Kate and Michael Sander provided some croquet over the Jubilee weekend for the residents of Birkin Lodge, a family-led nursing, residential and dementia care in Hawkenbury, as part of their special programme of Jubilee activities.
“A beautiful warm and sunny morning so residents could sit around the edge of the lawn – sunhats needed and provided by attentive staff – and lots of lemonade, too.
We were given a warm welcome and I set out a mini lawn using the wire hoops from the children’s set and tried to bang in two demo” proper” hoops. (The ground was too hard so I used the two spare wire hoops in front of them as the carrots would not allow a ball to go through)
Michael and I did a short demo round the six hoops using the “children’s” mallets and balls. After that it was a one-to-one with all residents who wanted to have a go. It was quickly clear that several had been serious golf players so understood the principles well! It also quickly became clear that, despite their loss of muscle strength, it was easier for them to use our ”proper” mallets and the proper” balls than the lightweight ones!
Our ‘pupils’ picked up the concept of using a pendulum motion and the weight of the mallet head more quickly than many newcomers to the lawns at Calverley Park! We limited play to just getting a ball through one hoop from a distance of 1-2 metres – with an unlimited number of strokes. Some were doing this from their wheelchairs.
Those who did not ”play” seemed happy to comment from the sidelines!
We were only there for an hour as the home had a packed schedule of entertainment ahead for the day – but some of them would like to have gone on longer!!
It was a privilege to spend part of the morning doing that!”