Vegetarian for Life

Care home’s fun vegan festival

Posted by Guest on 10/11/16 in Community Notices

Hannah Mulholland is the activities co-ordinator at Harper Fields Care Home in Warwickshire. She recently won ‘Activities Coordinator of the Year’ at the Barchester Care Awards 2016.

I have been vegetarian my whole life, and vegan for the last 2 years, so this is a subject that I feel extremely passionate about. Our residents are always curious about what I eat on a daily basis, especially on celebratory occasions, such as bonfire night and Christmas.

Being one of Vegetarian for Life’s UK List members, Harper Fields recently received a letter through the post from Vegetarian for Life, along with a free Vegan Rescue Pack.

It explained that over 70,000 over 65-year-olds that are vegan are living in the UK. This means that sooner or later care homes will have to start taking note of this. In fact, the vegan diet is the fastest growing current food trend. Vegan food sales have increased by 1500% over the last 12 months.

This inspired us to show that we are take all of our current and future residents’ dietary requirements seriously. So we had our very own outdoor autumn-themed vegan festival at Harper Fields, to coincide with World Vegan Day on 1 November!

We filled a large marquee with hay bales, scarecrows, pumpkins, blankets, cushions and hand-painted signs. Relaxing folk music played as the residents arrived wrapped in blankets, hats and scarves to enjoy the festival on the crisp and sunny autumn afternoon.

We served vegan hot dogs and onions, curried beans, jacket potatoes, mulled hot apple juice, hot chocolate and toffee apples. And I made my signature pecan pie with soya pouring cream.

Everything served was 100% plant-based, with no meat, fish or dairy to be seen.

The residents, staff and their families loved every mouthful, and there was not a morsel left at the end of the afternoon!

I’m pretty sure that we are the first care home in the UK to do this. I think it is important that we try new and exciting things. I like to ensure that our residents try new experiences – not the same things they have done for the last 90 years. The vegan festival proved to be a huge success, as the photos show!

Hannah Mulholland

Activities Co-ordinator

Harper Fields Care Home

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19 November, 2016

This is so thoughtful, I’m 63 and have been vegan for a very long time. I absolutely dread the day I may have to go into a care home to live, having worked in them most of my working life, I know first hand that most cooks would not have a clue where to start cooking a vegan meal, and most of them I’ve worked with think the whole vegan concept is totally unnatural, and “weird”.  One cook even gave me a slice of cake saying it was vegan, and after I’d taken a mouthful, told me it had eggs in it, and said eggs aren’t meat, so what was I complaining about, (as I spat it out)!!!! People don’t always take us seriously, “Oh go on, have a bacon butty”, is one I’ve heard over and over again. If more care homes provided vegan meals, I wouldn’t be so scared about not being able to look after myself, and having to go into care.

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