Meals and Activities
At St. Andrews House we recognise the importance of providing appetising, nutritious, well balanced meals for our residents.
Here at St Andrews, we are very lucky to have most of our catering provided by the Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub, a new venture since April 2017. This is headed up by Stella West-Harling (MBE), who is the founder of the well-known Ashburton Cookery School and a leading light in the world of food, having written a very successful cookery book, full of traditional and nutritional recipes. Stella is often in our kitchen, as she likes to be ‘hands on’, but we have her personally trained team providing freshly cooked, ‘from scratch’ meals for our residents every day. Her recipes are all low in salt and sugar and free from artificial additives and preservatives, ensuring that we achieve the best possible standards in food service. All allergies and dietary requirements are catered for accordingly. Stella and her team also provide a range of delicious homemade cakes at tea time and then wonderful soups, full of natural ingredients, as an evening supper option; and all with freshly baked bread or cheese scones! Other supper options include a range of sandwiches, homemade quiche or Jacket potatoes.
Residents may of course choose other snack options throughout the day, such as sandwiches, yoghurts or fresh fruit. The St Andrews staff provide breakfast in the day areas or in rooms according to preference and most tastes can be accommodated
During the mornings, some residents like to ‘do their own thing’; go into town, or stay in their rooms, whilst others like to be downstairs. Residents are able to have one to one visits for a general chat/socialising if they wish, or they may want some assistance with something eg shopping, letter writing, sorting personal belongings. There is also an opportunity to meet with other residents over coffee and there is always access to books, jigsaw puzzles, word games, crosswords, TV, music, magazines, craft materials and colouring etc…
During the afternoons there will generally be an organised group activity from about 2.15-3.15. In a typical week there would be a quiz, word/number games, a physical activity such as armchair aerobics, an art/craft/colouring activity, reminiscing and discussions, musical activity, and maybe a film at the weekend. We always aim to mark special dates with appropriate activities; eg Saints days, Commonwealth Day, The Queen’s birthday, International Poetry Day to name but a few! All of these activities are subject to change and the need to be flexible, because, in any given week, we have to factor in GP visits, the District Nurses, hospital appointments, residents going off site, our hairdresser and podiatrist, as well as relatives and visitors popping in, which we of course, wish to encourage at all times! Therefore it is difficult to have an exact plan for each week and so we focus on being ‘person-centred’ and going with the flow of the day, rather than sticking to an absolute plan. Residents are kept informed each day, or before if possible, about activities.
That said, when there are visiting entertainers coming in, or a special event is planned, such as our coffee mornings, residents and relatives will be given as much notice as possible.
We regularly survey all our residents about things that they like to do, but it is also useful to have input from friends and relatives. Equally, if you have a skill that you could offer, to provide an activity at St Andrews, we would love your input!