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Woking care home welcomes special guest to dine through the decades

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Residents at a care home in Woking welcomed a special guest for a trip down memory lane.

Care UK’s Kingsleigh, off Kingfield Road, enjoyed a virtual session hosted by BBC food historian, Dr Polly Russell, from Back in Time for… as part of a nationwide initiative designed to transport residents back to their younger days.

Kingsleigh’s talented chef, Toni Campbell, prepared a special afternoon tea, including traditional sandwiches, Victoria sponge cake and macaroons, for residents to enjoy while Dr Polly took them through each treat, it’s delicious history and residents were encouraged to share their associated memories.

Woking care home welcomes special guest to dine through the decadesThe team asked residents what food-focused activities they would be keen to try and resident Lucinda Barrett, who was born in Italy, wanted to show off her pizza-making skills. Kingsleigh’s team organised a special cookery session where residents created their own pizzas, using homemade bases and tomato sauce, and a variety of toppings, including ham, pineapple and mushroom.

The ‘Food for Thought’ initiative sees Care UK homes across the country take part in activities which encourage memory sharing and the use of food as a tool for reminiscence.

In addition to hosting a session on the history of the afternoon tea, Dr Polly has worked alongside Care UK chefs to create a nostalgic tasting menu as part of the project, which features iconic foods from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s and is designed to be used as a sensory tool to encourage reminiscence in older people.

Dr Polly said: “I was delighted to partner with Care UK to create a reminiscence tasting menu, and I had a fantastic time hosting a talk about the history of the afternoon tea.

“There really is something incredibly special about the way food can evoke memories and emotions. Just one flavour or smell can prompt a different memory and emotion for each individual, which is why a session like this can be so powerful.”

Kelly Kelleher, Home Manager at Kingsleigh, added: “Residents had a fantastic time learning about this history of the afternoon tea, and trying each sweet treat as they learnt more about where it came from and shared their memories.

“Here at Kingsleigh, we believe in the power of activity-based care, and we’re always looking for new and exciting experiences to promote wellbeing. Reminiscence activities can be extremely beneficial for older people, particularly those living with dementia, as long-term memory typically remains stronger than the short-term. Drawing on strong memories helps to boost confidence and provides an opportunity to re-live happy times, which can prompt conversation and evoke the associated emotions.

“Everyone had a great time dining through the decades and it was wonderful to hear all about the fond memories the activity prompted residents to discuss.”

Kingsleigh has been designed to deliver the very best standards of care and to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives. The home provides residential, respite and specialist dementia care.

To find out more about Kingsleigh please call please call 01483 331948 or email Home Manager, Kelly Kelleher, at

To find out more about Care UK’s partnership with Dr Polly Russell, and for more top tips on how you and your loved ones can get involved at home, visit

If you’re looking for more information about nutrition for older people, download our guide to ‘Eating as we age’ here:

Open to new residents

Kingfield Road, Woking, Surrey, GU22 9EQ


CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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