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To celebrate Shaun's 25th anniversary at Taymer we thought we'd ask him to tell us about his experience.

I have been employed in the catering industry from the day I left school.I gained experience in working in various establishments; starting off as a commis chef in a hotel, and then working in various restaurants; I was a manager at Britannia and Monarch Airline for about 6 years and was responsible for ensuring that all passenger and crew meals (Luton Airport) were of the highest standard.

I joined Taymer Nursing home on the 1st April 1994 as Head Chef. I plan and prepare daily meals and my speciality is arranging and preparing for special functions such as Christmas and Easter celebrations. Each year I organise Summer BBQ’s and a Sunday ‘Afternoon Tea’ in which we serve different brands of tea along with homemade cake. I am responsible for managing and employing hospitality staff at the home, and working within some of our group homes.

I meet regularly with our residents to plan meals for them. We have good wholesome old fashioned meals as well as a modern choice. I believe food is appreciated more and tastes better when it’s cooked from scratch and made with fresh ingredients. If the residents wish to have another choice, then I feel it is important to give them another option. Whilst I enjoy being a chef, I am a team player and enjoy decorating the home at Christmas and over the years taking the residents and families on day trips to various places.

In 2009 one of our resident’s family nominated the Home and myself. The Home won the award for the Caring Home throughout the country and I won the Caring Person of the Year which Yours Magazine run every year. I cannot quite believe that I have been at Taymer for 25 years. Our Home Manager, Margaret Collins arranged a splendid afternoon buffet celebration for me on my anniversary day – Monday 1st April. Residents, relatives, past employees and staff were invited to attend and I was touched by their good wishes and kindness.

I hope to enjoy working at Taymer for many years to come until I retire!!!

We, at Taymer love to get involved within the community and many of our entertainers and volunteers come from our area. We are grateful that people care enough to offer their time and talents with us.

The two groups highlighted just show how kind people are to donate their time and energy in sharing their skills and talents with us here at Taymer. For this, we are very grateful.

Sidings Acapella Singers

When Chris joined us for a little while in rehab his friends offered to come and sing to all the residents voluntarily. Chris used to sing with his friends in an another Acappella Group. Some members of the group formed the Sidings Acapella Singers and these are the people who came to sing. When I took pictures outside, they started to sing again so all those in their rooms could hear.

One of our dear residents Audrey invited them to sing in her room which they did, I was present along with her carer Cheryl. When they sang it reached everyone who could not join us in the lounge. We were very grateful to have them join us. They are very experienced and have sung at competition level all around the UK as well as in the US.

Knit and Natter Group from Haynes

Valerie and Diana visited the residents and presented them with 20 knitted blankets. They were absolutely beautiful.

Each resident chose their favourite one to keep. They are so proud of them they wanted them to go on their beds when they do not need. The group knit throughout the year and go to various nursing homes, hospitals and hospices in the area to donate the blankets they knit.

As you can see from the photo's the residents were not only delighted to receive one but also enjoyed Valerie and Diana’s company. As a thank you we plan to invite the whole knitting group to join us for strawberries and ice-cream in the summer.

We had a trip out to see the Connaught Light Opera Singers who were performing at Wrest Park. Doreen happened to mention that it was her 65th Wedding Anniversary. I asked the event organiser if she could arrange a photo shoot with the singer’s and pianist and they obliged. We were fortunate to be given the front row seats. At the end of the performance they sang ‘Anniversary Walz’ to Ron and Doreen.

There was not a dry eye in the hall, it was a very emotional time for everyone present. Afterwards we all enjoyed a cup of tea and cake served by the Wrest Park staff. The next day Ron and Doreen celebrated with Taymer residents when cake and some bubbly was served. They both said it was a lovely surprise and made their day very special.

Steve and Doreen were regular visitor’s to Taymer when they used to visit their friend there. So, when Doreen needed nursing care Steve especially requested that she stayed with us at Taymer.

Steve soon celebrates his 90th birthday and most days when he visits his wife, he has his lunch with us. They quietly celebrated their 66th Wedding Anniversary with other residents who wished them well on the day. Doreen and Steve had a lot of cards and enjoyed blowing out the candles on their cake. They shared the care and a cup of tea with the resident. A Perfect Day was had.

At the rear of Taymer Nursing Home we are surrounded by farm land. Lots of different wild birds come searching for food. When the cold snap finally came our gentlemen residents offered to make some bird food treats to hang up on bird feeders outside the resident’s windows.

One day we had a DVD on birds in winter and our cat Minnie was very interested and even tried to catch them when she got up close to the television. So, to stop her getting too close to the wild birds outside, Denise, Administrator secured them on bird tables - out of Minnie and Zinky's (our other cat) reach. It was a very productive afternoon. Mind you a few days later there was no evidence of any of them left – it was most probably the squirrels who were the culprits.

Next year I think we will need to invest in SQUIRREL PROOF HANGING WILD BIRD FEEDERS. Our gentlemen did not seem to mind, they had fun as well as socialising together. Afterwards they enjoyed a cup of tea and biscuits.

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