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Published: August 27, 2021 | Updated: September 25, 2021

Cheers! Kim is the toast of residents after her sponsored silence pays for care home’s bar

Wellbeing Manager Kim Butters, centre, and Mike Lyons, Managing Director, Encore Care Homes, back left, celebrate the opening of The Merry Fairmilers with residents and staff. Picture: Paul Collins/Encore Care Homes.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Care home residents can enjoy a drink from their own fully-stocked bar thanks to a sponsored silence from a popular member of staff.

Wellbeing Manager Kim Butters took on the tough personal challenge of not saying a word for a day at Fairmile Grange in Christchurch.

She was supported by colleague, Andrea Davey, Wellbeing Assistant, who spoke on Kim’s behalf during the silence.

In total, the Wellbeing team raised £500 to fund the bar.

It is free for residents to use on a day-to-day basis, as well as for birthday parties, wedding anniversaries and special events.

Kim and Mike Lyons, Managing Director of Encore Care Homes, cut the ribbon to officially open the bar, called The Merry Fairmilers.

It stocks a range of beers, wines, spirits, mixers and soft drinks and comes complete with bar mats and scampi fries.

The care home residents enjoyed a party on National Prosecco Day to celebrate the special occasion with balloons, cakes, a buffet, and drinks provided by the new bar.

Kim said: “It was a tough challenge but I felt that I needed to do something out of my comfort zone for a day, so I stayed quiet.

“It was more difficult than I thought it would be, particularly when we’re doing fun activities and dancing to music, but it was all for a worthy cause.

Kim Butters and Mike Lyons with John Evans as he enjoys his first drink at the bar. Picture: Paul Collins/Encore Care Homes.

“Encore’s care home in Fareham – Hamble Heights – has a bar and I thought that our residents deserved one too.

“We’ve already had a few parties for birthdays and some new residents moving in, so the bar has been put to good use.”

The sponsored silence came in response to residents light-heartedly telling Kim that she needs to stop singing around the home.

Instead they told her that, for one day, she could only communicate via a chalkboard.

Money was donated by Kim’s colleagues, the care home residents, and their families and friends.

Kim Butters with Rita Satchwell as she takes her first drink from the bar. Picture: Paul Collins/Encore Care Homes.

Mike said: “The new bar is a wonderful addition to the facilities that we offer at Fairmile Grange.

“We could see from the smile on the residents’ faces how much they appreciate being able to enjoy a drink with their friends.

“It’s nice to have such a personal touch in the care home, which was funded by kind donations to Kim’s sponsored silence.

“The bar is a true testament to the work of Kim and Andrea who are real live wires and we are lucky to have them as part of our team.”