We always enjoy a celebration here at Cumnor Hill House, and our Country and Western Summer Party last Friday was no exception…with all our residents and around 120 guests in attendance, we pulled out all the stops and decorated the home with sunflowers, pictures of ‘wanted’ staff and country and western memorabilia, and put on quizzes, competitions, entertainment and games for fun, including fancy dress!

The afternoon kicked off with Neil Mack and his electric violin; Neil has performed for the Queen Mother at her birthday celebrations, and at Victoria and David Beckham’s house for a family celebration. He put on a fantastic performance for us, singing and playing his electric guitar and violin with songs with a country and western connection such as Bright Side of the Road, Lay Down Sally, Brown Eyed Girl and a whole host of others. Everyone enjoyed singing and dancing, many wearing their cowboy hats and boots.

Our residents performed a small demonstration of line dancing with our lovely dancing instructor Jane, before heading out to the garden to watch staff, family members and friends participate on the rodeo ride. They also got to feed the various animals in attendance such as goats, lambs, ducks and geese, and Henry the horse brought smiles to many as he trotted around the garden.

Children had lots of fun colouring and drawing as part of the art competition, riding the hobby horses, playing the horseshoe game and pin the tail on the donkey. The tombola was a popular stall, along with the fantastic raffle, which had some fabulous prizes up for grabs. Everyone loved naming the teddy bear, which we later announced as Roy!

Food included a broad spectrum of tasty BBQ foods prepared and cooked and served by our lovely team, including Cumberland hot dogs, Cajun chicken, minted lamb, pork and chilli burgers, and a selection of salads. Gin and tonic cupcakes, mini Victoria sponge cakes, chocolate Guinness cake, red velvet cupcakes and fresh fruit were all available to tempt the taste buds too. Our very own ice cream bicycle was offering a variety of delicious flavours of ice cream, along with sweet and salty popcorn cones and traditional sweet jars filled with all your favourites.

Elkie came to sing later in the day, with residents having fun dancing along to songs such as Blanket on the Floor and Nine to Five, among many others. Towards the end of the afternoon, the winners of the competitions were announced. Everyone was in high spirits and thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon – hopefully we can put on a similar kind of event next year and end summer on a high once again.