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Tugging at heart strings – Care home resident learns to play the guitar at 87

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A Southampton care home team struck the right chord when they helped a resident to complete a life-long wish. 

Cathy Barnett’s wish has come true after team members at Care UK’s Ancasta Grove, on Barnes Lane, helped her learn to the play the guitar at the age of 87. 


The process started six weeks ago when Richard Hazelgrove, Lifestyle Co-Ordinator, learnt that Cathy wished to play guitar. A normal sized guitar was too large for Cathy, so Richard found a smaller guitar, but it was in desperate need of repair. Luckily help was on hand as the home has its very own repair shop. 

Once it was fixed and beautifully decorated with a little help from other residents, Cathy was ready to learn. 

87-year-old Cathy said: “I always wanted to play the guitar. My mother was a music teacher and my father played ukulele - I play the piano but always fancied playing the guitar.

“I am most looking forward to learning music by Jim Reeves and other country music. I would like to thank Richard for encouraging me to learn a new skill and I can’t wait to be able to play for all the residents.” 

Raymond Arnold, Home Manager said: “Cathy has always wanted to learn how to play guitar, but never had the opportunity, so we knew we had to make it happen for her - and the residents at our repair shop were all too happy to help."


Here at Ancasta Grove, we encourage residents to try something new to enable them to live active and fulfilled lives. Music has long been known to be a great mood enhancer and to for stimulate brain activity, so it’s fantastic to have brought this to life for Cathy. 

Raymond ArnoldHome Manager

“It’s been so rewarding to see Cathy’s confidence grow – we’re very much looking forward to her first performance!” 

Ancasta Grove, which opened its doors in June 2021, 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, nursing and specialist dementia care, as well as respite and end of life care, and is proud to be able to offer a ‘home for life’ if an individual’s needs change over time. The team are able to offer show rounds by appointment so local residents can see the home for themselves and ask any questions they may have about the care available.

To find out more Ancasta Grove, please call 02392 982 479 or email Customer Relations Manager, Christopher Roby, at

For more general information please visit:

Open to new residents

123 Barnes Lane, Sarisbury Green, Southampton, Hampshire, SO31 7BH

Ancasta Grove

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

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