Mad Hatter’s tea party for care home thanks to Ankerside Shopping Centre

Residents at a Tamworth nursing home helped stage their own Mad Hatter’s tea party, thanks to staff from Ankerside Shopping Centre and a local entertainments company.

Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter all made an appearance at Sunningdale Nursing Home in Upper Gungate, Tamworth, to help residents decorate cup cakes.

The session followed family fun events at the busy Tamworth shopping mall during the Easter school holidays, which had been laid on for youngsters, explained Jeff Wigley, deputy manager of Ankerside Shopping Centre.

“Wendy Norman, who organises events at the nursing home realised it would be suitable for the residents, and so asked if Flamingo Entertainments, which facilitates the fun sessions, could come along.

“We were happy to bring a bit of spring time fun to the residents – they certainly had a great time decorating the cakes,” said Jeff, who donned a pair of fun rabbit ears for the event, along with centre administrator Lucy Harvey.

The event was one of  a regular series of activities at the nursing home, part of the Staffordshire Care Limited group, which cares for more than 30 elderly and frail older people, said Wendy Norman.


“Everybody had a great time, they really enjoyed decorating the cakes and chatting away to Lucy and Jeff plus the team from Flamingo Entertainments. It makes a lovely change for our residents to meet new people.

“We like to ensure there’s always something for them to do, such as crafts,  rather than just sit around and watch TV. It certainly helps our residents to keep bright and alert and makes life more interesting for them.”

Jo Ewart at Flamingo Entertainments said: “Wendy approached my partner Sean when we were running the craft sessions and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Ankerside Shopping Centre just after Easter. She thought it would be a perfect activity for Sunningdale  residents and we were happy to help.

“It was lovely to meet the ladies and gents, who certainly had a great time decorating the cup cakes with sweets and icing. For many of the ladies, it took them back to doing it with their own children, and even doing with their own mums when they were a child.

“They came up with some culinary masterpieces – and then enjoyed eating them afterwards. I’m looking forward to going back soon,” added Jo.

Ankerside Shopping Centre, open daily,  is home to 60 stores, from fashion, health and beauty to services and food and drink, and has more than 700 parking spaces. More details at


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