Redcot Residents rate festive mince pie baking a huge success

A Redcot resident holding a plate of mince pies.Residents at Redcot, our residential care home in Haslemere Surrey, residents got their Christmas activities off to a ‘Reindeer Flying’ start by taking part in a festive, Christmas Mince Pie Bake-A-Thon afternoon.

Residents put on their pinnies, rolled up their sleeves and got creative with their Yuletide bakes. “Everyone got into the festive competitive spirit creating their culinary masterpieces,” said Staci Abernethy, Redcot’s Deputy Manager.

“Six of our residents – Audrey Martin, Eileen Illman, Joyce Douglas, Ruth Dickson,

Tim Rait and Susan Osbourne – were our Prue’s and Paul for the afternoon and created deliciously tasty Christmas bakes,” added Jenny Ryder, one of Redcot’s Activity Coordinators.

“I had the best task of all,” continued Staci. “I was the Christmas Taste Tester Judge. It was a hard job, but somebody had to do it.” After sampling each of the mince pies, Staci declared the winner – 81-year-old Ellen Illman. “Every mince pie was delicious, but Ellen’s winning mince pies were absolutely mouth-watering; it was probably the best mince pie I’ve ever tasted,” Staci added.

Two residents enjoying the mince pies.Talking about her holly, jolly wining mince pie creations, Eileen said: “We’ve all had a great afternoon making and baking our different mince pies, and we especially enjoyed a well-deserved cup of tea to wash down the yummy treats.”

“Making the Mince Pies and getting everyone involved was a good conversation starter,” Eileen added.

“Whilst we were enjoying the merry fruits of our labour, we chatted and reminisced about how our relatives used to make the Christmas Mince Pies and Christmas Puddings. Back then it was always a race to see who would find the lucky Sixpence in the pudding.”

Baking has many benefits, especially for older people. Not only is it creative, but it can also be calming which helps with relaxation and reducing stress. It stimulates the senses – feeling the flour, rubbing in the butter, the smell of bakes in the oven, tasting the delicious end results all help to stimulate the senses – and it’s great for keeping the brain active, as it involves weighing and measuring.

A staff member holding the mince pies.“Baking can evoke memories, whether it’s a memory of cooking with loved ones, enjoying a special birthday cake, eating an éclair at a picnic with friends or enjoying a Yuletide Mince Pie – the smell of a freshly baked cake or loaf of bread can trigger these happy memories,” added Staci.

We have a wide and varied activities calendar at Redcot which is tailored to all our residents likes and preferences. It is important for us to ensure that our residents are engaged and enjoy our activities and baking is always a firm favourite,” continued Jenny.

“The Redcot Christmas Mince Pie Bake-a-thon afternoon was a big success. The only difference was that instead of being in an instantly recognisable white tent, we were in one of our warm and cosy lounges. Our six Bakers thoroughly enjoyed creating the tasty festive treats for everyone and all the residents and care team enjoyed tasting them. It was a lovely way to get the Christmas activities underway,” concluded Staci.

Find out more about Redcot care home by calling 01428 644 637 or emailing