Community Engagement at Dunanney Care Home

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Dunanney Care Home, based in Newtownabbey, part of the Larchwood Care (NI) Ltd group of homes, firmly believes in assisting residents to retain their links with the community.

Ballyclare based group, Major Maynard Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band are renowned in the local Newtownabbey area and so it was, with great expectation that residents and staff awaited their first visit from the band early in 2016, followed with a second performance later in the year.

The Major Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band was established in 1957 following a merger of 2 bands, William Johnston and the Emmanuel piper band. The name given to the band was in honour of local MP Major the Rt. Hon. John Maynard Sinclair whose untimely death occurred in January 1953 with the tragic sinking of MV Princess Victoria.

The younger years of the band were spent in Belfast, then lead by Pipe Major, Lesley McCourt. During this time the band had an appreciable amount of success on the competition field.  Throughout the early 1970′s, the band moved base to Newtownabbey, and has remained in the Newtownabbey borough ever since, originally practicing in a community hall prior to moving to its new home in Ballyclare in the late 1990′s.

In 2008 following some years of inactivity, reformation of the band revitalized the group leading to a collection of prizes in many local competitions as well as at the World Championships held annually in Glasgow. The band provide regular performance concerts throughout the Newtownabbey area and beyond.  Dunanney Care Home has had the pleasure of welcoming the pipe band for 2 performances so far this year.

Band members took time to explain to residents and visitors a little about each piece of music played and went on to ask for special requests. Residents delighted in both visits from the band, especially two ladies at Dunanney Care Home, both of whom are natives of Scotland.

Dunanney Care Home wishes to thank the Major Maynard Sinclair Memorial Pipe Band and good luck in future competitions.

Larchwood Care (NI) Limited
First Floor

Unit 16 Crescent Industrial Estate
Ballinderry Road

BT28 2GN

Tel: 028 92 669 360

20 October 2021

The roll out of the vaccination programme in Northern Ireland has been another important mechanism which has helped the reduction in risk to us all within society.  We are delighted that within the Care Homes a very significant percentage of residents have been vaccinated and whilst we remain committed to the continued diligence of wearing PPE and enhanced infection control measures the impact of COVID-19 in the last 3 months has reduced.  Whilst acknowledging these pleasing outcomes most recent news of outbreaks in some local areas and a rise of cases associated with societal mixing reminds us not to be complacent.

In the last 24 hours we have received the updated guidance in respect of the step on the visiting pathway “Gradual Easing”.  Having considered the content of this document we have risk assessed our own local arrangements and are pleased to outline the plans in place for the Larchwood Care NI Homes below:

Virtual, Window, End of Life Visiting and Care Partners

There have not been any changes in the arrangements for the above visiting opportunities.  All continue to be available within the Homes and can be booked, where necessary, through the Home Administrator.


General Visiting


In line with the Regional guidelines referenced above Larchwood Care NI is also facilitating General and Room Visits.  The difference between a General Visit and a Room Visit is the location in which they take place within the Home.  A General Visit will take place within the designated visiting area of the Home and a Room Visit, for those residents unable to come to the visiting area, will take place in the Resident’s room.


All General and Room visits must be pre-booked and you will be asked a series of risk assessment questions as part of this booking process.  Booking can take place Monday – Friday 1000 – 1100 hours or 1400-1500 hours, by phoning the Care Home.  The following guidelines will help you to understand the process and arrangements for both types of visits


  • Book in advance.
  • Undertake risk assessment over the phone.
  • 4 visitors from a maximum of 2 households may visit up to four times per week for maximum 60 minutes.
  • Visitors may include children. Children are included within the maximum 4 persons per visit.
  • Arrive to the Home wearing a face mask 20 minutes prior to your visiting slot.
  • All visitors will be swabbed using a rapid antigen COVID-19 test.
  • You will be asked to wait until the result of your test is confirmed as negative
  • You may touch and hold hands with the resident and brief hugging is now permitted.



In facilitating this wide range of visiting activities and care partner arrangements you will understand the burden placed on staff time to undertake the administration and facilitation of these.  Each Home will therefore have a maximum number of general and virtual visits available per week and we would ask that all relatives, family and friends are understanding of this.


In addition to visiting, independently mobile residents may avail of meeting with relatives in the grounds and gardens of the Homes.  Residents may also now enjoy brief trips outside of the Home with loved ones.  These trips will be accommodated where restrictions such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitiser can be facilitated.  Such visits will be risk assessed by the care home and further direction on these can be sought through the Home Manager.


Care Partner arrangements within the Homes continue and visits by Church Ministers and Faith Groups are in addition to the above visiting arrangements.


All visitors, including Care Partners, in their daily lives are reminded of the need to ensure good personal hygiene, use of face coverings as required and to exercise their judgement on the need to use public transport for the benefit of all residents and staff in the Home.