Author Archives: Paul Courtney

Torstock 2, The Old Rectory, Exeter

What a day! Beautiful sunshine, bright colours, great music and an amazing atmosphere!

Our TORSTOCK festival returned for it’s second year after 2017’s great success. This year we had the likes of Mama’s and Papa’s, Bob Marley and of course ABBA taking to the stage for an afternoon of music and dancing.

KISS graced the stage to open the event and a special appearance from Aretha Franklyn had everyone singing along to their favourite songs from the 60’s and 70’s.

The care team dressed in their brightest clothes and tie dyed garments made by the residents, teamed with an abundance of peace signs and hippy spectacles.

We had a great day of singing and dancing, a classic fish and chips lunch and even had some friends from our sister home in Dawlish come to enjoy the day with us. We are already looking forward to next years’ TORSTOCK 3!

Celebrating Excellence in Care Plymouth Awards

It is with a great sense of pride that we can say that ‘Team Parkwood’ was awarded ‘Team of the Year’ at the ’Celebrating Excellence in Care in Plymouth 2018’ awards. What a wonderful acknowledgment of all the magical moments the team create for our residents at Parkwood House, and also their ability to reflect, improve and enhance the quality of life for all living here. This award was well deserved and a phenomenal acknowledgement of our achievements.


The Celebrating Excellence in Care awards are organised by the Quality Assurance & Improvement Team at Plymouth City Council to showcase and celebrate best practice across adult social care and celebrate and recognise all the fantastic work taking place across the care sector in Plymouth, from residential and nursing care homes to domiciliary care agencies and supported living services.

Dawlish Carnival

Every year Dawlish holds a week of events organised by the community, culminating in a Carnival which parades through the town.

This year we entered the parade with the 70’s theme of Sefton Hall Abba ‘SHABBA’. Four of our residents took part with staff members whilst others watched the parade. The Carnival was a mixture of community groups, musical entertainment and local businesses.

Both groups of residents thoroughly enjoyed the event and plans are now being put in place to make next year’s participation even bigger!

Coming Soon: TORSTOCK 2

Coming Soon to The Old Rectory: TORSTOCK2

 Last September we held our first annual TORSTOCK festival celebrating music and the creative arts. It was a wonderful ‘hippy’ themed day with the staff and residents in their brightest tie-dyed clothes singing along to the Wurzells!

This year we have planned an incredible line up to be performed by our staff including the likes of;

KISS, The Beach Boys, Atretha Franklyn, Mamas and Papas, Bob Marley and many more.

TORSTOCK2 is set to take place on Friday 14th September. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the sun is shining, but we have a backup plan so whatever the weather, we are going to put on a show!

If you’d like to join us please do! Dress in your best hippy attire, enjoy a classic fish and chips lunch and dance yourself silly to the best of 70’s (or thereabouts)!

The Seaton’s Festival Day

What a fabulous day we had on Friday for our festival! We would all like to thank the Pink Hippos, Professor Bumble, Andy Cowling (from The Old Rectory), The Chantry Buoys and Declan for making it an ultra special and fun day.


Our Headline act, The Chantry Buoys, raise money for the RNLI by performing local gigs, so we chose to support that charity in their honour. We managed to raise a brilliant £250 for the RNLI through our raffle and we couldn’t be happier.


Our award winning catering team provided a glorious ‘food court’ with endless choice, so there was something for everyone.


The gentlemen from The Chantry Buoys said “We were overwhelmed with your kind donation to the RNLI and hope we can join you again next year”.


Debby and Sue from the Pink Hippos Children’s Nursery said “Thank you so much for an amazing morning at your Festival! The Seaton is looking awesome and as always you all made us feel really welcome”.


One of our residents, John, had to say “What a lovely time! It is so nice to listen to music and enjoy a beer”.


Our home manager Emma wanted to add “Everyone here has made the day very special and it has been so much fun!”

Soldiering On – A Great Success

The Old Rectory’s Soldiering On event took place on Friday 29th June, celebrating 100 years of the RAF and commemorating 100 years since World War 1.

The day began in the cinema, listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s great speech, while the staff stood to attention in their military ensembles. The speech was followed by a showing of the 1956 D-Day film on the cinema screen and then the morning was rounded off with a War Time Special of Bolty’s Kitchen, a popular cooking demonstration and wine tasting activity. Bolty’s Kitchen served up some eggy bread grilled cheese sandwiches to get people’s appetites going for a war time lunch menu.

After lunch the staff and residents moved into the gloriously warm and sunny back garden, which had been decorated with air raid shelters and sand bags, the Churchill Inn was serving Harvey Wallbanger cocktails and a NAAFI hut was serving tea, coffee and lemonade.

The Old Rectory team took it in turns to take centre stage and dazzle their audience of residents, friends and family with their impeccable impressions of war time classic entertainers such as Bing Crosby, the Beverly Sisters, Vera Lynn and the Glen Miller band.

When the entertainment came to a close, the NAAFI hut served an afternoon cream tea. The day came to a close with a war time comedy showing in the cinema.

Overall, Friday was a great day. The weather could not have been better, the staff and residents, friends and family all enjoyed themselves, and it was all done to help raise money for Help for Heroes.

The Old Rectory are still collecting for the cause and you still have time to donate either at their front desk, or online at

Sefton Hall Outdoor Village


On a glorious, sunny afternoon, Friday 22nd June 2018, the Staff, Residents & Relatives of Sefton Hall were joined by the Mayor of Dawlish to open the ‘Sefton Hall Outdoor Village’. The Village comprises a vintage café, sweet shop, garden centre, church and a bar for the Home’s Residents and their relatives. The event was celebrated with ‘the Liberty Sisters’ who sang a collection of famous songs from the ‘40’s & ‘50’s.

The Mayor, Lisa Mayne, formally opened the Village and spoke of her admiration for the Village and for the Home. Gabriella, the Home Manager expressed her delight at seeing the Village come to fruition, gave special thanks to Leigh (a very Handyman) and the team for all their hard work  and supporting the project enthusiastically with fundraising events.

Gabriela said “The village provides opportunities for people to socialise and reminisce, encourages the people living in Sefton to spend time outside with their loved ones and brings normality in their lives”

Sefton Hall is a beautiful Georgian Home rated ‘Outstanding’ by CQC and winners of many prestigious awards, including the ‘Best Care Team of the UK’ (Caring UK National Care Awards) and the ‘Best Dementia Initiative” (Devon and Cornwall Care Awards). 

Geoffrey Cox, the M.D. spoke of his appreciation and pride in seeing the Village opened, especially seeing the strong partnership building between the team and the community in coming together to support the project and the team looking for ways to innovate and find new ideas to enhance people’s quality of life, living at Sefton Hall.

Mike Harvey, whose wife Eileen, is a resident also offered some heartfelt thanks, and acknowledged his gratitude to the Home generally, its staff specifically, the wonderful friendly atmosphere that he experienced daily at the Home and his appreciation at the range of developments, facilities and ideas at the Home to enhance the experience of people living at, working in and visiting Sefton Hall.

Mike said “I visit my wife who is suffering with dementia almost every day and I can see the continuous development of Sefton Hall made possible by excellent management and a devoted and committed staff”. Mike is calling Sefton Hall his home.

The Village is built in a ‘suntrap’ courtyard adjacent to the extensive rear gardens of the home and is designed to provide an interesting and stimulating place to see, visit and enjoy as well as to host a range of activities of all varieties, from simple social gatherings to musical and other

events; barbeques, seasonal shows & a Xmas bazaar.

The Village has been funded with the help of generous donations from relatives, friends and the community at large and was completed very quickly as a result. The Village is the latest addition to the facilities at the Home which include an old English pub inside, a Café and an ice creamery in the beautiful front gardens.

The Home has 50 rooms, 3 lounges, 2 dining rooms and has a dedicated Dementia community which attained the Butterfly Kitemark for excellence in dementia care.

Soldiering On – The Forces Entertainment Show

The Old Rectory are hosting a day of music, movies and memories with their Soldiering On event on Friday 29th June.

The day will consist of staff members in fancy dress, war time classics and comedies in the home’s cinema and an afternoon full of musical wartime favourites as the team pay tribute to the likes of Vera Lyn, The Glen Miller Band and Bing Crosby.

The Old Rectory are hoping this day will help to raise some money for registered charity, Help for Heroes. Donation boxes will be passed around at the event and a Just Giving page has been set up for people to donate online.

If you would like to make a donation to Help for Heroes, please follow the link below to to make your donation and show your support of the efforts made by The Old Rectory.

For a full itinerary of the days events and further details you can visit The Old Rectory’s facebook page and get involved.

To donate please go to

For our facebook page please go to


The Seaton’s Summer Festival

The Seaton Nursing Home is hosting their very own music festival for the residents and their family and friends to enjoy.

The event will be held at The Seaton on 20th July and will consist of musical performances from local celebrity group The Chantry Buoys, who are fundraisers for the local RNLI services around the Seaton area, and Alison Crooks, Music for Health entertainer who will get the day started with some singing, dancing and percussion.

Professor Bumble the balloon modeller will be around for the day and a food court will be open throughout the event offering a variety of foods such as Indian, BBQ, Chinese and more!

Raffle tickets will be sold throughout and in the lead up to the festival with all money raised going to supporting the RNLI. There are some great prizes to be won including show tickets, swimming passes and tram tickets plus so many more.


Southern Healthcare Win Six Outstanding Care Awards

On Friday 8th June, Southern Healthcare’s four homes attended the first annual Outstanding Care Awards Devon and Cornwall 2018 event held at the Livermead House Hotel in Torquay.


The Outstanding Care Awards were created to ‘celebrate the most dedicated individuals, providers and suppliers in the care industry across Devon and Cornwall’.  Hundreds of nominations were considered by six judges with various backgrounds in the care industry, and filtered down to the finalists who attended Friday’s event.


Throughout the evening the four homes celebrated as they collected award after award, receiving a staggering six in total.


Sefton Hall took home the Gold award for Dementia Initiative and The Old Rectory received the bronze award in Commitment to Training and Development, the silver award in Dementia Initiative and the Gold award in Activity Organiser of the Year. Parkwood House achieved a Bronze award for Team of Excellence and The Seaton won the Silver Award for Catering Team of the Year.


Operations Manager for the group, Paul Courtney, has said “We are delighted that the hard work, dedication and commitment of our outstanding teams has been recognised with these six fabulous awards”.


The four homes are now preparing for other awards including Caring UK, the National Care Awards and the National Dementia Care Awards, striving for the same success as seen on Friday.