Evenings in care homes can be quiet and lonely, so every week Magic Me volunteers host cocktail parties – an occasion for volunteers and residents to socialise together.
Due to ill health, frailty and diminished energy, care home residents can’t pop down the pub or out to socialise with friends. Those whose families live far away might not have any visitors or even see anyone from outside the home for weeks at a time. We set up Cocktails in Care Homes in 2010 to change this.
What I love about the parties is they make me feel that people think about you.
Cocktails is a project that we are incredibly proud of and which has brought great joy, fun and friendship to many people for nearly 10 years. It has always been supported by an amazing group of people and a jigsaw of financial support from individuals, partners, companies, trusts and foundations. Sadly, despite our best efforts we have recently been unable to secure enough funds to continue as we are. Magic Me has subsidised Cocktails in the past but as a small charity with many commitments is no longer able to do this. The majority of our income is restricted by the funders who give it, to specific projects and expenditure.
With a heavy heart we are scaling back Cocktails in Care Homes and bringing it to a close in July this year.
What does this mean? We are currently running parties in 18 care homes and extra care schemes across London, volunteers who are already inducted will be able to attend parties in all of them as planned in March. From April to June we will run monthly parties in eight care homes. If you are volunteer you should already have received an email from us – if for some reason this has gone astray key information is on our FAQ sheet here.
How it works
We aim for each party to be a fabulous social event that just happens to be held in a care home, which anyone, regardless of age, would like to attend. Our parties are attended by residents, their relatives and care staff.
Each party needs a team of around 10 volunteers whose role is to socialise, serve drinks and chat with residents. Parties are on a Wednesday or Thursday evening from 6pm – 7.30pm and volunteers simply choose the party dates and locations that suit them.
To find out more about each party, and to meet our volunteer Party Managers…
visit our Party Info page here.
For family members, care homes can be stressful places to visit especially if your relative lives with a dementia, so a party provides a relaxed way to spend time together. Staff tell us that after a party, the mood and atmosphere in homes is brighter and lighter for days afterwards.
We work with creative partners to enhance the party experience for participants. Current creative partners include the Royal Academy of Music, Frou Frou Days, Cocktails resident magician David, aka The Delusionist and DJ Care Home aka Martin Aston. Past partners include Central School of Speech and Drama.
To learn more about Cocktails in Care Homes, why not listen to our podcast?