Care home serves up pub to its pensioners

Never mind bingo or charades, residents at the Waters Edge Care Home in Newtown can relax and pass their time away in their very own pub.

The Lakeside Returns, complete with a traditional bar, stools and even a piano, opened this weekend with a Hawaiian-themed party.

Residents can drink for free but family and friends have been asked to make donations. Donna Marshall, 28 from Bloxwich, is a team leader at the nursing home and said the pub was made possible due to lots of fundraising.

She said residents were loving the new addition as it was somewhere where they could socialise and relax together, playing darts or cards. She added that it also brought back happy memories for them all.

The home’s deputy manager Gail Hall was also heavily involved in the project, with her 26-year-old builder nephew Sean Rowley creating the bar over eight weeks,  free of charge.

To ensure the pub is as authentic as possible, staff spent £800 on stools and tables from Banks’s Brewery. Although there is one difference to normal boozers – last orders are being called at 8pm.

Miss Marshall said: “Previously it was just a lounge that was not being used. Now we’ve come up with a bar instead.

“The opening party was nice, the drinks for the residents were free and flowing. We used up two bottles of punch.

“All the rum and bacardi has now gone after that. People seem to enjoy it.”

Drinks available behind the bar include gin, rum, Capari, bitters and whisky.

Dean Wood, senior carer, aged 22, said: “We’ve not heard of something like this before. At the Hawaiian party we all had coloured hats on and sunglasses.”

Fred Ward, resident, aged 86, has given the pub the thumbs up.

He said: “I was here for the party to open the pub and there were a lot of people here. It’s something a little bit different.”

Fellow resident Maria Harbidge, aged 90, said: “It was a lovely idea. I like Campari and lemonade. It’s nice we have somewhere to go and have a drink.”