Sunderland care home residents make ball gowns out of Echo papers

Glenholme House residents and staff enjoy the fashion show. (L-R) Emma Howe, Marjorie Thompson, Anth Topping and Mary Richardson.
Glenholme House residents and staff enjoy the fashion show. (L-R) Emma Howe, Marjorie Thompson, Anth Topping and Mary Richardson.
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Residents at a Sunderland care home put themselves in the headlines when they created dresses out of old Sunderland Echo newspapers.

Elderly residents from Glenholme House, on Park Avenue in Roker, joined forces with staff to create bespoke ball gowns for their pantomime themed fashion show.

Resident Mary Richardson enjoys drsssing up in old Echo newspapers.

Resident Mary Richardson enjoys drsssing up in old Echo newspapers.

In an unusual twist, the dresses were made from old copies of the Echo, as the home aimed to prove that it isn’t the materials they work with that matter, it is how they engage with others.

Ian Donaghy, 46, head of engagement at the home, said many of the residents taking part were living with dementia.

He said: “We held the fashion back in June as way of bringing staff and residents together to highlight that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to care.

“The home, part of Wellburn Care Homes, was a hive of activity and laughter on the day, with all hands on deck.
“The idea was to use yesterday’s headlines to create today’s news and was an exercise in how the little things make the biggest differences in care.

“We all love to laugh together.” ANTH TOPPING

“Glenholme care home staff know that dementia care is individual and the dresses show, that like with care, one size will never fit all.”

Activity co-ordinator and Sunderland season ticket-holder Anth Topping, helped to organise the event and adopted the role of ugly sister.

He said it was a brilliant day which all the resident enjoyed, adding: “We all love to laugh together.

“Looking at everybody’s faces lighting up, I feel like I have the best job in Sunderland.
“Activities like this aren’t an add on at Glenholme, it’s part of everything we do.

“Events like this allow each person to express themselves individually and illustrates that when caring for people living with dementia choice is everything

“We must always remember the power of fun, laughter and togetherness as we write new chapters in our lives.”