Bognor care home celebrates VE day with high-tech tea party

A Bognor care home celebrated VE day with a high-tech tea party this weekend, using a Samsung interactive whiteboard to connect with another care home in Twickenham
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Residents at The Royal Garden Hotel on Princess Avenue helped themselves to retro style cakes and homely cups of tea last Sunday, for a VE day tea party which saw them connecting with residents in Lynde House in Twickenham.

To do it, they set up a zoom call on two Samsung Flip 2’s: high-tech digital whiteboards which allowed the residents to talk, listen and interact with each other over the Internet.

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The 62-inch whiteboards, which were donated by Samsung and The Digital Line, allowed the two care homes to play games and songs, host quizzes and chat to each other well into the evening.

Mia with chef John Williams and Chef Brian TurnerMia with chef John Williams and Chef Brian Turner
Mia with chef John Williams and Chef Brian Turner

“We were throwing banter backwards and forwards, Lynde House have a couple of sparky residents at their end and we’ve got quite a few at our end, so we were basically just having a jolly between ourselves,” said Julian Lindsell Director of the Royal Garden Hotel.

“One of our chaps was playing the piano, he was doing some of the ditties and things from back in the day. He was pulling out sea shanties and old songs and some of the wartime stuff and you could see that the residents on the other end could hear it. They were tapping away and quite enjoying themselves.”

“Lockdown’s been tough on care homes,” he added. “And we were hoping to instill some sort of enjoyment within the confines of Covid restrictions.”

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Mr Lindsell made clear that, after a brief adjustment period, the residents took incredibly well to the new tech. He said: “We’ve had the technology for about six months now, so our residents have been playing with it on a regular basis. Some of them are quite technologically shy but, once they realise they can’t break it, then they’re off and running.”

One of the cakes made for the care homeOne of the cakes made for the care home
One of the cakes made for the care home

Alongside all the laughs, residents also got a chance to tuck into a variety of expertly baked treats.

Cakes in the shape of a Jammy Dodger and Bourbon biscuit were baked by seven-year-old junior baker Mia Dando and seasoned chefs John Williams MBE, Executive Chef of The Ritz Hotel and Brian Turner CBE and kindly donated to the care homes.

“I actually didn’t get a bit, but everyone who did told me ‘yes, it was very nice thank you very much,’” laughed Mr Lindsell.

Click here to find out more about The Royal Garden Hotel and click here to learn more about The Digital Line.