January Activities Summary…….

Brrrrrrr ! A very cold wet January for us all.

Keeping warm and snug at the Manor though !

Residents enjoyed a lovely Burns themed food day organised by Head Chef Andy. The menu included Haggis for those who wished to try.  Scottish Flags and decorations added to the atmosphere !


One Resident had enjoyed Scottish Dancing for 30 years…her husband always wore a kilt on St. Andrews Day and they always attended a Dinner-Dance on Burns Night.  Another lady remembers her Grandfather’s surname as Maciemoir…. the Family came from Dundee.  One of the family designed the Forth Bridge and was Knighted.

Then there was the Chinese New Year of the Rooster…after our Exercise Session we enjoyed Prawn Crackers with Sweet Chilli (too hot for some !) and Plum Dips whilst listening to Chinese Music surrounded by Chinese Flags, Fans and Firecracker and Lantern Decorations.

We enjoyed a good old giggle when remembering our Dates of Birth finding out which Animal Sign we were born under…..the years ranged from 1918 – 1989 of the Residents, Carers and a family member who were joining in the fun…..We had the year of the Rabbit, Dog, Horse, Monkey, Goat, Tiger, Snake, Ox and Rat !  Fun when I read out ‘What Does Your Animal Sign Mean?’ ….did we all match our Animal ? it does not really matter as we enjoyed ourselves anyway !

The evenings are getting lighter…Spring will soon be upon us…keep warm and dry.

Must not forget a huge Congratulations to Zoe on the 9 year Anniversary on 28th January of owning Valerie Manor..we will be celebrating at the forthcoming Rabbit Hole Club Evening.  Maybe see you there.

Bye for now.


December Summary!!

I would like to wish everybody a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year

Wow what a busy December everybody had..made a little more hectic by the Bates and Fry families ‘event of the year !’

Those of you who know Zoe would realise that she had a Spread Sheet from the word go !!! It is the only way she is able to run the home and her and Alan’s lives !!  We even presented her with an ’I Love Spread Sheets Mug’

The run up was extremely hectic and exciting made even more so by being able to share most of the proceedings with Residents and Staff.  My lovely group who exercise and chat with me on Mondays shared and followed the story of my frock !  It did not matter who knew about the colour, style, material of my outfit.  Every week we discussed the progress of my fittings, trying to get correct material, shoes, handbag and not to forget the Fascinator !!!    The lovely Residents and staff shared everything and advised me…a person who knew nothing about dressmaking and would rather buy a new shirt than sew a button on ! Regarding the chats with my Residential Ladies it was like receiving advice from a few surrogate mums….it was lovely to share their thoughts and excitement.

The big day arrived….I was invited by Zoe to travel with her and John in the Vintage Car…quite an honour….our girl looked AMAZING…a true Fairy Princess.  I was so proud to see her being escorted down the aisle by John being followed by another beautiful young lady…Sally-Ann…our Grandsons and our Son….our little Grandaughter at only 4 months old not around but instead being fed by Mummy in the Car Park !

Alan’s face was a picture when he saw his beautiful Bride…..oh he looked great too !!…..(sorry Alan !)

It was lovely to see so many Residents and Family’s join all of our families and friends for this wonderful occasion….even the sun shone which enabled the couple to fulfil their dreams in traveling to Wiston House in a Carriage driven by Horses….lovely day, lovely couple, beautiful memories…thank  you for sharing it all with us.

A lovely time was enjoyed and shared by everyone….ending up with another ‘Reception’ just before Christmas at Valerie Manor where Zoe and Alan wore their attire again….

(I do not want to see a piece of Wedding Cake or Mince Pie for a while…I want to see my feet !)

Back to business…after some of my lovely Let’s Dance Adults entertained at Valerie Manor (they have been doing this at Christmas ever since Zoe opened Valerie Manor and say it is the start of their Christmas too !)

A favourite of mine, that both Zoe and Sally-Ann have performed for me, was The Lambeth Walk…dressed as Pearly Queens my ladies performed for the Residents…it was such fun that I taught my Monday Ladies and Gentlemen the dance from their chairs the next time I saw them…a real laugh !

We reminisced about favourite Christmas ‘tipples’….Ale, Whiskey, Baileys, Mackeson (my Nanna drank that) Brandy, Sherry, Champagne, Pimms champagne, Cherries in Champagne, Port and Brandy .  One Resident said that when she was a young girl a ‘treat’ at Christmas was to be given a ‘Snowball’ to drink I think it is Advocaat and Lemonade but she really did not enjoy it !

Favourite Gifts remembored were…a Teddy Bear, a Dolly Pram which was grey with a Dolly in it, a Sewing Machine, a lovely set of Pencils,  a Pony named Beppo shared with a brother,…Carers joined in and a couple of favourites were…an Alian Creature called Elf…and a pair of Roller Skates which were found at 3.00 am in the morning put on to try and took them off to put back in the box for Christmas morning when she loved to skate down a steep hill.

All for now….here is to 2017.

Robin x

November Activities Summary……..

Hello again….where did November go….slipped by so quickly and with so many exciting things going on !

Firstly a wonderful time was enjoyed at the National Care Home Awards held in London this year.  Valerie Manor winning was such an achievement for Zoe and all of her Staff.  I may be a bit biased but thoroughly deserved by Zoe and all staff going that extra mile to give Residents a ‘Home’ to enjoy living in.

John and I not forgetting her brother and sister are very proud of Zoe reaching a goal that has made Valerie Manor what it is today over the past 8 years that she has been Owner/Manager.  Our girl does like to run a tight ship (even I quake in my shoes when I hear her clip clopping down the stairs !)  and it shows when she is given the support by not only her staff but Residents and their Families too !  Thank you.

On the Monday after Remembrance Sunday we had a chat about family members who Residents remembered who fought in the First World War…..one memory was of a family member saying he was 18 as he wanted to join up but was only 17…he had appendicitis when he was on the Front Line and was immediately sent home. Another memory of a Father Richard James joining the Navy and a mother waving him off with other families from Portsmouth Dockyard…a soldier being shot badly in the stomach was called George and was in the Royal Sussex Regiment…one mother had 9 boys in the forces and she wrote to the War Office to ask if one could be sent home…permission was granted and he spent the rest of the War in a Home Posting…a Father named Frank was in the Border Regiment….Reminiscence is great for us all albeit some sad as well as good.

A huge thank you to 1st Henfield Girl Guides who provided a very special Remembrance Day Service for our residents. It made me remember the times when I was a Girl Guide Leader. We were also delighted that 3 Girl Guides took their promise whilst with us. Thank you again to the Company for providing such a special service for our residents.

Keep warm


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Simon and Obama

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As you may know at our monthly residents meeting we update the residents with all emails and letters received from people / organisations offering different types of activities or entertainment and let them decide which ones they’d like to try.

A little while ago we received contact from Simon offering our residents the chance to experience a pony and trap ride, without the need for wheelchair users to leave their wheelchairs, at the next residents meeting we discussed this with the residents and it was a resounding YES!

Simon visited Valerie Manor this week and introduced his Pony Obama to us. Simon explained that initially he wanted to show our residents how safe it was and liked to do the first ’taster’ session in a familiar location to ensure all users enjoyed their first experience. Three residents took turns up and down the car park and thoroughly enjoyed themselves (as did the staff).

We are hoping to plan other trips next year and have asked the residents for their thoughts.

A Huge thank you to Simon & Obama.

If you’d like to find out more about what they do please visited their website: – https://ponyaccess.com/