Cheerful residents have been keeping their spirits up at Castle View care home in Dorchester during the coronavirus lockdown.

They have been busy learning new skills and joining in a host of activities at the Colten Care home at Poundbury.

Despite the lockdown temporarily halting visits by friends and family, residents have managed to keep in contact through Skype and FaceTime.

They included resident Leonard Sweet who embraced technology while Skyping his daughter and granddaughter.

Leonard said: “It was amazing, and a marvellous way of keeping in touch.”

Artistic residents have been drawing on their creative talents to make cards for key workers and have joined in painting classes.

The home has also played its part in keeping community spirits up by making a ‘stay home, stay safe’ rainbow banner. Keen artist John Stillman took the lead on painting the flag.

Another resident, the Rev Jim Cocke, has been holding regular Sunday morning services in the lounge with readings, prayers and hymns.

Others have been keeping calm and carrying on by relaxing in the sunshine in Castle View’s garden, writing letters or joining in sing-alongs and keepfit sessions.

Talented Michael Corner enchanted residents with his musical talents by playing the keyboard and singing in the lounge.

Emily Hudson, Colten Care Senior Companionship Team Leader, said: “It’s been lovely to see the smiles on residents’ faces whether it’s on a Skype call or joining in an activity.

“We’ve been scheduling time-slots for people to speak to their loved ones on Skype. It’s another new skill and experience for some residents, and important to keep that contact going.

“Everyone is staying cheerful and helping to keep spirits up, whether it’s residents utilising their own abilities in music or art, or staff going that extra mile to maintain a sense of normality.”

Residents at Colten Care’s Abbey View home in Sherborne, Whitecliffe House in Blandford and Newstone House in Sturminster Newton have also been joining in activities and keeping in touch with family during the lockdown.

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