There was live music, toe tapping, hands clapping, fabulous finery and an abundance of mouth-watering food when Sanctuary Care homes across the country embraced Silver Sunday.

On Sunday (2 October), Sanctuary Care’s 69 care homes hosted tea dances for its residents and guests from their local communities.

Silver Sunday is a national day celebrating older people, where local communities and organisations host free events to help combat loneliness and reduce isolation. It was started four years ago by Westminster City Council and the Sir Simon Milton Foundation, an organisation which supports disadvantaged young people and isolated older people in the city.

The increasing popularity of the event has been incredible and it has now become a national day, with over 600 events taking place this year.

2016 was the first year that Sanctuary Care has taken part in Silver Sunday and it was the first large care home group to fully support the event, with all of its care homes across the country hosting tea dances between 2pm and 4pm.

Sanctuary Care’s Director of Care Operations Stephen Rees said: “We were enormously proud to champion Silver Sunday this year – hosting simultaneous tea dances across all of our homes was a first for us.

“Our ethos is keeping kindness at the heart of our care, so we were delighted to back an event which extended kindness and care to so many older people in our local communities by welcoming them into our homes to share a very special day with our residents and teams.”

Ahead of Silver Sunday Sanctuary Care invited Councillor Christabel Flight, Older Person’s Champion for Westminster City Council and Founder of Silver Sunday along to its Athlone House Nursing Home in Westminster, where the residents showed her the vintage head pieces they had made to wear for their 1920s themed Silver Sunday event.

There were a variety of other themes for Sanctuary Care’s events. Lyons Court Residential Care Home in Chelmsford, Essex hosted a 1920s Bugsy Malone themed event, where the staff and residents dressed as gangsters and molls.

Meanwhile in Worcester there were polka dots and neckerchiefs galore at Regent Residential Care Home’s roaring 1940s inspired event.

At Hawthorn Green Residential and Nursing Home in Stepney, London, the team dressed as traditional ‘nippies’ for their Lyons House tea room themed event, where there was a Charleston performer to entertain the residents and guests.

In Meadows House Residential and Nursing Home in Kidbrooke, London the team decked their home from top to toe in the style of a 1940s Hollywood celebration, with a red carpet leading visitors into the main room, where there were beautifully laid tables, the residents’ names in stars on the wall and a butler handing out champagne.

There was also a specially created high tea menu for the chefs in each home to follow, which was put together especially for the occasion by its hospitality team.

To find out more about Silver Sunday visit www.silversunday.org.uk