STAFF and residents at Abbey House Care Home enjoyed an afternoon of music in the sunshine as part of an open day on Saturday.

Carers and the chef made colourful cakes to sell, a live band called Breeze played upbeat hits with a jazzy flair, prizes were won in a tombola, and guests enjoyed visiting the care home's pet bunny Stu.

Kinga Dobrowska, customer care co-ordinator, helped organise the event.

She said: "It's part of the national care home open day that's happening all over the country.

"This turned out really well, we didn't expect this many people to come, it's a lovely atmosphere and the weather's been great.

"It's nice to see residents mixing with the guests, they feel like they're hosting them, they welcomed them all in and introduced themselves.

"This year's national open day is all about linking with the community, so we decided to do this garden party to have the neighbours round and tell them about what we offer.

"It's something that all the care homes can do to show they are part of the local community and open their doors."

"Also, Stu's been loving the attention and he's great with the residents.

"We didn't want to do something massive because our second anniversary's in July and we'll be doing a huge event for that."

Nyree Kingsbury from Swindon Theatres spoke to visitors about the dementia-friendly events being held around town.

These include free screenings of classic films at the Arts Centre, swim sessions at the Oasis and Dorcan Recreation Complex, a free Friday morning gardening club at TWIGS from 10am, and a Wednesday morning walk around the designer outlet from Giraffe restaurant at 10am.

She said: "Abbey House are very forward-thinking in the way they do their activities, they do a lot of intergenerational projects which the residents really enjoy and benefit from, and some of their residents are brought to our Memory Cafes.

"This Dementia Action Alliance initiative aims to make Swindon as dementia-friendly as possible so wherever people go in town, the staff will be properly-trained and able to help."

The next free dementia-friendly film screening will be the Sound of Music on April 30 at 2pm -call 01893 524481 to book a place.

For more information about the swim sessions, call Susan Lambert on 07980 933636.