A local 92-year old took a trip down memory lane as she joined her fellow Clone View residents in celebrating World Read Aloud Day, an annual event which celebrates the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.
In 1982, Jane Harris – known as Nellie - who now lives at Colne View, volunteered at Combe Cliff School in Croydon, following an influx of people in the local area that could not read or write.
Nellie grew close to a West Indian lady from St Lucia and her five children. During their time together, Nellie taught the family English and found reading aloud was significant in their understanding of the language.
The care home on Dame Mary Walk enjoyed a day of interactive reading and literature-based activities to mark World Read Aloud Day, which brought back fond memories for Nellie.
The team also invited the local community to join residents for the day, and enjoyed a free screening of a short film created by Care UK featuring international Storyteller Laureate, Taffy Thomas MBE.
In the film, Taffy, the patron of The Society for Storytelling, provided his top tips and advice for reading and explained the therapeutic benefits of reading aloud to older people.
The team at Colne View also marked the day with a special performance from The Stane Street Players who read a Steptoe & Son radio play script to the residents; and the launch of the care home’s weekly book club, a new initiative designed to get residents and loved ones reading aloud on a regular basis.
Home manager, Omar Taylor, explained why Colne View was one of several Care UK care homes that took part in World Read Aloud Day: “It may come as a surprise to many just how beneficial reading aloud can be for older people; particularly those living with dementia.
“Here at Colne View, interactive reading sessions are very important to us as they help us to engage residents and encourage communication.
“It was a lovely event for all our residents, with Nellie particularly benefiting from the nostalgic experience.
“We had a brilliant day of storytelling with the people of Halstead and hope to build on the momentum of World Read Aloud Day with the launch of our new book club.”