a familiar, friendly environment and a sense of purpose as he carries out ‘his jobs’ each day. He enjoys our activity programme too, particularly when we take him for a pub lunch by the river! All the staff here are very fond of him and we were delighted to have the opportunity to do something special for his birthday.

“Holybourne plays an essential role in combatting isolation and helping people in our community to live well with dementia, and the atmosphere at the centre today was so warm and happy; it’s been a wonderful day for everyone.”

Entertainer Brian Speirs added:

“It’s always a pleasure to come to Holybourne and today was extra special. There are many nationalities represented at the centre, including a couple of Greek ladies and a German lady who are frequent visitors, so I always try to work in familiar music for them in their native languages.

“For people living with dementia, music is incredibly important; it sparks memories and emotion and helps to reduce anxiety and agitation. It was a real privilege to perform for the Holybourne centre users today and it was rewarding to see how much fun they had.”

Date published: 13 May 2019

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