News at Cumnor Hill House in Oxfordshire


A great big party and some wonderful paintings, all thanks to Joyce
We love a good party at Cumnor Hill House, so when one of our residents had a big birthday, we couldn’t think of a better excuse!Joyce recently celebrated her 90th birthday, and we were delighted to be able to host 70 family members and friends from across the UK, including Joyce’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Some of them even travelled from as far as the Scottish Highlands!

We pulled out all the stops to make Joyce’s birthday celebrations as fantastic as possible, maintaining the luxury standard we take great pride in here at Cumnor Hill House; we created some amazing food in the kitchen and our hospitality team provided top-class service. Joyce’s birthday cake was incredible!

There’s something you may not know about Joyce…she’s a brilliant artist and has painted some beautiful watercolours in our art classes. So good, in fact, that her grandson had a handful of them printed onto canvas and stretched over wooden frames – they’re now on display around our Oxfordshire care home!

Thank you to Joyce and her family for a wonderful birthday party and for filling Cumnor Hill House with lovely art.

We’re serious about wellbeing – and that’s why we’d like to introduce Di to the team
We’re delighted to welcome Di O’Meara to the team as our Holistic and Wellness Lead here at Cumnor Hill House care home, and she brings with her a wealth of experience in health, fitness and wellbeing.

Health and Wellness Lead is a brand-new role here in our CQC-rated ‘Outstanding’ Oxfordshire care home, and it has been created to enhance our team and our home’s offering. We anticipate it will bring breadth and depth to the existing environment of personal comfort and attention to detail at Cumnor Hill House. Once she’s up and running in her new role, Di will be around to offer support to residents, their family members and staff as well, so be sure to say hello.

Having Di on board will really refine how things work around our home when it comes to wellbeing, as she is very focused on health and happiness, and enjoys working as part of a team that can facilitate and support people in their goals. We already take the wellbeing of residents incredibly seriously, and we do everything we can to make the lives of people who call Cumnor Hill House their home as fun and fulfilling as possible, building healthier lives. Having Di here will hopefully only improve our overall care and the atmosphere in our home.

Next time you come and see us here at Cumnor Hill House, please do have a chat with Di if she’s around. We’re sure you’ll be seeing lots of her going forward! And if you have any questions about Di’s role here in our home, please don’t hesitate to speak to Di herself or Louise, our home manager.

Let’s see how much better life can be by taking care of our wellbeing a bit more! And that includes you.

Find out how Di’s career brought her to Cumnor Hill House:

“I initially trained as a radiographer, working in both NHS and private hospitals over the years. I enjoyed all the different fields of work including imaging in cardiology, breast cancer services, the community hospital and training and mentoring radiography students. I also trained as a fitness instructor in the 1990s and enjoyed teaching classes of all abilities, maintaining my own health and fitness along the way!

After retiring from the health service, I retrained as a bereavement volunteer for Cruse Bereavement Care, where I have now been volunteering for two years, gaining experience in working with clients one-to-one, working in small supervision groups and as a member of the 'Client Services and Training Committee'. This service is one that I have respected and had an interest in for many years following personal bereavements.

I have had wonderful opportunities for study throughout my life (including taking a first-class degree as a mature student from Durham University) and feel confident that I have the academic and intellectual strength to fulfil the expectations of this newly created post. I hope that it may also be enriched by further learning and application.

I hold Durham University postgraduate counselling certificates that have provided a skills-based foundation for working effectively in person-centred roles, and I also have experience mentoring students at Van Mildert College and bereavement counselling in the community.

My work in the health service, the fitness world, mentoring and Cruse has given me experience with a wide range of people, and I look forward to joining forces with Charlie the beauty therapist, Dot the personal trainer and Sue the physiotherapist at Cumnor Hill House to help and assist in delivering this aspect of holistic care in every way I can.

The aim of ‘living well’ can be a mantra for all, and this is an aspect I hope to expand and enrich for fulfilling lives for all of us.”

August Events at Cumnor Hill House - 2019
Well, do we have an exciting August lined up for you! And we’re not wasting any time getting started, as our first event is on Thursday 1st, and we’re kicking things off with a Silent Disco! This is something we’ve never done before here at Cumnor Hill House, but we wanted to give it a go, as it means everyone can listen to the music they’d like to dance to and boogie on down together. It’s sure to be great fun!

A week later on 8th August, we’re welcoming Miss Jones into our Oxfordshire care home, and she’ll be here to dazzle us with her wonderful voice as she sings all sorts of vintage songs for us. On Thursday 15th August, Titine La Voix is coming back to our Outstanding home once again to entertain everyone with her engaging performance.

Towards the end of the month, the standard of entertainment here in our home isn’t slipping at all, and we’re hosting an evening of magic on 22nd August! Magic Steve will be here to get you thinking about how he performs his tricks. This is such a great interactive performance and one that really gets people talking. We’re rounding off the month with a visit from Pippa and Buddy, the talented dog-and-owner duo of Britain’s Got Talent fame! This is a barking mad act that you won’t want to miss.

All our events this August will start with complimentary refreshments at 6:30pm, followed by first-rate entertainment at 7pm. Food options are subject to change. We really hope you can join us; please don’t forget to RSVP to or 01865 415185.

Building healthier lives at Cumnor Hill House
We always go above and beyond wherever we can here at Cumnor Hill House, and with such a great team here, we have the opportunity to do something special when it comes to exercise and taking care of our residents’ wellbeing.

Recently, we’ve started focusing on Otago, which is based on building healthier lives. We all know that the benefits of exercise are plentiful, and Otago – which is specifically designed for the older generation – is an evidence-based, individually tailored strength and balance retraining programme.

With three experts here, these being Dot, our personal trainer, Sue, our physiotherapist and Charlie, our beauty and massage therapist, our residents really do receive the royal treatment; with Sue’s instruction, Dot’s practical input and Charlie’s support in preparing or unwinding with a sports massage, what more could we want?

The exercise programme helps residents to improve their balance, muscle strength, general fitness and wellbeing. Each resident performs their prescribed exercises three times a week with Dot and Sue’s guidance, but they don’t have to be done in one go and can be broken up to make the plan more manageable.

Exercises include walking forwards, backwards, sideways and turning around, head, neck, trunk and ankle movements, back extension, knee strengthening, side hip strengthening, calf, heel and toe, knee bends, one leg stand, sit to stand and stair walking. By performing these exercises and improving their strength and balance, we’re minimising the risk of our residents having a fall in our home, which makes life more enjoyable and less stressful for our residents and helps them to maintain their independence.

Speak to a member of the team if you’d like to find out more about Otago.

Spotlight on Sue, our fantastic physio
Cumnor Hill House isn’t your average care home… here in our home, we go the extra mile whenever and wherever we can, and we help you to do the same. You’re probably wondering what we mean by that, but unlike most other care homes, we have a state-of-the-art in-house gym, complete with a visiting physiotherapist!

Sue Sanders-Clarke is the Cumnor Hill House physio, and her wealth of knowledge – paired with our brilliant equipment – certainly sets us apart from other care homes, whether it’s here in Cumnor, Oxfordshire or further afield.

Sue’s career started out at St. Mary’s in London back in 1983, moving to the Churchill Hospital upon qualifying. With Heatherwood in Ascot, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and St. Luke’s Hospital in Oxford all featuring on her impressive CV, we’re delighted that Sue’s part of the Cumnor Hill House team. She has helped so many people get back on their feet – quite literally!

Sue helps our residents in many ways, including assisting chair-bound residents to improve mobility, posture and seating, boosting residents’ confidence and helping to maintain good circulation and movement; she really does work wonders and promotes independence, which does wonders for our residents’ confidence.

If someone keeps on sliding down in their chair, Sue works out why this is happening by looking at both their chair and their posture – it may be that specialist seating is required, such as a one-way slide seat, or they may need repositioning more regularly. Additionally, if someone’s in need of a wheelchair, Sue can submit the referral.

When people have been hospitalised following a stroke, if they’re not well enough to go straight home, they often stay in a care home to recover. Without the proper assistance and equipment, it can be a struggle to return to full health, but here at Cumnor Hill House, we have done as much as we can to make this a possibility and we really do try to help people get their lives back to normal.

About her role, Sue said: “I love my job, I just love meeting people and working with them, trying to help them. They genuinely appreciate the opportunity to improve, and I get to motivate and rehabilitate them. It’s such a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces when they reach targets and milestones.”

Find out more about the equipment Sue uses with residents in our recent article on the Cumnor Hill House gym – and if your friend or family member is living with us here at Cumnor Hill House and isn’t already benefitting from this fantastic service, speak to a member of the team today to find out how we can help.

Last but not least, thank you to Sue for all that she does for the people living here at Cumnor Hill House!

Christmas lunch to help combat loneliness in the community
It might sound a little early to be talking about Christmas – we’ve barely had a chance to enjoy the summer sunshine! – but we want to make sure we spread the word about our festive plans for the community, reaching as many lonely people as possible.

For most of us, Christmastime conjures up joyful images of family and friends celebrating, exchanging gifts, enjoying the usual excited chatter and delicious food. For some, it can be a dreaded, sad and lonely time.

Nobody should be alone at any time of the year, and loneliness isn’t just experienced at Christmas, but it does provide us with an opportunity to identify those within our community who are most isolated and offer further support throughout the year.

After all, there’s so much going on here at Cumnor Hill House and we’re always encouraging locals to come and join in the fun. And especially at Christmas, we’d like to bring joy and companionship to people who would otherwise be alone.

Make this Christmas one to remember at Cumnor Hill House

Here in our care home in Cumnor, we really do understand how difficult Christmas can be for those struggling with loneliness. We don’t want anyone to have to spend Christmas alone if they don’t want to, which is why we’re inviting them to join us for a festive lunch on Wednesday 18th December, completely free of charge! If you know anyone who is vulnerable to loneliness, such as a person of an older age who may have few or no family or friends around, we’d like to invite them to join us for a Christmas lunch and make them feel part of our Cumnor Hill House family.

Would you like to come and join us for Christmas dinner? If you’d like to join us for a festive celebration on Wednesday 18th December 2019 here at Cumnor Hill House, please get in touch. We can support you with transport to and from our festive lunch if required, and on arrival, you’ll receive a very warm welcome and will be introduced to fellow guests.

Everyone sits together to enjoy a leisurely three-course meal, sharing stories and making friends – at the end of the meal, each guest is given a hamper to unwrap, which for many is their only Christmas gift.

Please note, this is a closed event for pre-booked individuals only. Numbers are limited, so be sure to contact Cumnor Hill House at your earliest convenience to secure your place. Call us on 01865 415185 or email – we look forward to hearing from you.

Cooking with the next Generation
Last week Cumnor Hill House made a visit to Cumnor C of E Primary School to help them with their cooking for an international banquet.

As Cumnor C of E Primary School were getting ready to celebrate the ancestry and international links that their students have, we at Cumnor Hill House felt that we should lend a hand. So our head chef Andy, along with our general manager Louise and our head administrator Sam went down to help with the cooking.

As our staff taught the children some of the secrets that go into the Outstanding cooking here at Cumnor Hill House, the students taught us about their family histories. But the fun didn't end there! On the day of the banquet itself, we brought some of our residents along to judge for themselves the efforts that the children went to.

Going the Extra Mile with the Care Workers Charity
In just under a month's time, from Monday 22nd until Sunday 28th July, the Care Workers Charity is holding ‘Going the Extra Mile’ and here at Cumnor Hill House, we’re delighted to be taking part. This week-long campaign is dedicated to celebrating care workers and care teams across the country who go the extra mile every day – will you be coming to join in?

So much hard work goes on in the care sector and in recognition of this, we are ‘Going the Extra Mile’ to raise awareness of the outstanding effort put in each and every day. Whether you choose to walk, run, bounce, wheel or even skip a mile with us, we would really appreciate you coming along to show your support for this great charity at Cumnor Hill House.

If you can’t make it to our wonderful home to complete your mile, you can still do it while you’re out and about to show your support – we don’t mind at all! We just want everyone to recognise the work that goes on in the care world, so it’ll be great to see our residents, team, friends and family members all coming together for the Care Workers Charity. To find out more, ask next time you visit or get in touch by calling 01865 415185 or emailing


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