Dining is an important part of life at Whitegates. We place great emphasis on traditional cooking and offer a wide variety of choice.

A fully qualified cook prepares all meals, which are carefully planned to ensure they are of high nutritional value. We are more than happy to cater for special diets and individual preferences. In addition to breakfast, lunch and supper, hot and cold drinks and a range of snacks are available throughout the day.

We like to encourage residents to take their meals together to promote a good social spirit, providing excellent opportunities for general interaction or simply catching up with friends. However, there is the option for residents to dine in the privacy of their own room.

Residents are free to do those things which they have always enjoyed. We believe this helps maintain a person’s purpose and self worth, which upholds their dignity and fosters a respectful environment. Our philosophy is to facilitate and support each resident towards achieving as much independence as their personal circumstances permit.

We ensure a wide range of activities are available so that residents can continue their pursuit of hobbies and lead as active a lifestyle as they wish without the worry of possibly avoidable accidents. Our dedicated Activities Coordinator ensures there is always something going on from arts and crafts to regular outings, and will accommodate special interests wherever possible. Our active residents’ and relatives committee plays a key part in helping to develop new ideas and suggestions as to how the home is run and the type of services available.

Seaside Week at Whitegates Retirement Home

After some thought and discussion with our residents I decided it would be fun to try and capture the feel of the seaside…

Seaside 1

Monday 13th July

We used beach balls to exercise and then played throwing and catching followed by a game of throwing beanbags into a rubber ring.

After a cup of tea, I read some famous sea poems and people joined in as I read ‘Sea Fever’ and ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’. We looked at photographs of various scenes of the seaside from the past. This inspired people to talk about memories from their own trips to the seaside.

Doreen fondly remembered her own pet donkeys. Jill remembered the opening of the first Billy Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Skegness where she was one of the first to look round before it opened its doors to the public. We all remembered the ice creams melting as we carried them and the old man paddling in rolled up trousers and a knotted hanky on his head! Ena talked of first taking a dip in the sea as she had been brought up in Austria and they didn’t have the sea. During all of this chef came in with ice lollies for everyone too.

Tuesday 14th July

I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to remember the pleasure that came with making sand castles and creating pictures with shells. There is something therapeutic about moving sand around.

Seaside 2

Before I could open the play sand and fill the large plastic trays Maisie and Iris were ready with buckets and spades! We had forgotten how heavy the damp sand can be when you needed to tip out the bucket!

Ena and Helen made funny faces with shells, Doreen decorated her sand castles and Maisie and others made shell gardens.

Wednesday 15th July

We watched as the Punch and Judy man, Jonathan Cann, set up his booth in our lounge today.

Seaside 3

We learned about the history of the Punch and Judy show that we remembered from childhood as Jonathan talked and showed us pictures. We were amazed that this seaside tradition had been first noted in Samuel Pepys’ diary! Then we watched the show and even joined in! Ten different characters were used and afterwards Jonathan told us about some of the puppets and one even came from Hastings. He showed us how we could make our own simple puppets too. From an envelope, he produced a complete set of paper puppets and a booth which his daughter had made when she was only seven.

Ena was delighted to meet Mr. Punch for the first time in her life!

Friday 17th July

A group of residents and staff boarded coach and cars for our trip to the seaside to round off our week.

Seaside 4

Walking, along with the cliffs on one side and the seaside amusements on the other we enjoyed a good cuppa and a slice of homemade cake in a sea front café.

Feeling fully refreshed, we headed off to explore. There were so many things to talk about. We watched the funicular railway going up and down the cliff. A lady with a little dog stopped for us to stroke which delighted Sheila. We smelled the fresh fish and doughnuts cooking. Heard the children laughing as they bounced on trampolines and rode on the merry go round, above us the gulls called as they circled and swooped. We watched them carrying a paper bag as they searched for food.

We walked through the Old Town enjoying the atmosphere of the bustling backstreets. Saw the querky little shop fronts full of odd and interesting things. People milling along smiling and making way for us. After making a few essential seaside purchases of candy floss, whelks for Iris and jellied eels for Maisie, we were ready to board our coach - well almost.

Jill wanted to go right down to the water’s edge and so we did….

I went with her whilst the others sat and took in the views and talked. We walked past fishing boats and crab and lobster pots, nets and gulls. Jill remembered coming here with her husband after he had shut up the garage for the day. ‘This was the best part of the whole trip’ for Jill!

Jill was pleased to see that there were still fishing boats and nets and the smell that goes with them. The sun even came out too!

When we reached the sea Jill said she had never thought she would get this close to the water’s edge again in her life. Jill remembered that her mother had always told her to wash her face in the sea as soon as she got down to the sea, as Jill didn’t want to get her sandals wet, I wet my hand and anointed her! We laughed and admired the scenery as we walked back up the beach arm in arm. What an honour and pleasure I feel to have been a part of this.

I would like to thank all who joined me in making this whole week come together so well. Without support from our manager Mr. Clint Farmer, staff and family and the funding provided by Mr. Rob Jeffery, none of this would have been possible. Most of all, thank you to our residents who have joined in a week of memories and fun.

We still have our candy floss to taste, a seaside quiz and if we get time I would like to try listening to the ‘sounds of the sea’ disc as we try some simple relaxation…

We're more than happy to arrange visits. Call 01424 754 865 or send an email
Whitegates Retirement Home
Westfield Lane Westfield, Nr Hastings, East Sussex TN35 4SB
Phone: 01424 754 865 Fax: 01424 752 185