Friends of the Elderly’s Wallingford Care Home Set The Biscuit Tin Straight

At The Old Vicarage, the Wallingford-based residential and dementia care home run by charity, Friends of the Elderly, residents have spent a ‘cracking’ time celebrating this year’s National Biscuit Day.

“We wanted to do something a bit different to mark National Biscuit Day,” said Carol Bourne, the Registered Manger at The Old Vicarage. “The residents love not only a good cup of tea, but also quizzes, chatting and reminiscing. So, we put together a little spoof survey to find out their thoughts about their favourite biscuits and how they think biscuits have changed over the years.”

According to a survey last year, the UK’s favourite top five biscuits were Biscoff biscuits taking first place, Shortbread in second place, the classic Bourbon biscuit taking the bronze position, followed by the Jaffa Cake and Jammie Dodger. Old Vicarage residents were asked a series of light-hearted questions to see if they agreed.

“When we asked what their individual, absolute favourite biscuit was to enjoy with a cup of tea, we got two overall answers – a Chocolate biscuit or a Jammie Dodger. When we asked them to give us their top three biscuits, they unanimously agreed. Any form of chocolate biscuit took the gold medal, Jammie Dodgers walked away with the silver medal and the classic Custard Cream won bronze,” continued Carol. “So the residents didn’t agree with the survey at all.”

“As we were going through the questions, I was amazed by how much the residents knew about biscuits,” added Diana Deskiewicz, the Activities Coordinator at the care home.

I learn something new from the residents every day. I now know that the earliest biscuits stem back to Roman times and that Aberffraw Biscuits – which are Welsh shortbread biscuits shaped like Scallop shells, which I’d never heard of, are the oldest British biscuits.”

One question had the residents divided – is a Jaffa Cake a biscuit or a cake? “This question was a 50/50 answer,” continued Carol. “With half our residents saying they were cakes and the other half disagreeing and saying they were biscuits. Personally, I think they are a cake, as they are no good for dunking.” Dunking was, however, something all the residents did agree on saying that they only dunk, if nobody is watching.

When we compared the biscuits of today to the biscuits the residents knew and loved growing up, they all thought that whilst there is a wider variety to choose from now, biscuits sizes are definitely smaller,” continued Diana. “Mind you, they did say that it’s probably because biscuits look smaller now as they are bigger people to when they were youngsters.”

“Finally, we asked the residents what type of biscuit they would be and why,” added Carol. “We had some wonderful answers that had everyone laughing. One resident said she’d be a hard one that nobody could eat, another said a chocolate biscuit as everyone likes chocolate biscuits and another said chocolate as well, as they are sweet just like him. 

“The residents and care team had a fun time discussing and reminiscing about biscuits; I think we could say that they all had a ‘cracking’ time,” concluded Carol.