Cooking Christmas Dinner for 100: the staff working this Christmas Day
For most, Christmas Day is a time to celebrate with family, enjoying quality moments together and making memories. However, for some this festive period, they are putting family plans on hold as they dedicate themselves to keeping essential services running. That can be said for Cecilia Smith, chef and activities coordinator at Kingsmills Care Home in Inverness who will be looking after 100 people on Christmas Day.
48-year-old Cecilia has been at Kingsmills Care Home in Inverness for five years, working within the kitchen as the home chef as well as engaging residents in activities as part of a special programme which focuses on health and wellbeing. For Cecilia, whose children are grown up, spending Christmas Day with the residents is her favourite way to enjoy the day.
Cecilia said: “Spending Christmas with the residents, staff and relatives is the best way to celebrate the day. My kids are teenagers now so they are more interested in a long lie on the day anyway so it’s great that I can get an early start in the home and make the day as special as possible for the residents.
“I’m cooking for almost 100 between the residents, the staff and we also invite any family members of the residents to join us too, so prep work needs to start days in advance. I then head home and cook for the family but thankfully, my brother starts on the prep work to make things a little easier.
“We enjoy a special Christmas fry up in the morning and then open presents and welcome family visits before our big blow out Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but the residents also enjoy wine, party food and cheese and crackers throughout the day. It really is one big celebration.
“We’ve been busy with activities too from carol singing and ceilidh bands, to festive high teas, movie days and bingo. The residents have a jam-packed schedule over the month of December and Christmas Day tops that off nicely with lots of games, signing and dancing.
“We really live by the idea that we work in their home as opposed to them living in our place of work and we do all that we can to make it feel like a Christmas at home. For some, we’ll be all the family they have and that puts an incredible responsibility on us to ensure we give them the best day that we can.
“Christmas at Kingsmills really is full of joy and I am so lucky that I get to play a part in providing that experience for our residents.”
Kingsmill Care Home’s spacious environment has been designed to create a safe and supportive home for all residents. The home also has a large garden which residents often tend to in the warmer months, growing herbs and vegetables used to create nutritious meals at the on-site kitchen.
Kingsmills Care Home is part of the Renaissance Care Group, it currently operates 16 homes located across Scotland and currently provides care provision for 760 residents and employs around 1,150 staff.