Good deeds, sharing compliments and making others smile: Colten Care residents and staff chose a host of thoughtful ways to mark International Kindness Day 2020.

In line with the aim of the annual event – celebrating and promoting kindness in all its forms – there were individual acts of goodwill complemented by group-wide initiatives.

At Brook View in West Moors, Dorset, resident Pam Osman brought some early seasonal cheer by decorating her walking frame with Christmas lights and a knitted Father Christmas and taking it on a tour of the building.

“It was a way of getting the Christmas spirit in early,” said Pam. “I was determined to walk around and make everyone smile.

“It’s been such a challenging year for people everywhere and I thought my Christmas lights would lift everyone’s spirits.”

Fellow resident Rosa Leicester said: “Pam definitely cheered us all up. She put a lot of hard work into it.”

Pam and Rosa were keen to praise staff at the home for ‘being kind every day of the year’, Rosa adding: “They are so caring. You have to be kind to work in a care home, and what they do for us is amazing.”

Sarah Harley, Companionship Team Leader.

Companionship Team Leader Sarah Harley, on hand to share a celebratory Victoria sponge cake specially made by chefs at the home, said: “We try to make every day a day of kindness but that hasn’t stopped our residents from wanting to share in the official Kindness Day itself.

“Pam’s Christmas-themed walker certainly produced smiles all round and got everyone in the mood for more seasonal celebrations to come.”

As well as the Victoria sponge, residents at Brook View enjoyed individual cupcakes bearing the International Kindness Day logo, also made by the home’s chefs.

Among other acts of kindness across Colten Care’s 21 homes, staff and residents have been fundraising for causes such as Macmillan Cancer Support and Children in Need.

Homes have also supported the Rotary Club’s shoebox appeal for disadvantaged children and begun hosting collections for local food banks in the run-up to Christmas.

As Covid restrictions ruled out trips to the shops to buy Christmas presents, staff at several homes are helping residents make their own gifts for loved ones.

In arts and crafts workshops, residents have been hands-on producing items such as soaps, sugar scrubs, cookie-making kits and sweet jars.