Care home's 'pub' serves its first pints to residents

Staff at Iceni House double up as bar staff when the Pickering Arms opens at 3pm for residents.

Staff at Iceni House double up as bar staff when the Pickering Arms opens at 3pm for residents. - Credit: Iceni House

A Norfolk care home has served up its first drinks in the only 'pub' in the county where you can drink indoors.

Iceni House, in Swaffham, has created the Pickering Arms for its residents and took its first orders on Monday April 12, to mark the first stage of the lockdown restrictions easing.

Dawn Bunter, registered manager, said: "The Pickenham Arms has been a wonderful addition to Iceni, it has brought so much happiness, laughter and we've spent many an afternoon singing, pouring a few drinks in the only pub in Norfolk, where you can be inside with all your friends. 

"Some are having a glass of wine, some of the ladies have had a margarita. People are really loving the atmosphere. 

"It's somewhere they can go now at 3pm, it creates a conversation and creating stimulation." 


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The home used to operate a 'tipple trolley' but now offer the residents a free drink from the bar, named so because it is in Pickering House.

Iceni House residents take their seat in the Pickering Arms.

Iceni House residents take their seat in the Pickering Arms. - Credit: Iceni House

Resident Maureen Westfield, said: "It's perfectly lovely to have a sherry with friends in the afternoon, or two." 

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John Steward, added: "I love the pub, full of pints of stout and red wine."

The home was one of the first to begin running its own Covid-19 testing schemes to help residents reunite with relatives. After looking at guidance it has taken the decision to allow residents, who have all been vaccinated, to spend time outside the home with their relatives following testing procedures.

Residents and staff are enjoying the atmosphere at The Pickering Arms, at Iceni House, Swaffham. 

Residents and staff are enjoying the atmosphere at The Pickering Arms, at Iceni House, Swaffham. - Credit: Iceni House

On Wednesday, health secretary Matt Hancock was asked when residents will be able to go outside for a walk without having to self-isolate on their return.

He responded: "We are working on it right now. I had meeting on this yesterday to make sure that we can get the rules right so that people can safely leave a care home and come back without bringing coronavirus back into the home."

Mrs Bunter said:  "If they can have 4,000 people in a football stadium, then we do not see why a resident cannot go out for a walk with the family or sit in the back garden and have an afternoon tea. We encourage relatives to do it. All our relatives are taking part in our testing programme. They come for another lateral flow test." 


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