Care home builds library for bookworm residents

Resident Roy Ketchell, 88, organises the books in Foxholes Care Home's brand new library

Resident Roy Ketchell, 88, organises the books in Foxholes Care Home's brand new library - Credit: Foxholes Care Home

A Hitchin care home has turned a new page with the opening of a library within its grounds following popular demand from residents.

Under the last year's numerous lockdowns, residents and Foxholes Care Home in Pirton used books as a way to boost positive wellbeing and mental stimulation.

Located in the new activities room, resident bookworms can now pick a novel from the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that stretches across the entire room.

Located in the new activities room, resident bookworms at Foxholes can now pick a novel from the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf

Located in the new activities room, resident bookworms at Foxholes Care Home can now pick a novel from the floor-to-ceiling bookshelf that stretches across the entire room - Credit: Foxholes Care Home

A large section of the library is dedicated to Hitchin history, which has been interesting for residents who grew up in the area to look back on.

The popularity of reading at the family-run home has also led to the launch of a library club, where residents and staff alike can enjoy losing themselves in a diverse selection of titles.


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It will also enable staff to gain insights into their residents’ lives and interests, while family members can also join in the fun, being brought closer together through literature.

Foxholes Care Home in Pirton, Hitchin is happily accepting donations to their new library

Foxholes Care Home in Pirton, Hitchin is happily accepting donations to their new library, which is enjoyed by both residents and staff - Credit: Foxholes Care Home

The launch of the new library has inspired one resident to write his own book, depicting the colourful events from his life.

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Hilmar Warenius, 79, said: “I’m writing a book on my memories of growing up in Cornwall, going to the University of Cambridge, then to London as a medical student, before qualifying as a doctor.

He added: “The primary reason I wanted to write a book was for my children and grandchildren, who will be able to read it later. When I started to write, I found there were so many interesting things to cover, mainly the drastic change in the way medicine has been practised, even in what I view as my short life.”

Fellow resident 88-year-old Roy Ketchell will help maintain the library and its books. He said: “I enjoy organisation. My favourite books are biographies. I enjoyed Seve Ballesteros’ autobiography as I also used to play golf. Tommy Cooper was another enjoyable read.”

Resident Roy Ketchell, 88, organises the books in Foxholes Care Home's brand new library

Roy said: “I enjoy organisation. My favourite books are biographies." - Credit: Foxholes Care Home

Foxholes Care Home's Neeti Gandecha said: “The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone connected with Foxholes, particularly for our residents who had their regular programme of activities restricted during the height of the lockdowns.

"Books and reading groups proved to be a great distraction and after having become so popular, we decided to build our very own floor-to-ceiling library for the residents.

“They can now independently find something to occupy their time with, whether it be the articulate tales of Charles Dickens, or an autobiography recounting the lives of sporting greats – there is a little something for everyone.”

To help build the collection of books in the library, Foxholes is accepting donations from the community.

Those with any unwanted books lying around that they would like to donate will be happily accepted by Foxholes. Donors should email care@foxholescarehome.com to arrange the drop off.

For more information on Foxholes Care Home, visit foxholescarehome.com.

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