Senior skaters experience Winter wonder at Chiltern View Ice Rink

Residents of a luxury all-inclusive care home in Chesham wrapped up warm and took to the ice rink for an unforgettable afternoon of ice skating on Monday 11th December.

Portobello Place, which is a part of the Berkley Care Group, visited Chiltern View Ice Skating Rink with seven residents who slid on their skates and glided along the ice.

The outing was inspired by conversations with residents who, during the holiday season, had expressed their desire to experience ice skating once again. For many, it had been a favourite past-time of their younger years. In response, the team worked to fulfill these requests while ensuring safety and accessibility for the residents.

The ice-skating rink provided a wheelchair-friendly ramp and had skating guards available for assistance. This setup enabled all residents, regardless of their mobility levels, to safely participate in the fun. Those who were wheelchair-bound enjoyed the skating experience while being pushed by carers on skates.

A highlight of the trip was the impromptu race on the ice, which brought joy and laughter to both residents and staff.

The outing was a resounding success and brought back many happy memories for the residents. Everyone at the home is eagerly anticipating the next ice-skating trip scheduled for later in December.

Commenting on the event, Jurgita Maksimova, Activities Coordinator at Portobello Place, said:

“The excitement we witnessed during our ice-skating event trip was truly heartwarming. It was a vivid reminder of why we do what we do here at Portobello Place. It was a pleasure to watch our residents enjoying themselves, many of whom had not felt the exhilarating thrill of ice-skating in several years.

“This event was so much more than just an afternoon of skating; it was a celebration of breaking down barriers, embracing inclusivity, and creating memorable moments that echo the cherished memories of our residents. Seeing their excitement to be back on the ice, sharing heartwarming stories from their younger days, and impressing everyone with tales of the tricks they used to do was truly inspiring.

“We are immensely thankful to Chiltern View Ice Skating rink for accommodating us and helping to make this event possible. It's moments like these that mean so much to our residents, as they stimulate not just their bodies but their minds and spirits too. We are looking forward to our next visit, hoping to fill it with even more smiles, laughter, and unforgettable experiences.”


Introducing Dan Ashenden our new head of M-Resourcing

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dan Ashenden to lead our M-Resourcing service with effect from 1 December 2023.

M-Resourcing offers a multi-faceted approach to solving complex resourcing problems facing the care sector. Whether you face spiralling staffing costs and pressures, or simply require a new approach to managing this critical area for your organisation, our comprehensive resourcing solution reduces costs, brings control and allows you to plan for the future with confidence.  We know from talking to our clients that managing their resourcing costs is still a key priority and this important appointment underlines our continuing commitment to the sector.

Christoph Marr, CEO of Marr Procurement: “Dan is a highly-capable leader and has incredibly valuable experience from his years in the care sector, managing and delivering complex temporary labour agency programmes. We are excited to bring that experience to our clients.”

Dan spent 6 years at Priory Group "During my rewarding six-year tenure at Priory, I had the privilege of being appointed as the inaugural UK Agency Manager, where I honed my skills in enhancing their PSL offering. This experience has provided invaluable insights into the principles of effective temporary agency management, reduction, and control. Now, as the Head of M-Resourcing at Marr Procurement, I aim to leverage this knowledge to introduce innovative strategies for temp agency reduction to benefit our clients. My goal is to ensure the delivery of a cost-effective and compliant offering, especially in the face of increasing sector costs. With a rising demand and our commitment to fairness, our offering at Marr Procurement is poised to become even more beneficial.".

Marr Procurement is a professional procurement organisation serving the care sector, and founded on the values of Integrity, Fairness and Quality. In everything we do, we believe in doing things better, ensuring fairness for clients and suppliers alike, and always doing the right thing. Marr Procurement was set up in 2008 and has since served more than 50 care clients in delivering savings through sourcing over £1bn of spend.

Christoph Marr, CEO Marr Procurement: “At Marr Procurement we believe in seeking to level the playing field for clients, ensuring they have equal access to the best procurement services and outcomes. This is what drives us every day in serving our clients. The team I have built are each highly capable leaders in their speciality but, importantly, they all share a common belief in fairness and transparency. This means they are always seeking the right solution for our clients, where trust is at the forefront. Dan is a great fit for our business and for our clients and I am delighted to welcome him to the team.”

Christoph Marr
07823 405200

Dan Ashenden
07393 556342


Hallmark Care Homes rebrands for a new era

As part of a larger strategic initiative born from consumer insight, Hallmark Care Homes has undergone a dramatic rebrand.

Now Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, their modernised look is set to broaden their brand appeal to new audiences and set them apart from other care home providers.

Working with creative agency The Corner, Hallmark have transformed how they present themselves, today revealing the new identity which is spearheaded by the launch of a new consumer facing website.

The family run business which operates 22 homes in England and Wales, state the launch has been driven by insight and the changing needs of their customer.

Managing Director at Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, Aneurin Brown said:

“After 26 years of delivering excellence in care, we are starting to look at the future and how we, at Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, continue to make the greatest difference for people in the later stages of their life.

As part of a wider business positioning project, our rebrand is the first part of a bigger initiative for us to continue to be the care home provider of choice.”

Sales and Marketing Director at Hallmark Luxury Care Homes, Christian Poole added:

“Our rebrand is just the first exciting step of an organisational update which will help us to be distinctive and reflect the premium care and facilities that we provide and will continue to provide in the future.”

To see Hallmark Luxury Care Homes fresh new look visit


Bidfood and CarbonCloud Join Forces to Initiate Transformation in Supply Chain Carbon Management

Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, has announced a strategic collaboration with CarbonCloud, a pioneer in climate intelligence technology. This partnership marks Bidfood’s commitment in supply chain carbon management as it aims to calculate its climate footprint across the value chain.

With a strong commitment to sustainability, Bidfood has set robust climate targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045 across all scopes. To achieve these goals, Bidfood recognises the importance of data accuracy in measuring and reducing its full carbon footprint, including the Scope 3 category Purchased Goods & Services, which is traditionally the least visible and hardest to measure element of a food businesses carbon footprint.

Calculating Purchased Goods and Services is a significant challenge for companies in the food system as the category usually accounts for the majority of Scope 3 emissions. Carbon management in this category calls for sustained collaborative action throughout the supply chain, and the data required for the calculations is often difficult to pinpoint.

With state-of-the-art automation, CarbonCloud’s innovative platform streamlines this process, providing Bidfood and its suppliers the opportunity to connect securely and seamlessly for better climate insights. As a first stage, Bidfood will have the initial climate footprint of its product range calculated swiftly in 2024.

“We’re thrilled to embark on this exciting collaboration with CarbonCloud and start collaborating with our suppliers on a single platform. Data integrity and scalability for our value chain is an important step towards achieving our sustainability objectives,” says Jim Gouldie, Supply Chain and Technical Services Director at Bidfood.

A key strength of CarbonCloud’s platform is its ability to connect the entire supply chain network. By mapping out the value chain of each product, from farm to retail gate, CarbonCloud enables real-time updates and ensures that the data quality and accuracy are instantly reflected across the network. This network effect fosters collaboration across the value chain, allowing food industry stakeholders to measure, share, and compare their climate footprints on equal ground. Bidfood and its stakeholders will be able to exchange emissions data securely and evaluate the climate impact of various products, even when dealing with diverse categories.

“Bidfood’s forward-thinking approach to climate impact makes them an ideal partner and we are thrilled to join forces. The partnership marks a new era of sustainability in the foodservice industry. By collaborating on advanced climate calculations, we are taking a significant step toward a net-zero value chain and collaborative future,” says David Bryngelsson, CEO & Founder of CarbonCloud.

Dream comes true for 102-year-old resident at Poole care home 

Eileen Pickering, a resident at Alexandra House in Poole, recently celebrated her 102nd birthday with an enchanting ice rink experience arranged by Care South at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink.

Eileen's journey back to the ice has rekindled fond memories from her childhood in London. As a little girl, Eileen's parents used to take her to watch ice hockey matches. The real magic happened post-game when she was allowed to glide freely on the ice. Her love for ice skating grew, and her parents, recognising her passion, gifted her a pair of beautiful white leather skates.

Eileen's ice-skating adventures were put on hold when her parents relocated to West Moors in the 1950s, where the absence of an ice rink left her unable to continue her beloved past-time.

Eileen's admiration for the art of ice skating endured through the years, fueled by her enthusiasm for watching legends like Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. For her 102nd birthday, she received a thoughtful gift from staff at Alexandra House, a DVD of Torvil and Dean’s performances, allowing her to relive the magic whenever her heart desires.

Eileen's dream of being on the ice again became the focal point for her birthday celebration. Alexandra House stepped in to make her wish come true by organising a special experience at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink. Eileen was surrounded by loved ones and well-wishers to create new memories.

Eileen Pickering, resident at Alexandra House, said: "I never thought I would get the chance to be on the ice again. It feels like a dream come true, and I'm incredibly thankful to Nicola and the team at Alexandra House for making this happen."

Steve Turner, BH Live’s Associate Director of Venues commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Eileen to Bournemouth International Centre and to Cool Coast Ice Rink to make her 102nd birthday wish come true. Eileen is such an inspiration and really shows that skating can be fun for all ages and abilities. Thanks so much to the Care South team for choosing our venue to mark such a special occasion, we wish them and Eileen the very best."

Nicola Bleach, Activities Lead at Alexandra House, added: “Witnessing Eileen being back on the ice at the BH Live Cool Coast Ice Rink was a heartwarming experience. Eileen's joy was infectious, and it highlighted the power of fulfilling dreams, no matter the age. We are committed to creating moments that truly matter, and seeing Eileen rediscover the magic of her passion demonstrates the essence of enriching lives through thoughtful and personalised care.”

This heartwarming event exemplifies the commitment of Care South safely enhancing the lives of its residents, celebrating their unique stories and ensuring that every dream, no matter how old, is worthy of realisation.


20 per cent of Greenfield Court Care clients will spend Christmas Day on their own.

Staff at Greenfield Court Care, part of not-for-profit care provider, Harrogate Neighbours, have been offering more than just care this festive season in a bid to tackle feelings of loneliness amongst the elderly.

Greenfield Court Care has provided person-centered care into the community through its growing team of dedicated carers since 2010. Through getting to know their clients, the 33-strong team identified that 20 per cent would be spending Christmas alone.

Lynsey Robinson, registered care manager at Greenfield Court Care said, “Over the years we’ve got to know our clients very well – Christmas can be a very lonely time for older people, especially those who have lost loved ones, or those unable to leave the house due to their health, so we wanted to do something special for them.”

The staff at Harrogate Neighbours have spent weeks donating gifts, from toiletries and chocolates, to stationery and socks to be delivered to client’s in the community who may not receive a gift this Christmas.

Staff at Greenfield Court Care donned their very best elf costumes and surprised clients with a doorstop delivery of festive treats.

Doreen, who has been receiving care at home from the Greenfield Court Care team for over 12 years said, “I got such a surprise when the elves turned up, I was quite taken back.

“My husband passed away earlier this year, so this will be the first Christmas I have spent on my own without him.

“The lovely girls brought me a festive mug, cosy socks and they have also invited me and a friend to have Christmas Day lunch at The Cuttings.”

Doreen continued, “I am going to take my friend Margaret with me, who also lost her husband this year – it’s very thoughtful of them.”

Lynsey added, “The team have built strong relationships with their clients – they’re more like our extended family, so to help them to feel a little less lonely this Christmas has been something we’ve all enjoyed being part of.”

Greenfield Court Care provides at-home, personalised care to older people ranging in age from 55-100 and above. Qualified staff are on hand to support an aging population to stay in their homes for longer and live independent and fulfilled lives.

To find out more about Greenfield Court Care at Harrogate Neighbours, or to become a volunteer, visit

Eco-Innovation in patient hygiene: Waterless launches groundbreaking biodegradable shampoo cap

Reducing plastic waste and cutting costs in healthcare, Waterless unveils a revolutionary, eco-friendly shampoo cap.

Waterless, a pioneer in sustainable healthcare solutions, has launched the world's first 100% biodegradable shampoo cap. This innovative product is poised to transform hygiene practices in the healthcare sector by providing an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional non-recyclable shampoo caps.

Shampoo caps, commonly used in healthcare settings for bed-bound or mobility-impaired people, offer a convenient, rinse-free solution for hair washing. However, the widespread use of conventional plastic-based caps poses a significant environmental challenge, contributing substantially to single-use plastic waste.

In response, Waterless has developed the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, a product entirely crafted from biodegradable materials. This sustainable alternative retains the convenience and effectiveness of traditional shampoo caps while addressing environmental concerns.

With the NHS estimated to use 300,000 traditional shampoo caps every year, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap could substantially reduce the millions of tonnes of single-use plastic waste generated annually.

The application of the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is simple and efficient. Users or caregivers wrap around the hair, massage it to activate the shampoo, and then towel off the solution to remove any residue, leaving the hair soft and clean. This process eliminates the need for additional water or rinsing, offering a practical solution in patient care. Unlike traditional plastic-based caps, which add to landfill waste, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap presents a pioneering eco-friendly option for a competitive retail price of £1.89 per wrap.

Established in 2009 as a family business, Waterless has rapidly evolved into a leader in alternative eco-wash solutions for health and personal care. Operating from a purpose-built facility in Swansea, the company's skilled team devise and manufactures innovative products like the new Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, 'towel off' cleansing foams, alcohol-free sanitisers, and even a pet range for cleaning fox mess.

Waterless is committed to UK manufacturing and serves a diverse clientele, including the NHS, care industry, commercial businesses, and the pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

Jess Efford, CEO of Waterless, shared her enthusiasm for the new product:

"In the UK alone, an estimated 700,000 shampoo caps go in the bin annually. When you consider the usage across Europe and the rest of the world, it's clear to see what a blight these products are on our environment.

"Our biodegradable alternative, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap, presents an opportunity for healthcare providers to prevent millions of tonnes of single-use plastic waste from polluting our planet. This launch is more than a milestone for Waterless; it's a step towards realising our vision of a sustainable future in healthcare.

"We are committed to leading this change, providing quality products that are eco-friendly and cost-effective. The overwhelming interest from customers reinforces our belief that the market is ready to embrace more sustainable practices."

Developed after a year of dedicated research, the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is made from specially woven biodegradable bamboo viscose. It features a biodegradable heat-compatible formula encased in 100% recyclable packaging.

Victor Efford, Operations Director at Waterless, highlighted the challenges and triumphs in developing the shampoo wrap:

"Developing the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap was a journey marked by numerous challenges, particularly in creating a fully biodegradable, effective, and affordable product. We faced hurdles in material selection, preserving biodegradability, and ensuring product efficacy. Yet, our determination and commitment to sustainable innovation drove us forward.

"Overcoming these obstacles has been incredibly rewarding, and we're excited about the potential for widespread adoption in hospitals, care homes, and domiciliary care. The Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap is a testament to what is possible when innovation meets environmental consciousness."

Jess Efford continued:

"As we proudly introduce the Nilaqua Shampoo Wrap to the healthcare market, we're doing more than just launching a new product; we're championing a significant shift towards more sustainable healthcare practices.

"Our dedication to eco-friendly innovation is not just a part of our business model; it's a call to action for the entire industry. We invite healthcare providers, partners, and customers to join us in this journey. Together, we can set a new standard in healthcare – one that prioritises the well-being of our planet and future generations."

Connaught Care wins two trophies at Caring UK Awards

At last night's annual Caring UK Awards, Connaught Care Group took home two trophies in recognition of its achievements in the UK care sector.

This is the first awards ceremony the company has attended after opening its first two homes in June/July this year. Singled out for praise was Huntingdon-based home The Chase, which won the 'Catering Team of the Year' category -  and was nominated for the 'Community Involvement Award' as well.

Connaught Care was also named 'Care Employer of the Year' in recognition of its commitment to hiring and retaining 25% more on-duty staff than competitors, and to paying the highest salaries available in the marketplace. The group hopes this will inspire other providers to adopt a similar people-first ethos.

Accepting the award on behalf of Connaught was its new Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Winstanley:

"As such a new player in the social care sector, the team was both surprised and delighted to get such early recognition for their hard work. The team at The Chase have knocked it out of the park in terms of the levels of service they offer, and all the credit goes to them. Now, Connaught will be turning its attention to hitting the ground running in 2024. Watch this space!"

The Chase is one of only a handful of UK care homes to offer fine-dining services. Led by Head Chef Juliana Martins, the on-site Paddock Bar & Bistro supplies family lunches, afternoon tea, fresh seasonal meals, and a full-stocked hotel bar - all covered under an all-inclusive package.

In addition, every month The Chase's Activities Team plans dozens of creative activities for residents and the local community. This has included events like Cirque du Soleil, Care-chella, firework nights, Young Artist competitions, and even a Bubble disco.

Nicola Orwin, General Manager at The Chase, comments on this approach:

"Good food, fun activities, and a lively social calendar are a crucial part of our offering. They help our residents to truly feel at home at The Chase, and can help to build vital bridges with the local community in Huntingdon as well. This is a wonderful place to live, and being elderly doesn't have to be a barrier to making the most of all it has to offer."

Other luxury services offered at the home include an on-site cinema, hair salon, landscaped gardens, beauty treatments at The Lotus Spa, and access to a chauffeur-driven Mercedes.


Surrey Retirement Village, Homewood Grove, Unveils its Stunning New Show home

Homewood Grove, the contemporary lifestyle village for the over 60s in Chertsey, Surrey has unveiled its new 2 -bedroom show home, giving prospective buyers the opportunity to view and visualise the lifestyle on offer in one of the spacious and stylish apartments and the opportunity to reserve a plot off plan.

The stunning new village will feature 116 one, two and three bedroom apartments complete with exclusive onsite amenities and 24/7 support services. The new apartments embrace the ethos of Homewood Grove’s future residents, who are semi or fully retired, and want to live an active rich life in a friendly community. The first residents are expected to move in by Spring 2024.

Commenting on the design concept for the new two-bedroom show apartment Pat Nightingale, Sales Director at interior design company Blocc Interiors said: “Unlike traditional perceptions of retirement accommodation, this development caters to a discerning and affluent clientele looking to downsize from larger homes while maintaining a sophisticated lifestyle.  With this in mind, the colour palette was meticulously chosen, drawing inspiration from the kitchen's Fjord blue and smoky duck egg tones, complemented by a Blanco sisal stone worktop and brushed metal handles.

“The overall ambiance aimed for a classic contemporary feel, enriched with touches of gold and elegance. The design concept prioritized interesting light fixtures, layered beds, and thoughtful styling, creating a genuine living environment that seamlessly combines luxury with practicality. The result is a space that not only meets the functional needs of its residents but also exudes a timeless and refined aesthetic, aligning perfectly with the aspirations of the Rangeford Villages' clientele.”

Commenting on how Homewood Grove’s location and surrounding area inspired the design Pat says: “The inspiration for Blocc Interiors' design was heavily influenced by Homewood Grove's unique location within the Botleys Park Estate. The expansive 56 acres of lush green parkland surrounding the estate served as a key muse for our design approach. Drawing from the rural setting and historical significance of the site, the overall scheme reflects regal colour tones, seamlessly interwoven with organic shapes, rich textures, and subtle gold accents. This approach aimed to evoke a sense of the tranquil countryside, allowing residents to feel connected to the natural beauty that envelops the Botleys Park Estate.

“By echoing the natural beauty of the countryside and seamlessly integrating it with the outdoor aesthetics the design aimed to establish a seamless connection between the interiors and the carefully crafted outdoor spaces. This approach not only pays homage to the stunning location but also ensures a holistic and harmonious living experience for the residents, complementing Rangeford's commitment to creating vibrant and thoughtfully designed retirement communities.”

The show home has been beautifully showcased to appeal to a multitude of residents with Pat commenting: “The apartment is carefully orchestrated to resonate with a diverse range of potential residents. Recognising that individuals have varied personal tastes, preferences, and needs when envisioning their future home, our design approach is intentionally broad and inclusive.”

“The finished product is curated to be versatile, avoiding overly personalised elements that might limit its appeal. Instead, we aimed to strike a balance, creating a design that is both sophisticated and timeless while also flexible enough to accommodate a wide spectrum of individual tastes, allowing potential buyers to envision their unique lifestyle within the space.”

“Whether someone is downsizing, seeking a luxurious retreat, or desiring space to entertain, the finished product is designed to showcase its adaptability and potential to cater to a myriad of individual preferences. This approach maximizes the appeal of the finished product, making it a compelling and inclusive option for a broad audience of prospective homeowners.”

With sustainability at the heart of Homewood Grove’s design, each apartment will feature underfloor heating, double-glazed picture windows and an all-electric energy system to help lower bills and reduce the environmental impact.

Homewood Grove will be home to several state-of-the-art amenities to encourage residents to lead an active lifestyle. Facilities will include a wellbeing centre (pool, steam room and sauna), gym, dance studio, bistro and bar complete with a coffee shop, a cinema room, and a hair and beauty salon. Residents will also be able to make use of the on-site village shop and concierge service.

Each home will be fitted with TIS Sentinel SmartLink tablets to allow residents to stay fully connected, including everything from getting updates on village life, communicating with the concierge and staff team, and door entry control.  Smart watches that are given to all residents will also be integrated with this in-home technology.

Homewood Grove apartments start from £420,000.

To make an appointment to visit the new show home, interested buyers are invited to visit the Marketing Suite situated off Stonehill Road, Chertsey, or call the friendly sales team on 01932 645103 or visit:

Rangeford Villages Mickle Hill Residents Raise Whopping Amount for St Catherine’s Hospice 

Rangeford Villages’ Mickle Hill retirement village, in Yorkshire, has raised the grand total of £4726.09 for St Catherine’s Hospice, after residents hosted a series of fundraisers throughout 2023.

Residents raised the money by hosting fairs at the retirement village for over 60’s, furniture sales, coffee mornings and a spa evening.


A cheque was passed to the hospice following the retirement village’s recent furniture sale, which added a whopping £1,681.50 to the overall amount. Following Mickle Hill’s recent Show and Marketing Suites refurbishment, the retirement village offered the furniture and other items to residents and staff. The items from the bungalows were offered over a period of two weeks, with smaller items to take and larger items of furniture offered by a silent auction.


Meanwhile, separate donation events took place, including the Christmas Fair, Coffee Mornings and a Temple Spa Night which raised £1163.84 of the total funds. The summer fair and three coffee mornings over the summer also raised a total of £1880.75.


The money generated will go towards St Catherine’s Hospice, which helps to provide care and support at home and in the hospice for adults with a terminal illness. The charity offers a wide range of help from medical care to wellbeing groups, as well as support for friends, family and carers.


Yvette Jones, Property Sales Advisor, said: “St Catherine’s Hospice is a charity close to our hearts here at the retirement village as it makes a real and tangible difference to lives of the local area. All the residents have been extremely committed in their fundraising efforts. They have had a great time putting on the events and supporting the deserving charities. We are all incredibly pleased with the money raised that will help support the charity.”


Tina Cox, Activities Co-ordinator at Mickle Hill, added: “It’s a great feeling supporting worthy causes and involving the community, and helping charities to support people through difficult times. At Mickle Hill, we take pride in being able to help in maintaining essential services for our local communities.