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Three Suffolk care homes on a mission to save traditional hobbies and skills

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Three care homes in Suffolk have joined a nationwide campaign to save older hobbies from being forgotten. 

A poll of 2,000 adults carried out by Care UK, which operates Glastonbury Court and Davers Court, in Bury St Edmunds, and Mildenhall Lodge, in Mildenhall, found reading a map, using a compass and even simple handwriting are high within the top 50 list of lost talents – and a majority of those surveyed (77%) blame modern technology. 


In a bid to prevent hobbies and skills from being lost over time and give them a new lease of life, the care homes are encouraging locals to join a nationwide campaign to tap into thousands of older people’s expertise and knowledge – ‘Long Lost Hobbies’. 

As part of the initiative, residents across the UK are revisiting favourite hobbies from their younger years and sharing their skills with younger generations – with those living at the homes having the opportunity to join a gardening club or taking part in intergenerational activities regularly. 

As part of the initiative, residents at Davers Court have also been revisiting older hobbies, such as typewriting and slingshot throwing.  

In East Anglia especially, 74% of respondents think today’s generations aren’t interested in learning things like identifying plants and insects, sewing on a button or even spelling – while a further 55% said some old-fashioned skills simply aren’t needed anymore.

Noby Chelathadathil Jacob, Home Manager at Mildenhall Lodge, said: “Over time, many of us have become reliant on technology – meaning many hobbies that were once popular are now sadly being forgotten.

“This is why we’re excited to take part in the ‘Long Lost Hobbies’ initiative. Here at Care UK, we know residents have a wealth of skills and hobbies that are now considered to be on the decline – and that is something we wanted to celebrate. 

“We’d like to encourage everyone in the Suffolk community to join us in our efforts to save old skills and hobbies by reaching out to their relatives or neighbours. We have so much to learn from older generations – and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to share all of their knowledge.”

As part of the survey, it also emerged 16% of people polled in East Anglia think it will be just 10 to 12 years before they rely solely on technology to do things previously done without. Yet, 25% are still trying to keep certain skills and arts alive by teaching them to others.

Davers Court, Mildenhall Lodge and Glastonbury Court are modern care homes which provide full-time residential, nursing and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care homes have their very own cafés and hair salons, and there is plenty of space, both indoors and out, for relaxation and recreation.

To find out more about Care UK’s homes in Suffolk, visit

To find out more about the health benefits of nurturing a hobby, and for top tips on how you and your loved ones can revisit forgotten pastimes or discover new ones, please visit:



  1. Writing letters
  2. Map reading
  3. Knowing proper grammar
  4. Mental maths
  5. Remembering phone numbers
  6. Using a compass
  7. Handwriting
  8. Handwashing clothes
  9. Making a fire from scratch
  10. Stamp collecting
  11. Sewing/making clothes yourself 
  12. Spelling
  13. Wiring a plug yourself 
  14. Calligraphy
  15. Preserving food – such as pickling
  16. Sewing on a button yourself 
  17. Making your own jam
  18. Making your own cheese
  19. Tying knots
  20. Knitting
  21. Identifying different plants, trees or insects
  22. Changing a tire yourself 
  23. Making your own bread by hand
  24. Remembering addresses
  25. Using an index in a book
  26. Giving directions
  27. Remembering dates
  28. Reading music
  29. Carpentry
  30. Baking a cake by hand 
  31. Pottery making
  32. Storytelling
  33. Cooking something from memory
  34. Reading
  35. Putting up a shelf yourself 
  36. Critical thinking
  37. Time keeping
  38. Caring for chickens
  39. Speaking/learning another language
  40. Budgeting
  41. Creative writing
  42. Finding facts
  43. Following instructions
  44. Caring for plants
  45. Gardening
  46. Following a recipe
  47. Drawing
  48. Fishing
  49. Taking photos
  50. Editing photos yourself
Open to new residents

Glastonbury Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 2EX

Glastonbury Court

CQC Rating: Outstanding
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Nursing care
  • Day club
Open to new residents

Shakers Lane, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7BN

Davers Court

CQC Rating: Outstanding
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
Open to new residents

St John’s Close, Mildenhall, Suffolk, IP28 7NX

Mildenhall Lodge

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

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