News at Cumnor Hill House in Oxfordshire


Country and Western Summer Party
We always enjoy a celebration here at Cumnor Hill House, and our Country and Western Summer Party last Friday was no exception…with all our residents and around 120 guests in attendance, we pulled out all the stops and decorated the home with sunflowers, pictures of ‘wanted’ staff and country and western memorabilia, and put on quizzes, competitions, entertainment and games for fun, including fancy dress!

The afternoon kicked off with Neil Mack and his electric violin; Neil has performed for the Queen Mother at her birthday celebrations, and at Victoria and David Beckham’s house for a family celebration. He put on a fantastic performance for us, singing and playing his electric guitar and violin with songs with a country and western connection such as Bright Side of the Road, Lay Down Sally, Brown Eyed Girl and a whole host of others. Everyone enjoyed singing and dancing, many wearing their cowboy hats and boots.

Our residents performed a small demonstration of line dancing with our lovely dancing instructor Jane, before heading out to the garden to watch staff, family members and friends participate on the rodeo ride. They also got to feed the various animals in attendance such as goats, lambs, ducks and geese, and Henry the horse brought smiles to many as he trotted around the garden.

Children had lots of fun colouring and drawing as part of the art competition, riding the hobby horses, playing the horseshoe game and pin the tail on the donkey. The tombola was a popular stall, along with the fantastic raffle, which had some fabulous prizes up for grabs. Everyone loved naming the teddy bear, which we later announced as Roy!

Food included a broad spectrum of tasty BBQ foods prepared and cooked and served by our lovely team, including Cumberland hot dogs, Cajun chicken, minted lamb, pork and chilli burgers, and a selection of salads. Gin and tonic cupcakes, mini Victoria sponge cakes, chocolate Guinness cake, red velvet cupcakes and fresh fruit were all available to tempt the taste buds too. Our very own ice cream bicycle was offering a variety of delicious flavours of ice cream, along with sweet and salty popcorn cones and traditional sweet jars filled with all your favourites.

Elkie came to sing later in the day, with residents having fun dancing along to songs such as Blanket on the Floor and Nine to Five, among many others. Towards the end of the afternoon, the winners of the competitions were announced. Everyone was in high spirits and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon – hopefully we can put on a similar kind of event next year and end summer on a high once again.

Cheering on Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium
Oxford United FC currently play in League One, and they’re the nearest professional football club to Cumnor Hill House. Founded in 1893, the team was originally known as Headington United and changed its name in 1960. In more modern history, Oxford were playing Fleetwood at home on Saturday, so we decided to go along and show our support.

One of our new residents had always wanted to see Oxford United play, having been an avid football fan for many years, and after chatting about it in our home, we soon realised that a few other residents also fancied visiting the stadium and seeing a match. Here at Cumnor Hill House, we always try to go the extra mile, so we arranged for a small group of residents to see the first home game of the season against Fleetwood. We travelled in style in the Cumnor Hill House minibus and were greeted by staff at the Kassam Stadium when we arrived, which was a lovely touch.

Showing our allegiance by wearing Oxford United scarves, with programmes in hand and oozing enthusiasm for Oxford to win, residents and staff sat in prime seats watching the game. We waved our flags and cheered from the stands as Oxford’s players ran onto the pitch and stayed warm and hydrated with hot refreshments, watching on intently.

After 34 minutes, Ched Evans scored for Fleetwood, leaving home supporters a little disheartened, but we kept the faith until the visitors scored a second goal, this time by Paddy Madden in the 89th minute – significantly, this was Joey Barton’s first victory as Fleetwood’s Manager.

Residents loved watching the game, and so did the staff! We all really enjoyed the game despite losing 2-0. Maybe Oxford will fare a little better in the return fixture in January…

Come along to our Country and Western Summer Party!
On Friday 17th August from 2pm - 6pm, come and join us at Cumnor Hill House for a fun day out for all the family, complete with a country and western theme!

Everyone is welcome and there will be lots going on here to enjoy, including games, competitions, entertainment and a range of refreshments available. Don’t forget to dress up in your very best country and western attire, as there’ll be a prize for the most impressive outfit! If your loved one is a resident, it would be brilliant if you would help them to take part in the dressing up too!

On the day, we’ll have Neil Mack entertaining us with his electric violin, the opportunity to bottle-feed our animals on the ranch, the chance to test your skills with the rodeo ride, country and western-themed songs performed by Elkie, a tug of war between Cumnor Hill House staff!

We'll also have ice cream and popcorn, along with our country and western best-dressed competition, children's colouring competition, raffle, name the bear, tombola, pin the tail on the donkey, tin can game and country and western films in the Roxy Cinema. And from 4pm, we’ll be serving a tasty BBQ outside as long as the weather permits!

RSVP to 01865 415185 to confirm your attendance at the Cumnor Hill House Country and Western Summer Party! We look forward to seeing you there.

A sunny day out on the river
On a beautiful sunny afternoon last week, residents and staff piled into the Cumnor Hill House minibus and set off for Abingdon, where we all boarded one of Oxford’s well-known Salter’s Steamers; Salter’s Steamers is a family-run business providing a variety of water trips and cruises and have been putting on these special trips on the Thames for over 150 years.

With idyllic scenery, lovely refreshments and a healthy dose of chatter, everyone was having a lovely time, then as we headed under Abingdon Bridge, we were accompanied by a gaggle of geese swimming down the river. This was our first sight of many types of wildlife on our journey, which included grey heron, brown hare running along the river, dragonflies, butterflies, ducks and swans.

A guide announced places as we passed historical buildings and places of interest – a vintage boathouse brought much interest to the residents as well as the very quaint and pretty Iffley Lock, along with stories of the King’s Arms public house with a garden overlooking the river. People waved while observing the many boats that passed.

We all had a good giggle at one of the locks, when we saw a sign saying: ‘The cooking of roast dinners, bacon, egg or sausage sandwiches is prohibited whilst in the lock. Please pass all such items to lockstaff for safe disposal.’

John, our wonderful maintenance man, met us in Oxford in the minibus, and he took us back to Cumnor Hill House just in time for refreshments and home-made cake. It was a really great, relaxing afternoon, complimented by residents, staff and other passengers – if you’ve never been on a Salter’s Steamer, we’d highly recommend it!

August Events at Cumnor Hill House
August is set to be a jam-packed month here at Cumnor Hill House – we have five fantastic events to look forward to, with a great act coming to see us each Thursday evening! With singers, musicians and a magician in our midst this coming month, our residents really are in for a treat.

Our Thursday night events are always incredibly popular with residents, and in August, all five events will be starting at 6:45pm. You and your family are welcome to come and join us for as many events as you would like to and as always, a variety of freshly-prepared dishes are included – courtesy of our talented team of chefs – along with refreshing drinks all evening from our well-stocked bar.

You can read a bit more about our brilliant upcoming events for August by clicking on this article’s images, but please note that food options are subject to change. If you would like to attend one or more of our events this August, please RSVP to or 01865415185 and we’ll make sure there’s more than enough delicious dinner for everyone in attendance.

Thank you to our Events Managers, Cherie and Tracy, for making all of this happen! We look forward to seeing you soon at Cumnor Hill House next month, if not before. 

Family art class in the Bistro
Earlier this week, it was amazing to see three different generations of the same family enjoy an impromptu afternoon art session in the Bistro, put together by our lovely Events Manager, Cherie.

Joyce has been a permanent resident here at Cumnor Hill House since April 2017, and she loves being involved in all the activities we have going on. She especially likes anything artistic, as she always shines with her creative flair.

Joyce’s great-granddaughter, Sadie, and Sadie’s mother, Hannah, came in to visit Joyce one lunchtime and as the afternoon’s painting activity was being set up, Cherie asked Sadie if she would like to paint a picture. Her face lit up, so we collected all the equipment together and set out an activity for her to use finger paints to put dots on an outline of a dandelion, giving the effect of its seeds. To give the painting that finishing touch, Cherie then wrote ‘Make a wish!’ on the canvas too.

On a separate canvas, Joyce decided to used paint in an unconventional way, using cutlery to give an unusual effect of an animal’s fur! Joyce used a fork to press paint onto the canvas, a brilliant and really effective technique. It was great to see all three generations sitting down and having fun painting together while enjoying refreshments from the Bistro.

At the end of the activity, Cherie said how lovely it would be to take a photograph of Sadie’s work, but would be very happy for her to take the canvas home, which she did – she was one very proud little girl!

A trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park
On Friday 1st June, we thought we’d pay our friends at the Cotswold Wildlife Park a visit, as it always makes for a fantastic day out. Residents love getting up close to the 260+ different species of animals, including birds, mammals, primates, reptiles and amphibians – and the park features lovely gardens too, making it an even nicer place to spend the day.

Just 20 miles from Cumnor Hill House, the Cotswold Wildlife Park is just two miles south of the beautiful village of Burford in Oxfordshire, so it’s not too far for us to travel. And there’s always so much to see and do at the park, these trips are always widely enjoyed, and putting smiles on residents’ faces is what it’s all about.

Daily activities at the park include watching the penguin and lemur feeding, along with the big cat feeding, petting farm animals in the children’s farmyard and taking a trip on the narrow-gauge railway. What was special this time around was seeing Belle, the Cotswold Wildlife Park’s first hand-reared Rhino calf, born earlier this year.

The Cumnor Hill House residents really enjoyed getting close to the wildlife at the park, with fun and laughter had by all observing the fantastic variety of animals. Next time you fancy taking a walk on the wild side, we highly recommend the Cotswold Wildlife Park!

Keep fit with Cumnor Hill House in our brand-new gym!
We’re delighted to announce that as of today, the Cumnor Hill House Gym is now open for action, and it’s one of just a handful of care homes in the country with an in-house gym. The only difference is that here at Cumnor Hill House, we’re unique as our gym is open to the public – and it’s completely free of charge!

A completely free facility for the whole community

Local residents are invited to come along and use our specialist equipment at their leisure; there’s no membership required, although we do ask for each visitor to participate in a short fitness assessment before getting started to ensure their safety.

A healthy, happy care home

At Cumnor Hill house, we describe ourselves as being an all-inclusive care home, and our brand-new, state-of-the-art, specialist gym is part and parcel of that too. This fantastic facility opened on 1st June 2018 and has been specially-designed to suit those aged 65 and over, featuring low-impact equipment that poses a much lower risk of injury than standard gym apparatus.

With a rowing machine, two upward weight machines and a walking machine, our residents have all the equipment they need to stay fit and healthy in our home. And better yet, if anyone would prefer to exercise in private, the walking machine is collapsible so can be moved into residents’ bedrooms if required.

Why have a gym in a care home?

Well, research shows that if you are fitter and more energetic in your twilight years, you are less likely to suffer from a fall, and an active lifestyle also staves off dementia and Alzheimer’s – we want the very best for our residents here at Cumnor Hill House and investing in this facility is just one of the many ways we have shown this since we opened in 2016.

Come and see the Cumnor Hill House Gym in action – and don’t forget to bring your sports kit! We hope to see you very soon.

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