Work colleagues by chance, best friends by choice in Malvern

Best friends and Activity Coordinators Tina Ellenton & Laura SmithFor June’s National Best Friends Day, our three Activity Coordinators at Malvern-based Davenham, Perrins House and Bradbury Court residential, nursing and dementia care homes, which are collectively known as Friends of the Elderly Malvern, have been talking about how their friendship blossomed and grew thanks to working together.

National Best Friends Day is the annual day dedicated to celebrating all best friends and the importance of best friends on your life. Friends – and especially best friends – are the ones that support you, are always there for you, and you’re always there for them,” said Jo Bennett, the General Manager at Friends of the Elderly Malvern. “We are so fortunate that our three Activity Coordinators – Tina Ellenton, Selena Whittaker and Laura Smith – have become the best of best friends since they started working at Davenham, Perrins House and Bradbury Court – they are our ‘Three Amigos’ – we couldn’t ask for a better team to deliver our meaningful activities to our residents and respite guests.”

Laura Smith, Tina Ellenton & Jo BennettTina Ellenton, is the Activity Coordinator at Davenham, our residential care home at Friends of the Elderly Malvern. “I’ve worked at Davenham for nearly 20 months and it has been wonderful to get to know Laura and Selena. Since I began working here, we’ve all grown extremely close and thoroughly enjoy working together.

“Whether we are planning our Malvern-wide events, organising our vast range of accessible and meaningful activities, booking our visiting entertainers for all the residents at all three care homes to enjoy, or simply interacting with the residents, we always have a great time – and we are usually always laughing,” said Tina.

Selena Whittaker is the Activity Coordinator at Perrins House, our Nursing Care Home. “I’ve been at Friends of the Elderly Malvern for about seven years,” Selena continued. “I’m so lucky to work with Laura and Tina. We work exceptionally well together and are all so similar in that we have a deep passion for our jobs and residents. We’re all quite creative as well – Laura is outstanding at crochet, she made me a dinosaur stuffy once, which is so cute.

Best friends & Activity Coordinators Selena Whittaker & Laura Smith. “We all have the same sense of humour, so constantly bounce off each other. I have to say, we never have a down day either, as we’re there for each other and if one of us is a bit low, the others joke and bring all our spirits up.”

“I’ve been the Activity Coordinator at Bradbury Court, our Dementia Care Home for seven months, so I’m the newbie to the Activities Team, but before that, I was one of the Care Team,” added Laura. “Tina and Selena are so clever and easy to talk to. They are always so uplifting and we have great banter between us. They have both have a top tier sense of humour and I do adore their leopard print dresses!

“Our friendship is so important to me as we can come to each other and talk about anything and we work so well together. We’re usually all on the same page with ideas and work together to make them become a reality. We recently joined forces and decorated our historic Well as part of the Malvern Well Festival and were quite chuffed that we got a Silver Award. We’ve already starting to plan for next year’s festival – and we’re definitely going for gold,” Laura continued.

“I love Laura and Selena’s enthusiasm, humour and total dedication to their roles,” added Tina. “They are great best friends to have as they are very supportive, have great ideas and are lovely to hang out with. I can trust them to carry out our ideas and bring our visions to life as well.”

“Tina is hilarious – she has ideas flying out of her 24/7, she’s definitely the cheekiest of us all and Laura is such a happy person,” said Selena.

“We get on so well, our meetings are great fun and entertaining, but we do work very hard, both individually and as a team, to support, inspire and motivate the residents every day – that’s our joint goal.                                                                                                                          

Best friends & Activity Coordinators Selena Whittaker & Tina Ellenton. “Laura and Tina are loyal and trustworthy friends; I couldn’t ask for better – we are always there for each other – and our joint love of hot drinks and cakes is handy too. Tina is particularly partial to Carrot Cake; I just love all food. Laura is a Diabetic, so can’t indulge in sweet treats, but she would if she could,” Selena added.

One thing all three ladies agree on is that Jo Bennett, the General Manager at Friends of the Elderly Malvern has encouraged and guided them all to work closely together, which has been a big benefit for them all. “Having a Manager who encourages and supports us to work so closely and well together, is fantastic,” added Laura.

“We work so well together and are such great friends, we could be members of Snow White’s dwarf team,” continued Tina. “I’d be Happy, as why not? Laura would be Woolley as she’s brilliant at crafts and crotchet and Selena would have to be Runner Bean, as she’s tall, slim and runs a lot.”

“We were chatting the other day about circus acts,” added Selena. “A resident asked us what circus act we’d be. Laura and I said we’d have to be Jugglers as we juggle quite a bit every day, but Tina plumped for a Clown as she said they have the most fun and make people laugh. That’s Tina all over.”

“Tina, Selena and Laura are a strong, fun and wonderful team here at Friends of the Elderly Malvern,” added Jo. “They are the glue that holds all our activities and community outreach events together. They give 110% to supporting, motivating and caring for all the residents – and each other – every day, so National Best Friends Day seems the ideal time to recognise all their hard work, dedication and commitment – and say thank you,” concluded Jo.

Find out more about Friends of the Elderly Malvern by calling 01905 388 720 or emailing