Etching to go! Banbury care home residents take part in worldwide art festival

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Residents at a care home in Banbury picked up their pencils and went back to the drawing board for The Big Draw Festival 2021.

Residents and team members at Care UK’s Highmarket House, on North Bar Place, have partnered with pioneering charity, The Big Draw, for a third successful year to promote the therapeutic benefits of drawing for expression and promoting positive wellbeing. 

As part of their event, residents and team members joined forces with Rainbows Day Nursery for a host of bumblebee-themed arty activities, including a draw-along session in the home’s cinema for residents. The works of art created throughout the month have been turned into an impressive collage as an ode to nature and its wonders and is now on display in the home.  

Launched in 2000 as part of the ‘Campaign for Drawing’, the month-long Big Draw Festival promotes drawing as a tool for learning, and invention, and has encouraged over four million people to get arty since its inception. ‘Make the Change’, this year’s theme, focuses on the relationship between people and their living environments, and offers a great opportunity for older people to reminisce about their favourite nature spots, how the environment has changed, and look to the future at what action can be taken to help safeguard the natural world in light of the climate crisis. 

Alessandra Knaggs, Home Manager at Highmarket House, said: “Art and intergenerational activities are a huge part of life here at Highmarket House, and even though we may have been unable to meet in person, it was fantastic to join Rainbows Day Nursery for a virtual art session. 

“Intergenerational relationships have proven to be incredibly enriching, as they provide an opportunity for younger and older generations to learn from each other. These relationships can be particularly beneficial for older people, as they can offer a sense of purpose and prompt conversations as residents reflect on their younger years. 

“We’d like to say a big thank you to Rainbows Day Nursery for taking part, and we can’t wait to join forces again soon for some more arty fun!”

After a successful participation in the Big Draw Festival in the past two years, Care UK renewed its partnership in 2021 as the main health and social care partner and leading the way in changing perceptions of life in a care home by promoting activity-based care and encouraging other care homes to follow suit. Across the country, Care UK homes have been getting creative and working with their local communities virtually to create works of art around the theme ‘Make the Change’. 

Highmarket House is a state-of-the-art care home which provides full-time residential, dementia, nursing and short-term respite care. The home, which features 73 en-suite bedrooms, has been designed to enable its residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence. The care home incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities and includes its own cinema, hairdressing salon and café.

For more information about Highmarket House, please call Home Manager, Alessandra Knaggs, on 01295 297 652 or email

For more general information, visit

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

To find out more about the Big Draw festival, please go to

Open to new residents

(Behind the Cromwell Hotel), North Bar Place, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 0TD

Highmarket House

Highmarket House

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

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